doug ford covid

Doug Ford is being tested for COVID-19 after potential exposure

Loyal viewers of the Ontario government's daily pandemic press conference were left scratching their heads earlier today when, instead of Premier Doug Ford's usual "well good afternoon," they were greeted with a "hello everyone!" from Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Ross Romano, who stood at the podium in Queen's Park alone.

Romano held his own while detailing the province's plan for reopening post-secondary institutions, but viewers were confused about why he was up there alone for the first time since the pandemic first hit.

Where was Ford? And where was Health Minister Christine Elliott, who usually flanks the Premier during his COVID-19 updates?

News outlets got an answer to this question just moments before the press conference began in the form of an emailed statement from the Premier's Office.

As it turns out, Ford and Elliott decided to skip the presser "out of an abundance of caution" after learning that Education Minister Stephen Lecce had come into contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.

"Yesterday, Minister Lecce was tested for COVID-19 after learning that he had come in contact with someone who had tested positive," reads the announcement.

"Premier Ford and Minister Elliott will be getting tested today. Both will continue to monitor for symptoms and take appropriate action as necessary."

The Premier's Office says it will notify the public as soon as their test results come in.

Lecce, who participated in yesterday's press conference alongside Ford and Elliott, revealed just before 2 p.m. that the results of his own COVID-19 test had come back negative.

"Yesterday I was notified I have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. I have been tested and I've been in isolation since, working from home," reads Lecce's statement. "I was informed minutes ago that my COVID-19 test results have come back negative."

Lecce went on to say that anyone who feels they need to get a test should get tested.

"We all have a role to play in combatting this virus," continued the minister. "Thank you to the incredible team at UHN who offered their support and care to me yesterday. I also want to thank all Ontarians who are working together to fight COVID-19."

Lead photo by

Premier of Ontario photography


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