Ontario to announce decision on COVID-19 hot spot restrictions

Brunilde Fioravanti
Febbraio 20, 2021

"I am obligated to make that clear", de Villa said on Wednesday.

"I have never been as anxious about the future as I am today", said medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa.

"Today it is better to delay reopening and stage reopening gradually when we have certainty that the time is right". On February 13, Dr.de Villa and Peel's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence C. Loh wrote to Dr. David Williams, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, to request a two-week extension of the Lockdown Regulation-Shutdown Zone and Stay-at-Home Order in Toronto and Peel.

Ontario has said it will consult with all medical officers in each of the regions before deciding on where the regions will be placed in the newly implemented color-coded system.

Since the start of the pandemic there have been a total of 93,455 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 302 new cases today.

Across the province, 67% of nursing home residents have received both vaccine shots, in Toronto that's at 100%.

Both Peel and Toronto have not seen a consistent downward trend in hospitalizations.

As of Wednesday, there were 16 confirmed variant cases in Quebec, including 13 cases of the United Kingdom mutation, and another 135 suspected cases.

The recent decline in cases can be attributed to the success of public health measures imposed after the holidays. To date, there have been 2,563 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. With uncertainty related to supply, it is unclear when the City and partners will be able to continue to vaccinate large portions of the population. "We are in a precarious situation and face exponential growth, due to the increased transmissibility of the variants".

The announcement comes as Ontario is set to announce whether it will lift a stay-at-home order and other restrictions for COVID-19 hotspots next week.

Most of the province has already been moved onto the framework, which allows some retail shopping and, depending on the region, even haircuts and gym classes. Reg. 73/21 and O. Reg. 89/21) remain in place.

"As a public health physician I have never been as concerned about the threat of COVID-19 to your health as I am now". However, it is important to recognize the weariness the public is experiencing, particularly those who have been most impacted by COVID-19.

Elliott says that almost 65,400 tests were completed since Thursday's update.

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Toronto Mayor John Tory said he supports de Villa's advice, saying they need to ensure the current lockdown is Toronto's last. Dr. Karim Kurji says while the new variants are concerning, an aggressive vaccine strategy, provincial and local restrictions and aggressive enforcement will help keep cases low.

The Progressive Conservative government has defended its decision to proceed with loosening restrictions for most of the province despite warnings it might set off a third wave. Cases have been fluctuating wildly as more people come forward for testing.

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