Ford made the comment in making prepared remarks ahead of an emergency teleconference meeting with 113 Ontario hospital leaders on Friday afternoon.
He said foreclosure orders in Toronto and Peel which are expected to expire next week will also be extended and will now be reassessed on Jan.4.
What is allowed and what is not in lockout zones
“The trends we’re seeing across Ontario are very, very worrying and nothing is more important to our government than ensuring that everyone’s health and safety is protected,” he said. “We’re going to have an emergency meeting over the weekend and we’ll make a decision (on what’s next) on Monday.”
Hamilton’s seven-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases rose 40% over the past week and now stands at 106.7.
But as cases have increased in recent days, the city’s Lime Ridge Mall has decided to extend its opening hours for the holiday season and large crowds of shoppers have been seen descending on the resort, much to the chagrin. of some local officials.
The lockdown order will not take effect until 12:01 a.m. on Monday, when it will force non-essential retail stores to switch to curbside collection for the last days of shopping before Christmas. It will also mean the outright shutdown of a wide range of other businesses in Hamilton, including gyms and personal care services.
“I know some people might not be happy with this, but this is the reality of the pandemic we find ourselves in and we need to get it under control,” Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberg said during a Friday afternoon briefing. “If we follow all the rules we could very well do a great job of reducing the cases and allowing ourselves to go to a different location, but for now we’re going to take the advice of the province and lock down.
Local Hamilton officials had put in place a series of additional restrictions, including one that required retailers to screen shoppers for symptoms of COVID-19 before admitting them to their stores.
Eisenberg said he had hoped the measures would have “had some impact in terms of reducing the impact,” but they did not.
In fact, the city’s weekly per capita incidence rate is now worse than that of York Region, which was placed under lockdown on Monday.
“I don’t think (the numbers) gave the province a lot of choice,” Eisenberg said.
In addition to the lockdown announced for Hamilton, the province is also moving four other regions to other more restrictive levels within its framework.
The Niagara Region Public Health Unit and Brant County Public Health Unit will be moved to the red “Control” category while the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Public Health units will be moved to the orange category “Restrict” and the Timiskaming health unit be moved to the yellow “protect” category.
The only public health unit to fall into a less restrictive category is Public Health Sudbury & Districts, which will now be one of five regions in the green.
“As the number of new cases in Ontario continues to rise, it is evident that additional measures are needed in some areas to stop the spread of the virus,” said Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams, Medical Officer of Health in chief in a press. press release published Friday afternoon.
Ford faces pressure to increase restrictions
Today’s talks with the hospital chief came as Ford faced increased pressure to order further lockdown restrictions.
There have also been calls for schools to be moved away only for the first two weeks of teaching after the holidays.
Ford offered no indication on Friday what kind of measures might be considered, but said he wanted to hear from people “on the ground” about what is going on in hospitals across Ontario, where nearly 900 people are currently being treated for COVID-19[FEMININE[FEMININE
In a statement released following the meeting, the Ontario Hospital Association said it was “grateful” that Ford and several other government officials took the time “to hear firsthand, by hospital leaders across the province, the extremely serious situations many organizations are facing. and the severe pressures to which they are subjected.
They said they hoped the government “will heed the advice of Ontario hospitals” and put in “stronger and better enforced public health measures in communities across Ontario.”
“As the holiday season dawns, if tougher measures are not put in place and the public ignores public health advice and chooses to rally over the holiday season, the consequences may overwhelm hospitals Ontario, ”the statement warned. “At the end of the day, every health system has its breaking point.”
Crombie wants GTHA-wide lockdown
The seven-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases in the province now stands at 2,089, which is an increase of nearly 12% from last week.
Hospitalizations also continued to rise steadily, forcing some hospitals in the GTHA to cancel surgeries and elective procedures and some officials to warn that “important care” is now at risk.
“It’s been two days now since we all got that pretty clear warning note or wake-up call from the Ontario Hospital Association and today he says it will take another three days before ‘No decision is made,’ Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath told reporters while Ford was at his emergency meeting on Friday afternoon. “I mean, the guy is dragging his feet. He is not ready to make urgent decisions. ”
The Ontario Hospital Association has called on the province to implement a 28-day lockdown in all regions, seeing 40 new cases per 100,000 people or more to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.
The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario is also calling for a province-wide lockdown.
Meanwhile, in a statement released Friday afternoon, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said she wanted Ford to announce a GTHA-wide lockdown on Monday “to reduce the number of cases across the country. region and protect our hospitals ”.
She later told CP24 that it is clear from the aggregate cell phone data that “people are jumping in the regions” and that for public health restrictions to be most effective, they must extend from Niagara to the south. west to Durham to the east.
“I would expect them to look very closely not only at the number of cases, but also at the situation in hospitals. Our hospitals in Mississauga and Brampton are redirecting (patients) and canceling elective surgeries, so it’s a really dire situation, ”she said. “Our hospitals are our last line of defense and if they are overcapacity, we have serious problems.”