Doug Ford says he's still not sure when the pandemic will end in Ontario despite numbers
After a solid push through summer to open long-locked-down Ontario back up again, things in the province have seemed comparatively somewhat stagnant on the COVID-19 front in recent weeks, with Premier Doug Ford making far fewer public appearances and things reopening at a slower pace.
The province was long stalled in Step 3 of its reopening framework since July 16 — a step that was only meant to last 21 days — but at long last, capacity limits were lifted this week for settings such as restaurants, gyms, museums, casinos and others that had been bounded by social distancing requirements.
In the coming days, we will also see land crossing to the U.S. open up, further indicating a full return to normal with things like non-essential travel included.
But when asked on Tuesday when he thinks all of this pandemic business will properly end, Premier Ford did not have as confident an answer as he usually provides, saying that he hopes it is over soon, but that "no one can predict the end of this."
"All I know is we have great health teams: the people get all the credit in the world," Ford told reporters.
The premier added that, given how Ontario is leading the world in vaccinations and leading North America with the lowest cases per 100,000, he's confident that we'll hit our new 90 per cent vaccination target — and that when that time comes, we will need to continue with our forward momentum.
"We can't wait around for the other 10 per cent, we've gotta continue moving, and moving cautiously. I emphasize the word three times, cautious, cautious, cautious, because I don't want to go through a repeat of anything," he said.
On the topic of vaccinations, Ford also sympathized with those parents who are wary about vaccinating their children under 12, but expressed belief that Ontario will hit its 90 per cent milestone without that demographic getting the shot en masse, as thousands of people are still getting their first or second dose every day.
"I'm going to leave that up to the parents when it comes to five-to-11-year-olds. Do we want to get them vaccinated? Yes. But there are some parents that are a little hesitant for [kids] aged 5 or 6, I get it. So let's do our best... but we're doing very well on the vaccinations."
Presently, 88 per cent of eligible Ontarians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 immunization, while 84 per cent are fully vaxed. Meanwhile, there were only 269 new cases of the virus reported on Oct. 26, which is the lowest the province has seen since early August.
Join the conversation Load comments