Ontario will release the framework to restart the province's economy next week
Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced today that officials will release the framework for reopening the province's economy next week.
Speaking at Queen’s Park during his daily press briefing Friday, Ford said the province is planning a "gradual and measured approach," for which details will be made public soon.
Still, he continued to emphasize that the health and safety of residents is the number one priority.
"Let me be clear, the health and safety of Ontario will always come first," Ford said.
NEW: Premier Doug Ford says they will announce a framework next week to re-open the Ontario economy. Ford still encourages people to follow health measures, stay home and practice physical distancing. #COVID19 #onpoli— Manny Paiva (@paivatheway) April 24, 2020
While other provinces have begun to release plans and strategies for loosening restrictions, Ontario has yet to indicate what the gradual reopening will look like here.
But Ford has previously said that the province will not be completely reopened by Victoria Day and schools will definitely not reopen on May 4.
During today's press conference, Ford was asked by a reporter about the possibility of a regional approach to opening up parts of Ontario — though he immediately expressed concerns about the idea.
"We are dealing with almost two different worlds. You have the urban and you have the rural areas but we are all connected," Ford said, adding that potentially opening certain areas first presents the problem of people from Toronto travelling up north.
.@RodPhillips01: The framework for restarting the economy will consider the different infection rates in urban and rural Ontario. However, @fordnation concerned about urbanites bringing #COVID19 to rural/northern Ontario. #covid19ontario— Steve Paikin (@spaikin) April 24, 2020
Meanwhile, Phillips said the issue of residents' movement throughout the province is a major factor being considered in the framework due to the fact that there are extremely different realities happening in urban and rural areas.
Provincial health officials confirmed a total of 640 new cases of the virus in Ontario today. And though the number of cases currently marked as resolved (7,087) is higher than the amount of active cases (5,669), health officials have said a significant reduction in daily increases is needed before social distancing restrictions can be lifted.
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