Ford considering two-week shutdown for Ontario after holidays

Dec 15 2020, 10:50 am

Update: Toronto’s mayor is now calling for increased restrictions when the current lockdown ends, read about it here.

Premier Doug Ford said that “everything is on the table” when asked about there being a two-week shutdown after the holidays.

During a press conference on Tuesday, when asked if Ontario will follow Quebec’s lead on having a two-week shutdown after the holiday break, Ford replied, “Everything is on the table.”

With the case positivity rate currently being 5.3%, Ford said, “I saw the same numbers, and it is concerning when we get into those percentages. What I can say is everything is on the table. Our priority is to protect the health and safety of the people of Ontario.”

Health Minister Christine Elliott agreed with the premier, calling the numbers “concerning.”

She acknowledged that “many hospitals are having surges” even though the province added 3,100 care beds since March.

“We need to follow this closely. We’re constantly speaking with Dr. Williams and public health measure tables to see what other solutions we can bring forward to help us get these numbers down to not have this level of community transmission.”

On Tuesday, the province reported 2,275 new COVID-19 cases — the highest since the pandemic began and the first time over 2,000 cases were reported.

The province said the surge is due to some updates: “We updated our data extraction time to 1pm (from 10:30 am) for health units using CCM resulting in a one-time increase in case counts, and new algorithms were implemented to identify duplicates and improve the quality of some fields.”

On Monday, York Region and Windsor-Essex County moved into the Grey – Lockdown level of the province’s COVID-19 framework.

The regions join Toronto and Peel, which have both been in lockdown since November 23, with the lockdown set to be reviewed on December 21 to see if it can end or must be prolonged.

Lockdown restrictions include only allowing retail stores to offer curbside pick-up or delivery. Restaurants can only be open for pick-up, drive-thru, and delivery.

Indoor gatherings are not allowed except with members of the same household, and outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people.

To date, Ontario has seen 144,396 coronavirus cases and 3,992 deaths.

There are also 20 schools in the province that have closed since September.