Ontario is set to decide today what level of restrictions to impose on three COVID-19 hot spots still under strict stay-at-home orders, as the province reports 1,250 new infections and 22 more deaths linked to the virus.
The government extended those orders for Toronto, Peel Region and North Bay two weeks ago due to high virus case numbers, even as it loosened restrictions in other parts of the province.
Most regions moved back to the government’s colour-coded pandemic response framework last month.
Top doctors in Toronto and Peel have recommended that the framework’s highest level of public health restrictions take effect in their regions next week.
They are asking for the “grey lockdown” zone of the framework that allows more retailers to open with restrictions but leaves gyms, personal care services and indoor restaurant dining closed.
The province’s chief medical officer says he’s concerned about test positivity rates and more infectious variants in those regions, and that the reopening must be cautious.
Some residents in Peel Region were eager to see the stay-at-home order lifted.
“We’ve been locked inside our homes. It’s really claustrophobic being inside (all the time),” said Aparna Monie, 40, from Mississauga.
Adam Taylor, 40, who works from his Mississauga home, says the rules for the lockdown zone should be changed to allow gyms to reopen instead of retail stores.
“I don’t think people should be walking around in malls. You can do all that online and do pick-ups. Gyms are for the benefit of your health,” he said.
The new COVID-19 cases reported Friday included 337 in Toronto, 167 in Peel Region, and 129 in York Region. The numbers are based on more than 64,700 completed tests.
The province also reported a single-day high of 35,886 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered since Thursday’s update.
A total of 820,714 doses of vaccine have been administered in Ontario so far.
There have been 306,007 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Ontario since the pandemic began, 288,583 that have been resolved and 7,046 that have resulted in death.View link »