Ontario lockdown could get stricter according to Doug Ford
Though Premier Doug Ford reiterated today that he's not yet considering something as drastic as a curfew for Ontarians, he did say that there is definitely the potential for lockdown rules to be extended for a longer period, or be made more stringent in some parts of the province.
He made the revelation on Thursday, just a few days before grey-zone regions Toronto and Peel are due to be reassessed for potential reopening after 28 days under Ontario's most severe pandemic restrictions on businesses and residents.
Toronto is on lockdown , I only go out for essential runs. Haven’t even done my Christmas shopping. So another lockdown , really , obviously it’s not working. Numbers are even higher before the lockdown. Enough is enough. 😡😡😡😡😡— Roses (@RoseCam14) December 17, 2020
"I don't think we're there to a curfew, but we all just [need to] stop with the socializing and having friends and family over... we have to bend the trend here because the trend just continues to grow in the GTA, no matter what we're doing," Ford told reporters in a press briefing this afternoon.
He added that "everything's on the table" when asked about whether the province could at some point face a broader blanket lockdown, the shutdown of schools, and other such courses of action to curb the spread of the virus.
Take a look at Toronto. Proof that these "4 week lockdowns" (that extend beyond the 4 weeks) are not working to lower infection rate. They are however, very effective in killing small businesses. Time to stop repeating ineffective covid measures.— Lisa (@YoungStreete) December 17, 2020
Officials announced another new record high of 2,432 cases of the communicable disease provincewide today — with testing remaining high at 58,000 completed in the last 24 hours — despite the fact that the province's top two virus hotspots have been in the most intense iteration of lockdown for nearly a month.
Per cent positivity among those tested, meanwhile, has been spiking up and down in recent weeks, hovering around the 5 per cent mark, with 20-39 year olds making up most of the past few days' infections.
We have less then 1000 people in hospital in a province of almost 15 million & this has crushed our healthcare system? That in itself should be a bigger concern then anything else.— MateoMilano (@Milanista_83) December 17, 2020
Officials such as the Ontario Hospital Association and Toronto Mayor John Tory have been calling for more drastic limits to be placed on parts of the province to help reduce daily new case counts, while businesses such as major retailers and salons are fighting back against forced closures with proof of how their settings have not been huge contributors to COVID-19 transmission.
"The Ontario Government's health data shows the retail shoppers are not contributing to COVID-19 spread in any significant way," The Hudson's Bay Company wrote in a statement about the impacts of the lockdown last week.
"The decision to close some retailers in these regions has not achieved public health objectives. Rather, it has potentially increased health risks by funneling more shoppers into fewer, crowded stores."
When Toronto's quasi-lockdown began on Nov 23, the daily average new cases was somewhat over 400. Now, four weeks later, with uninterrupted steady growth, it's over 700. Things aren't working!— Graham Pressey (@gpressey) December 17, 2020
With the most notorious time of the year for social gatherings quickly approaching — and many Canadians planning to attend holiday dinners despite the guidance of health experts — the next few weeks will undoubtedly have some effects on continuing spread of the virus and consequent course of action as far as provincial orders are concerned.
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