Published: Wed, September 16, 2020
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Further shutdowns are possible as COVID-19 cases surge in Ontario: Ford

Further shutdowns are possible as COVID-19 cases surge in Ontario: Ford

"It's coming", said Ford on Monday just hours after the province reported the highest number of new COVID-19 cases (313) we've seen since early June.

Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott tweeted the update Tuesday morning and added almost 28,000 tests were completed over the last day.

Ford blamed the jump on "people letting their guards down", particularly in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa, which together account for 78 per cent of today's new cases.

"We are continuing with the Thornhill (Medical) ventilator, ICU in a box units, which we will continue producing through the end of the year", she added.

Elliott said "whether this is the start of the second wave or not, it certainly has our attention and we're deadling with it". There have been different types of return that have been modeled for us; one is small surges up and down, others are more peaks and valleys.

"But I think it's fair to say that the second wave is going to be more complicated and more hard to deal with than the first wave".

"We don't want to have to shut things down or lock things down again, but it is absolutely essential that people continue to follow these rules".

"I still maintain that a full lockdown like we saw in March is very unlikely because that was a time when we saw this tidal wave coming and we had nothing else to do", Chakrabarti said in an interview on Monday. "We also have reduced capacity in our hospitals".

The best way to keep everyone safe moving forward as case numbers rise again is to continue following the same advice that helped us combat the first wave so effectively.

Ford blamed social gatherings on the rise in numbers mostly in the three urban hot spots and urged people to avoid gathering in large groups, noting the province is looking at existing gathering size restrictions now that limit outdoor gatherings to 100 and indoors to 50.

Elliott said hospital surgeries will not be halted and will continue to meet a backlog said to be as high as 180,000 files in the province.

Taking a question on the second wave, Ford responded: "Is it coming?" "I hope to god I'm wrong". Data reconciliation actually lowered the death toll by one from the day before.

So it wouldn't be a broad swipe across the province and that's the reason the north was able to open up Stage 2 and 3 a lot sooner than other areas because people listen.

Tam said her public health counterparts say the situation is now "manageable".

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