Reopening plan for COVID-19 hotspots being presented to Ford today

Nov 2 2020, 6:53 pm

Premier Doug Ford said that the province’s health table will be presenting the reopening plan for COVID-19 hotspots this afternoon.

On Monday, Ford said “we want to review the plan with our cabinet,” and added that the plan will be introduced to him later today to review.

“Dr. Williams is putting the plan in front of us and again we’re in full communication with all the mayors of all the regions… We’ll be able to review what the health table has brought to us and we’ll make that decision very soon.”

When asked if it’s too early to reopen in hotspots, Ford said he is taking advice from health officials to “do a happy balance.”

“We listen to health experts and folks that have small businesses… we’re taking advice from the health table to see if they’re looking to open up safely again and go from there. If you go one way it’s not too good, if you go the other it’s also not good.”

Ford remarked that Ontario’s numbers are better than other regions in the world meaning “we must be doing something right.”

Ontario’s daily coronavirus numbers have been hovering around the 1,000 mark for sometime in the second wave.

On Monday, the province confirmed 948 new cases with Sunday’s 977 and Saturday’s 1,015 cases. Last Sunday saw a record-high of 1,042 cases. Over 60% of the cases are coming from Toronto and Peel.

Eleven mayors for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area released a statement supporting the premier’s plan to build a framework for a safe reopening.

“We support the province’s ongoing work, led by public health officials, to develop a framework which can take us forward and find ways to open doors safely,” the statement said.

“All the Mayors and Chairs agreed that we want businesses currently closed due to the modified Stage 2 measures, to be able to reopen safely and to remain open. We support the province’s work to establish a safe path forward for restaurants and other establishments from our public health professionals assuming circumstances permit.”

At a press conference on Friday, Ford said he’s working on a plan with his health team to look into easing restrictions in the four areas safely.

Earlier this month, Ford’s government placed Toronto, Ottawa, Peel, and York Region into a modified stage 2 lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus.

In Toronto, the 28-day order is set to expire next week on November 6.

When asked if he would consider toughening restrictions in parts of Toronto that are seeing higher rates of the virus, and ease them in areas with fewer cases, the premier said he’d like to take a “surgical” approach to easing restrictions within each area.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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