Ontario doesn't have exact date for Stage 3 reopening: Ford

Jul 3 2020, 1:10 pm

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he doesn’t have an exact date for when the province can move into the next stage of reopening.

On Friday, Ford said he doesn’t “have a crystal ball” and does not want to see a surge in cases, like what has recently occurred in the US.

“Since it’s going to be last stage, we want to make sure our t’s are crossed and I’s are dotted,” he said.

When asked if Stage 3 would happen later in July, the premier said it was possible.

“You’re pretty close, to the end of July. I just don’t have a crystal ball, I can’t give you an exact date. We‘re doing everything we can we’re moving responsibly. We’re leading North America for the number of cases for any jurisdiction our size,” he said.

“You see what’s happening south of the border, we don’t want that to happen here.”

He added that discussions are happening with the health committee, where it will then be deliberated by the health table, who will have the final say.

On Tuesday, Health Minister Christine Elliot said she hopes to be able to move into the next stage “as soon as possible.”

“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 said at the time.

Elliot 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.

On Friday, the Health Minister 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.

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.

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.