Ontario Premier Says York Region ‘Wobbles’ Towards Amended Stage 2

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TORONTO – Premier Doug Ford says York Region is “teetering right now” amid a growing number of COVID-19 cases. Ford made the comment during his regular Queen’s Park briefing on Thursday, noting that he planned to meet with members of his health command table later this afternoon to discuss the need for additional restrictions in the area, similar to those already introduced in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa.

“We have a meeting, the minister and I, later this afternoon, but yes, York is faltering right now,” he said. “They’ve been wavering for a little while, so we just have to be careful.”

York Region has reported an average of 76 new daily COVID-19 cases over the past week, but the numbers appear to be on the rise.

As of Thursday, 127 new cases were confirmed in York Region, which was the third largest in Ontario behind only Toronto (239 cases) and Peel (136 cases). But when you adjust the population, those 127 cases represent a higher rate of infection than seen in Toronto and Peel over the past 24 hours, with about 11 new cases per 100,000 people.

Speaking to reporters, Ford admitted the figures are “concerning” but he did not comment on whether further restrictions could be planned for the region, only saying that public health officials were “watching closely” the situation.

However, in a subsequent briefing, Ontario’s Assistant Medical Officer of Health Dr.Barbara Yaffe hinted that further restrictions could be planned for York Region and Halton, where the number of cases has also increased. increases.

“I would say we’re particularly concerned about York and Halton given the numbers we’re seeing. We are working very hard to present recommendations to the government as soon as possible for a decision on these areas, ”she said.

Last Friday, the province suspended indoor dining in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel for 28 days and ordered gyms, casinos and movie theaters closed.

Since then, Ford has repeatedly indicated that he would not hesitate to put other regions back in a modified Stage 2 version if necessary, but he has also said that he is “praying” that this does not happen. does not arrive.

“Everyone continues to follow the protocols and let’s bring those numbers down because I’m going to tell you it’s painful doing what we had to do last week. It really weighs on you, ”he said earlier this week.

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