Ontario just hit its vaccination target to enter Step 3 of reopening
With a quarter of all adults in Ontario now fully immunized against COVID-19 and more than 75 per cent boasting at least one shot in their medical records, Canada's largest province just surpassed its own vaccination threshold for moving into Step 3 of the government's post-lockdown reopening framework.
That's right, Step three — not two, which is wild given that we're still only in the first step of Ontario's tri-phase Roadmap to Reopen.
Under Premier Doug Ford's latest plan for economic reopening, the entire province will move together through three distinct "steps" based on key health indicators including the percentage of residents with one or two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine.
We actually entered the framework three days early, on June 11, which allowed patio dining to resume and non-essential retail stores to once again welcome in customers (with restrictions) after more than two months in full shutdown mode.
Based on the date that we entered Step 1, and the fact that all of Ontario must stay in each step for 21 days before moving forward (if vaccination thresholds and other public health indicators have been met), the province is expected to enter Step 2 on Friday, July 2.
We're already well past the vaccine targets for Step 2 (70 per cent of adults with one dose, at least 20 per cent with two) and, by the time July 2 rolls around, we'll likely have far surpassed the immunization threshold for Step 3 (70 - 80 per cent of adults with one dose, 25 per cent with two.)
Over 3 million Ontarians are fully vaccinated!— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) June 22, 2021
Do your part to support a two-dose summer💉☀️💉
Learn when and where you will be eligible to book an appointment to receive your second dose of a #COVID19 vaccine sooner: https://t.co/uoRLdktgoU pic.twitter.com/GNO76nNXCG
So... are we going to skip straight through to the final step? The one during which indoor dining will resume and gyms will finally get to reopen?
Many might hope, but the government hasn't said anything definitive yet aside from that we might enter Step 2 (hair salons, barbers and limited indoor social gatherings!) earlier than planned.
Government officials have been vague, but CTV reports that Solicitor General Sylvia Jones did say Ford's cabinet ministers are having "ongoing daily conversations" with public health officials regarding the possibility of reopening sooner than planned.
Toronto Mayor John Tory also appears to be in favour of a truncated timeline for reopening based on skyrocketing vaccination rates.
"I think there is the opportunity for those to be shortened," said Tory to CTV of the timelines this week. "I want the city opened up again as soon it possibly can be safely done."
Both the mayor and Premier Ford are slated to speak at a press conference at 1 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, after which you can be sure reporters will grill both leaders on what we can expect in terms of accelerating our return to normalcy as residents crush it at getting mass-vaxxed.
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