York Region will enter a modified Stage 2 next week, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the jurisdiction.
On Friday, Premier Doug Ford said there is “a rapid increase in the rate of infection” in the region with a positivity 2.77% which is above the “high alert” of 2.5%.
Ford also noted that there is 39 cases per 100,000 people which is “well above the provincial average.” The average in Ontario is 33.
“It’s similar to what we have seen in our our worst hotspots. And what’s most concerning of all is critical care admissions are hitting alarming rates,” he said.
After consulting with local leaders from York Region on Monday, October 19 at 12:01 am the jurisdictions will enter a modified Stage 2 for 28 days, joining Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa.
“I hate doing this my friends, I honestly hate this,” Ford said. “This was not an easy decision to make and I know this will be difficult for many people to hear but we can’t allow this virus to get into our long-term care homes. We must protect ur schools and our communities, and keep performing vital surgeries in our hospitals. We need to avoid a full lockdown.”
Health Minister Christine Elliot echoed the premiers sentiments said the numbers are going in the “wrong direction” and that “numbers have jumped and we need to do whatever we can to avoid a very severe second wave.”
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On Friday, 62 cases were reported in York Region, with 127 on Thursday, and 79 on Wednesday.
Elliot said the Chief Medical Officer of Health and modelling table saw “concerning trends” in the region and it was not just based on the daily coronavirus cases.
Last week, Ontario announced that indoor dining, cinemas, and gyms would close for 28 days in Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa.
And casinos, performing arts centres and venues, and interactive exhibits were all asked to shut down as well.
There is also a reduction in social gatherings and organized public events to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors when physical distancing can’t be maintained.
The province is also prohibiting personal care services where face coverings must be removed for the service.
Additionally there is a 10 person indoor limit and 25 person outdoor limit.