Ford set to unveil new plan to reopen Ontario as third wave of COVID-19 wanes – fr

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Ford set to unveil new plan to reopen Ontario as third wave of COVID-19 wanes – fr


Premier Doug Ford is set to unveil details of the province’s latest plan to reopen as Ontario continues to see signs of a decline in the devastating third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ford’s office said he would speak at 3 p.m. ET. You will be able to watch the announcement live in this story.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said Ford and her cabinet are still actively working on a phased reopening strategy.

The current province-wide stay-at-home order is in effect until June 2, but the government has hinted that some restrictions on outdoor activities may be relaxed before that date. Jones has not said if this could happen until the Victoria Day long weekend.

Officials have already confirmed this week that Ontario will not revert to the color-coded pandemic framework that places varying restrictions in different regions. Jones suggested that under the previous approach, too many people were going to public health units where restrictions had been relaxed.

Beyond that, she provided some details on what the impending reopening strategy will look like.

Dr. Peter Jüni, scientific director of the Ontario Scientific Advisory Table on COVID-19, said this morning he was in favor of reopening sector by sector to prevent “region hopping”.

In an interview with CBC Radio Morning metro, Jüni said he believes restrictions on most outdoor activities, except patio dining, should be lifted by June 2.

“We are in a much better situation than a few weeks ago,” he said, noting that cases and hospitalizations are decreasing.

Jüni added that he was in favor of reopening schools after the stay-at-home order ended.

“A lot of children are struggling, a lot of families are struggling,” he said. If the province can immunize as many education workers and parents of school-aged children as possible by then, it could be safe to open schools, he continued.

” It’s possible. It’s close at hand. We just have to keep doing what we’re doing right now. “

Meanwhile, in a letter to the Premier’s Office, the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) said any new approach “should be evidence-based and clear metrics and driven by the continued need for ensure that any continuous transmission is limited ”.

OHA Board Chair Sarah Downey and President Anthony Dale have warned that current public health measures are aimed at tackling Wave Three, “but we’re not out of the woods yet.

“The occupancy rate of intensive care units remains high and the worrisome variants present a significant risk,” the letter said. “Maintaining high testing rates and early identification of contacts to prevent outbreaks will remain critical.

Experts have warned that the province’s current level of testing is a problem.

The OHA has recommended that “low transmission environments” such as golf courses, tennis courts and playgrounds be opened first, before moving to ease restrictions on activities such as open-air dining. air.

This is in line with recommendations from the Ontario Medical Association, which recommended opening outdoor facilities last week.

However, the Ford government voted against an NDP motion this week to reopen the outdoor facilities.

The last things to open should be crowded indoor environments like restaurants and gyms, the OHA recommends.

The OHA also called for travel restrictions to remain in place, with a view to allowing more domestic travel first, and said specific vaccination targets should be in place for specific high-risk communities.

As for schools, they should be “the first to open and the last to close, supported by a scientific and factual approach to political decisions”.

The province has not said whether students will return to classroom learning before the end of the school year.

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