Toronto, Peel, Windsor-Essex to stay in Stage 2 of Ontario’s COVID-19 recovery plan

Toronto, Peel and Windsor-Essex public health units will not be entering Stage 3 of the province’s COVID-19 recovery plan this week, Premier Doug Ford announced on Monday.

The other seven public health units, including the City of Hamilton, still in Stage 2 got a green light from Ford today to proceed into the next stage of reopening.

This means that by the end of the week, 31 of Ontario’s 34 public health units will have moved into Stage 3, which allows for activities such as indoor dining in restaurants, live performing arts shows and the reopening of movie theatres and playgrounds. 

The regions who won approval to move to Stage 3 this week are:

  • Durham
  • Halton
  • Hamilton
  • Niagara
  • Haldimand-Norfolk
  • Sarnia-Lambton
  • York Region

‘Please be patient,’ Ford urges those still in Stage 2

Ford asked those living in the remaining areas, including Toronto, to exercise patience as they wait to move to the next stage.

“For the other regions who entered Stage 2 later in the process, please be patient, we’ll get there very shortly,” Ford said at a news conference.

“We’ve been working with Mayor [John] Tory and mayors in Peel and Windsor regions, along with their public health units, to assess the situation and find a way forward,” he said.

“We know as a province that we can’t ease up, we can’t give this virus an absolute inch and part of the process is learning from other jurisdictions,” Ford added.

Twenty-four health units entered into Stage 3 last Friday. 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford puts on a mask at the opening of a new Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto on May 25. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

Toronto, Peel and Windsor Essex account for 78 of the 135 new cases of COVID-19 reported by the Ministry of Health this morning. Another 20 were confirmed in Ottawa.

The new cases mark a 0.4 per cent increase in total infections of the novel coronavirus in Ontario, slightly above what has been typical in recent weeks. They come after two days with more than 160 new cases each over the weekend. 

Ontario has now seen a total of 37,739 cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak began in late January. Of those, about 88.8 per cent are considered resolved. Another 106 were marked resolved today.

Twenty-eight public health units reported five or fewer cases in the latest update, Health Minister Christine Elliott noted in a series of tweets. Of those 28, 18 public health units confirmed no additional cases at all.

There are now about 1,474 active cases of COVID-19 provincewide.

Meanwhile, Ontario’s official COVID-19 death toll grew by one, and is now 2,752. A CBC News count, however, puts the real current toll at 2,781 as of yesterday evening. 

(CBC)

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