Ontario to announce decision on COVID-19 hot spot restrictions

  • Ontario to announce decision on COVID-19 hot spot restrictions

Ontario to announce decision on COVID-19 hot spot restrictions

Dan Kelly, president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), said in an online post that if the Ford team again uses small business as "cannon fodder" it will renew its reputation as the least small business-friendly government in the country during the pandemic.

"Can we reassess our anticipated return to the provincial framework?"

Officials confirmed there are 348 cases of the United Kingdom variant, also known as B.1.1.7, and 10 cases of the South African variant, also known as B.1.351, found in Ontario as of Thursday.

She noted the experience of Germany, whose health minister said Wednesday the virus variant first detected in Britain past year now accounts for more than a fifth of all positive tests in his country, rising from 6% in just two weeks.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, which is under strict measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, there were 44 new confirmed cases and 21 presumptive ones.

According to Peel's top doctor, delaying the region's move into the framework will help to avoid a surge in cases and another lockdown.

I'm not sure why, and I say that with a full understanding of where we are now and that there are fears of a possible third wave. "So the next few weeks are crucial for our kids, for our businesses, for the success of our vaccination program, and for the most vulnerable among us, as they have always been", he added.

These changes will come into effect on February 22.

In Ottawa, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said he fears the prospect of variants taking hold in First Nation communities, where residents often live in overcrowded homes and have worse health outcomes due to several socio-economic factors. "I've trusted Dr. Loh's opinion throughout the pandemic, and I trust him on this", she tweeted.

Most of the province has already been moved onto the framework, which allows some retail shopping and, depending on the region, even haircuts and gym classes.

"I look forward to that day", said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health for Toronto.

A total of 518,834 doses of vaccine have been administered in Ontario so far.

De Villa said Toronto is simply not at point where restrictions can safely be lifted. "Today it's better to delay reopening and stage re-opening gradually when we have certainty the time is right".

According to numbers from Toronto Public Health, as of February 17, there are a total of 57 confirmed variant cases in the city.

"Today's variant count is the tip of an iceberg", de Villa said.

Premier Doug Ford's office released a statement on Wednesday afternoon following the public pleas by de Villa and Loh.

Ontario has said it will consult with all medical officers in each of the regions before deciding on where the regions will be placed in the newly implemented color-coded system.

A decision on those two regions, as well as York Region and North Bay, which also remain under a stay-home order, is expected Friday.