Canada: Ontario gives green signal to Toronto, Peel Region to move to Stage 3 of Covid-19 recovery plan
Ottawa/IBNS: With Ontario's fewest number of new cases since March 23, and in consultation with its health officials and experts, Ontario administration gave a green signal this morning to Toronto and Peel Region to move into Stage 3 of Ontario's COVID-19 recovery plan this Friday, media reports said.
Windsor-Essex, the only Ontario's region in Stage 2, is still barred at this point from proceeding to the next phase.
Activities included in Stage 3 are indoor dining in restaurants, live performing arts shows and the reopening of movie theatres and playgrounds, and larger gatherings of people with proper social distancing.
The decision was based on "positive local trends of key public health indicators, including lower transmission of COVID-19, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity to conduct rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing," Ontario news release said.
"We have made tremendous progress that allows us to return to something a little closer to our normal lives this summer, but we are not out of the woods yet," Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in the news release and added,
"This virus is still among us and we have to be extra cautious to avoid sparking a surge or an outbreak. I strongly urge everyone to continue following public health protocols."
"More businesses and services are able to reopen thanks to the collective efforts of all Ontarians to limit the spread of the virus," said Christine Elliott, Ontario's Deputy Premier and Ontario's Minister of Health in the news release. "While public health trends across the province are positive, we continue to closely monitor Windsor-Essex so that we can move the community into Stage 3 when the time is right. No matter which stage a region is in, everyone needs to continue to follow public health advice to protect themselves, their families and community."
The number of patients in Ontario hospitals with confirmed cases of the illness, those being treated in intensive care units, and those with ventilators have also declined.
In a letter to Ford earlier this month, Toronto Mayor John Tory had called for six actions applied to bars, restaurants and indoor dining settings to be put in place quickly, including early closure times, further physical distancing restrictions and requiring customers to stay seated at all times, reported by CBC News.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
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