Both Toronto and Peel Medical Officers of Health are against their respective public health regions opening up in the Red Zones as initially suggested by Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie last week..
At Wednesday’s news conference, Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health said she is against moving Toronto out of Grey Lockdown if the provincial stay-at-home order is lifted on Monday, March 9.
Based on the data in front of us, it is clear that reopening widely, such as under the red category of the provincial framework, is not advisable at this time given our current case counts,” said Dr. de Villa.
“Overall, case counts at present call for a cautious approach that will allow us to reopen and to do so as safely as possible. Based on the data in front of us, it is clear that reopening widely, such as under the red category of the provincial framework, is not advisable at this time given our current case counts,” said Dr. de Villa.
“Moving out of the stay-at-home order is a reasonable course of action for Toronto. Although I will add that while there are evident reasons for a change in status, there remain reasons or risks that underscore how moving back into grey status is and will be a delicate balance.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel Region’s medical officer of health also recommmends that Peel moves into the Grey Lockdown zone of Ontario’s colour coded COVID-19 response framework for reopening.
“As we exit the province’s stay-at-home order, I am recommending that we enter the province’s framework under grey for a two-week period,” Dr. Lawrence Loh said at Peel’s weekly news briefing in Brampton Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, we are seeing a reversal of the favourable trends that we’ve observed in the last five weeks,” Loh said.
“These numbers give me pause,” said Loh. “Reopening too quickly erases the gains that we’ve made, putting lives and well-being at risk,” he added.
Peel’s top doctor said that two weeks ago just five COVID-19 variant cases had been reported, but that has spiked to more than 100 confirmed cases with approximately 600 more presumptive variant cases.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie who advocated that her city move to red lockdown last week now says she has full confidence in Loh and finds worsening case trends in Mississauga frustrating. She like everyone else says she is hopeful that numbers will soon improve to allow Peel’s restrictions to be loosened.
Dr. Eileen de Villa tried to keep things positive at the Toronto presser saying, “Our ability to make the right choices is the reason a move into this direction is possible,” added Dr. de Villa.
“We are on the cusp of taking a much-wanted step toward a little more flexibility in our daily lives, but, and until we’ve brought COVID-19 well under control, there will always be, there must always be a but, but the steps for self-protection are more valuable and vital than ever,” said Dr. de Villa.
With all this in mind, if the province removes the shackles of the Stay-At-Home order from Toronto and Mississauga, in-person shopping would finally be permitted for all retail outlets to operate at 25 percent capacity. However, in-person dining will still be forbidden.