Ontario health officials look to Stage 3 of reopening

Jul 3 2020, 8:22 am

It’s almost been three weeks since Ontario first began allowing regions to enter Stage 2 of reopening, meaning that health officials are looking towards the next stage, as cases remain relatively low throughout most of the province.

The Province needs to wait two to four weeks, to evaluate if it’s safe for residents and businesses to enter the next stage of reopening.

In Stage 2, shopping malls, hair salons, swimming pools, and bar and restaurant patios were given the green-light to reopen.

On Friday, Health Minister Christine Elliot said that 31 out of the 34 public health units in the province are reporting five or fewer cases, with 14 reporting no cases at all.

The majority of new cases are coming from Toronto, Peel, and York.

There have continuously been under 200 cases reported daily in the province in the past two weeks except for two days.

“We hope to be able to move into the next stage as soon as possible,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said on Tuesday during the daily press conference.

“It’s looking very good, but we still need another week’s data to really inform the situation, and then decisions will be made about the opening of Stage 3.”

She added that discussions are currently happening at a provincial level about when to announce Stage 3 and the decisions to be made include which parts of the province would move ahead and which measures would be relaxed.

While it’s still not clear on what measures would be relaxed, the province said it would ease restrictions for public gatherings and open all workplaces responsibly.

However, large public gatherings such as concerts and sporting events will continue to be restricted for the “foreseeable future.”

There will also be continued protections for vulnerable populations and the continued practice of physical distancing, hand washing, and respiratory hygiene.

Government of Ontario

According to the Province, the ongoing, gradual assessment of public health measures will continue until the post-pandemic period when a vaccine or treatment for COVID‑19 is available.

This staged approach reflects Ontario’s “new normal.”

Ontario is using a regional approach to reopening, with the first 24 regions allowed to open on June 12, with seven more GTHA regions opening on June 19.

Toronto, Peel and Windsor-Essex were the last to enter Stage 2.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

+ News
+ Coronavirus