ontario lockdown

People in Ontario are calling for Toronto and Peel to be locked down again

With the number of new COVID-19 infections in Ontario trending upwards and health officials bracing for a strong second wave, there are mumblings of potentially re-imposing earlier lockdown measures to prevent outbreaks as we move into autumn.

But, many residents don't think that restrictions should be brought back provincewide, or even to anywhere aside from just a few locales that are reporting the highest number of cases.

Toronto, Peel, Ottawa and York have been the main culprits behind the recent uptick, which is logical given that they are our most dense urban centres.

And a lot of citizens of more rural areas appear to support the lockdown of these "problem" regions while they continue to progress toward further reopening.

Some are taking to social media to call for politicians to bring those regions with increasing case counts back into Stage 2 of reopening, given that a large number of the province's 36 public health units have had very few or no new cases for some time.

On Sept. 11, for example, 18 units reported no infections at all and eight reported five or fewer, while Toronto announced 71, Peel had 38, Ottawa had 37 and York had 14.

Young people under 40 have also been making up progressively more new cases in Ontario and beyond, prompting Premier Doug Ford and other officials to urge residents to follow directives around physical distancing and mask wearing and to abstain from social events.

This has particularly proven a problem in Peel, where people keep flouting gathering mandates and throwing caution to the wind to host massive house parties.

Ford has indicated that he has absolutely no problem re-implementing more stringent lockdown rules in certain places if the province's rising COVID-19 stats warrant it, including but not limited to shutting schools back down again.

He also encouraged the mayors of cities like Toronto to introduce stricter regulations around bars in the form of limiting their hours or closing them altogether if cases surge.

And if and when things do roll back, it seems likely that the provincial government will continue to rely on its staged, regional model for determining what stays open and where.

"I want to congratulate the people of the north, they've been following the protocols of the Chief Medical Officer. They're listening and they're following the guidelines," Ford said at a press conference on Friday.

He then had a message for those in large urban areas like Toronto, Peel Ottawa and York: "Please try to avoid these big gatherings [like] weddings with 150 or 170 people... just follow the guidelines and everyone will be okay."

Lead photo by

A Great Capture

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