toronto lockdown

Toronto lockdown to be extended with new restrictions announced next week

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has confirmed that the lockdown period set to expire in Toronto and Peel on Monday will be extended beyond Dec. 21 with new, even stricter rules coming into place.

Details regarding these heavier restrictions will be unveiled on Monday, according to Ford, who announced the news at Queen's Park on Friday ahead of an emergency meeting with members of his COVID-19 command table and Ontario hospital leaders.

"The trends that we are seeing throughout Ontario are very, very concerning, and nothing is more important to our government than making sure we protect the health and safety of each and every person," said Ford to reporters Friday afternoon.

"We are going to have an emergency meeting over the weekend and we will make a decision (on what is next) on Monday."

Ford had said on Thursday, and again on Friday morning in a tweet, that "everything is on the table" in terms of further cracking down on the grey-zone areas of Toronto, Peel, York and Windsor-Essex.

The GTA in particular has seen daily infection rates skyrocket in recent weeks, despite measures taken to date such as closing gyms, prohibiting indoor dining, shutting small retail stores and banning indoor social gatherings completely.

Ontario reported a whopping 2,290 new infections on Friday morning (well over half in the GTA) after posting a new daily record high of 2,432 cases on Thursday.

Friday marks the fourth straight day of new infections coming in above the 2,000 mark and hospital ICU wards are nearing capacity, according to health officials who've been calling upon the Ford government all week to lock things down harder as the deadly coronavirus spreads at rates never seen before.

Lead photo by

Doug Ford

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