Following a recent surge in new COVID-19 cases throughout the province, Premier Doug Ford says further shutdowns are not off the table.
Ford made the comments at Queen’s Park on Monday after Ontario saw the largest jump in new COVID-19 cases since early June, as the province reported 313 new cases, which Ford said is cause for concern and, if needed, further shutdowns are possible.
“We all know the second wave of this virus is coming… The only question is how bad is it coming,” Ford said during the press conference.
“Today’s numbers, they’re a cause for concern for all of us. Let me be crystal clear, every option is on the table. We will take every step necessary including further shutdowns,” said Ford.
Ford said if Ontario was forced into another shutdown he would look at rolling back parts of the province on a region-by-region basis. “We will take every step necessary,” Ford added.
“We have to look at it in regions,” Ford said, adding there are currently three COVID-19 hotspots in Ontario, including Toronto, Ottawa, and Peel.
This comes as Toronto reported the most new COVID-19 cases in the province on Monday, recording 112 in the previous 24-hour period.
Peel Region reported 71 new cases while Ottawa reported 60. All other public health units in the province recorded fewer than 10 new cases, except for York Region, which reported 14 new infections.
Ford once again remnded the public that the recent spike in cases is coming from social gatherings and not necessarily from bars or restaurants.
“I’m begging you, just cut out the social gatherings. It’s ramping up again, and we just can’t have the social gatherings,” he said. “And it’s just a small percentage that are getting lax in the protocols and guidelines, but it’s coming back to bite us.”
Health Minister Christine Elliott echoed Ford’s concerns and described Monday’s spike in cases as “disturbing.” Elliot added that she doesn’t want to move Ontario back into Stage 2, but she will if it’s necessary.
“We want to, if possible, to take a more regional approach if we need to do anything, rather than step back the entire province,” Elliott said.
Elliott added that a fall plan for the second wave will be revealed in the coming days.