Ontario releases plan to reopen the province

Apr 28, 2020

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has released a three-stage framework to gradually ease some of the restrictions imposed to suppress the coronavirus.

Stage one could include opening parks, resuming some non-urgent surgeries and opening select non-essential workplaces that can modify operations, such as providing curbside pickup or delivery.

Stage two could include opening more businesses and outdoor spaces and stage three would allow all workplaces to open.

Restrictions on public gatherings would be also be gradually relaxed over the three stages, but large events such as sports games and concerts would still be banned.

Tuesday's frameworks provides few specifics or timelines, but the stages would occur in two to four-week increments so health officials could watch for new outbreaks.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announces his plan to reopen the province.
Credit Twitter

Ontario's plan comes as a new poll suggests Canadians are divided over whether getting a vaccine for COVID-19 it should be mandatory or voluntary.

The poll conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies found 60% of respondents believed a vaccine should be mandatory while the other 40% felt it should be voluntary.

Leger Executive Vice President Christian Bourque said that doesn't mean only 60% of Canadians would get the vaccine, but he nonetheless would have expected much higher support for a mandatory vaccine given the scale and scope of the pandemic.

The poll also found the majority of respondents would be comfortable returning to their places of work and even shopping at a mall or farmers' market if the government lifted restrictions on such activities.

But there were worries about activities in which respondents had less control over their surroundings and physical distancing, such as going to restaurants, bars, gyms and large gatherings such as sporting events and concerts.

The latest numbers of confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 a.m. April 28 put the total at 48,500 confirmed and presumptive cases:

  • Quebec: 24,982 confirmed (including 1,599 deaths, 5,517 resolved)
  • Ontario: 14,856 confirmed (including 892 deaths, 8,525 resolved)
  • Alberta: 4,696 confirmed (including 75 deaths, 1,664 resolved)
  • British Columbia: 1,998 confirmed (including 103 deaths, 1,137 resolved)
  • Nova Scotia: 900 confirmed (including 24 deaths, 509 resolved)
  • Saskatchewan: 365 confirmed (including 5 deaths, 288 resolved)
  • Manitoba: 261 confirmed (including 6 deaths, 205 resolved), 11 presumptive
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 258 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 219 resolved)
  • New Brunswick: 118 confirmed (including 111 resolved)
  • Prince Edward Island: 26 confirmed (including 24 resolved)
  • Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)
  • Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 8 resolved)
  • Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)
  • Nunavut: No confirmed cases