Less than a week since announcing a province-wide shutdown, Ontario Premier Doug Ford says tougher restrictions are on the way. The change comes as Ford faces calls from the medical community for stronger measures in the face of surging cases of the coronavirus.
Ford’s government has faced heated criticism for days, especially from doctors who argue that the shutdown announced last week falls short of what’s needed. The medical officers of health in Toronto, Ottawa and the Peel Region on Tuesday urged the Ford government to go further and issue a stay-at-home order.
Ford did some back-peddling Tuesday, suggesting a tougher approach is coming but insisting the shutdown was the right call at the time.
"We’re going to have further restrictions moving forward, very very quickly. And again, we have to focus on where we see the problem," he said. "Three regions -- York, Peel and Toronto -- represent 60% of the COVID cases. So when you have an inferno going on somewhere, you have to turn the hoses there, you have to continue doing the whole province, but we’re really focusing on the hot areas."
Ford had said that a new stay-at-home order was not issued because it produced tremendous ill effect on both children and adults. But such an order was recommended by the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table as being one of the retrictions necessary to control the spread of COVID-19 variants.
And early Wednesday morning, CP24 and CTV reported the Ford government was set to announce a province-wide, month-long stay-at-home order today similar to what was enacted in January.
Ontario has seen nearly 15,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the past five days -- and for the first time since the pandemic began, more than 500 people in intensive care units.