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COVID-19: Toronto and Peel enter Stage 2 come Wednesday

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Toronto and Peel haircut and patio frenzy begins Wednesday with green light to enter Stage 2

TORONTO, ON., June 22, 2020 — Today at Queen’s Park, Ontario Premier Doug Ford delivered an announcement that will make Torontonians more stylish soon, and less anxious come Wednesday. Premier Ford announced that as of 12:01 a.m. on June 24, Toronto and Peel Region will join almost every other region of Ontario in entering Stage 2, which allows the reopening of restaurant patios, barbershops, salons, shopping malls, and public pools, to reopen.

This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the local medical officers of health. It is based on positive local trends of key public health indicators, including lower transmission of COVID-19, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity to do rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing.

The rest of the GTA was given permission by the province to move to Stage 2 on Friday, June 19.

“Ontario is heading in the right direction because everyone is doing their part,” said Premier Ford. “We are seeing the trends go the right way.”

“While our testing continues to be at an all-time high, the number of cases was the lowest it’s been in nearly three months,” said Ford.

Meanwhile today, Ontario reported 161 new cases of COVID-19, which is the lowest daily case report since late March.

Come Wednesday, Windsor-Essex will be the only remaining Ontario region yet to move on to Stage 2 and that is primarily due to COVID-19 outbreaks among migrant farm workers.

“We will do everything we can to get our final region, Windsor-Essex, into Stage 2 as soon as possible,” said Ford. “That’s why we are ramping up testing and inspections on Ontario’s farms to protect workers and keep our food supply chains strong and healthy.”

Ontario’s Health Minister, Christine Elliott says that the province wants to assess the impact of Stage 2 on case growth and hospital capacity before deciding what regions can move on to the next stage of reopening.

At the news conference on Monday, Premier Ford was asked about the hordes of beach-goers whopping it up at Toronto’s Cherry Beach and Woodbine Beach over the weekend. Ford said “You look at the pictures, it looked like South Beach, Florida. You see what happened down in Florida, there was 4,000 cases in one day the other day,” Ford said. 

https://twitter.com/Moezyy_H/status/1274556634883411968

“Folks, I get it. You want to get out, (it’s a) hot day, there is a beach. We got to maybe come up with better protocols. I’ll talk to the mayor about it… we need to get bylaw officers out there.”

“Everyone has to practice social distancing. This fight is not over,” said Premier Ford. “We are winning the fight but it is not over by any means,” he said. “It could turn and bite us in the backside in about a heartbeat.” 

Once all regions have moved to Stage 2 the province says Stage 3 will focus on reopening more workplaces and community spaces, while carefully and gradually relaxing restrictions, and sustaining and expanding workplace health and safety guidance.

Quick Facts

  • Every Monday, the government is providing an update on the ongoing assessment of the different regions, and whether they are ready to move into Stage 2.
  • To get tested, people should visit Ontario’s website to find their local assessment centre and whether they need to call ahead to make an appointment.
  • Stage 3 will focus on reopening more workplaces and community spaces, while carefully and gradually relaxing restrictions, and sustaining and expanding workplace health and safety guidance.
  • The province has developed a practical step-by-step guide to help Ontarians as they safely develop and join a social circle.
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