ontario lockdown

Doug Ford says Ontario lockdown restrictions are starting to pay off

It's been a rough few weeks for the people of Ontario (months, depending on where you live) amid rising rates of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown restrictions, including a stay-at-home order that's been in effect since January 14.

Non-essential businesses such as hair salons and gyms have been closed across Ontario since December 26, when a provincewide shutdown came into effect, and for more than two months now in hotspot regions like Toronto and Peel.

Restaurants and bars remain closed as well, except for takeout and delivery. Same goes for non-big box retail stores, which are restricted to curbside pickup. 

People are sad. People want to see their friends. People want to keep the small businesses they've spent so much time and money building alive, if it's not already too late.

And yet, under the threat of steep fines, potential jail time and an overwhelmed hospital system, most of us have been soldiering on diligently, following public health guidelines and government orders in hopes that something will change.

It looks like something finally has.

New daily case numbers have come in below the 2,000 mark for most days this past week, and will continue to fall if current restrictions are maintained, according to new modelling projections released by the province on Thursday.

"Good Morning, Ontario," tweeted Premier Doug Ford Friday morning.

"I want to thank everyone who has been staying at home these last few weeks. I know it's tough, but we are starting to see our hard work pay off."

Included in Ford's tweet was a special video message in which he once again tells people to "stay at home" in a number of different languages, including Dutch, Bengali, Croatian, Somali, Hebrew, Mohawk and Nepali.

The premier also attempted to relay his message in Patois, a language spoken primarily by Jamaicans and, on several occasions, Ford's late brother Rob.

The ongoing State of Emergency and stay-at-home order will remain in effect until at least February 9, at which point it could be lifted or extended again, based on the numbers as interpreted by Ford's COVID-19 advisory table.

Lead photo by

Doug Ford

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