stage 3 ontario

This is what needs to happen before Toronto enters Stage 3 of reopening in Ontario

Toronto is one of ten public health regions in Ontario that will stay stuck in Stage 2 of reopening while the rest of the province moves on to Stage 3 later this week, but we're pretty used to it by now after being held back from reaching Stage 2 multiple times.

Still, residents may be wondering when exactly we'll get the go-ahead to open more businesses, expand gathering limits and get the chance to enjoy things like concerts, the gym and going to the movies again.

In the province's staged approach to returning to a somewhat dystopian form of normal, health officials have been continually assessing how each region is faring as far as new cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Though there isn't a precise figure or even range that a region has to land in as far as these stats to move on to the next phase of reopening, Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Williams is looking for a steady downward trend of all of the above.

It could be argued that Toronto and has indeed already been seeing such a trend, but it appears that the city and select nearby regions like Peel and York still have too many new and active cases at this time for the government to feel safe reopening further.

In his media briefing on Monday, Premier Doug Ford noted that 29 out of 34 regions of the province have been reporting fewer than five new cases a day, with 21 of them reporting none at all. Toronto is, of course, not among these regions.

There is also the fact that the city, along with other regions that currently remain in Stage 2, entered Stage 2 late in the first place, so "needs just a bit more time," Ford said.

But, he will be giving updates as far as regional reopenings at his pressers every Monday (ahead of the following Friday), meaning that Toronto could progress as soon as July 24.

In recent days, the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Toronto have dropped to around 40 per day:

  • 34 on July 12 (second to only Peel, which had 38)
  • 36 on July 11 (the most of any region, followed by Peel, which had 30)
  • 42 on July 10 (Peel had 26 and York and Windsor-Essex each had 12)

Ostensibly, these numbers need to be a little bit lower before Stage 3.

Mayor John Tory supports the city taking things slowly, telling reporters from City Hall on Monday that "Given the increase in COVID-19 cases we have seen in other jurisdictions that have opened earlier than in the GTA, we support continuing the cautious approach we have taken so far," adding that he doesn't think the city will have to remain in Stage 2 for much longer.

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