#Ontario; #ReopeningPlans; #Stage2; #Covid19; #ContactTracing
Ottawa, Jun 5 (Canadian-Media): Stage 2 of reopening might be announced as early as next week, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said during his daily brief conference June 4, media reports said.
Doug Ford & Christine Elliott: Image credit: Screen shot grab from the video.
Moving to Ontario's Stage 2 of reopening, despite a recent surge in new cases of COVID-19, is being considered by the senior officials who form the COVID-19 command table, said Ford.
However, Ontario's top public health officials, had been cautioning that the stage 2 reopening of Ontario should be considered only after a steady decline in the number of daily new cases.
Ford was asked during the question-answer session of the conference if Ontario's decision to go to the stage 2 is right considering the inconsistent number of new cases going between 300 to 400.
Ford said Ontario is taking into consideration the criteria of consistent decline in the daily number of new cases over a two- to four-week period for Stage 2 of reopening.
To further clarify the audience questions, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said during the conference there are many other factors to be considered.
Elliott said although the daily count of new cases has "gone back and forth" in the past week to 10 days, Ontario government is doing its best to reduce the number of new cases by doing more testing and by contact tracing.
In response to the audience' question that keeping with the provincial laws, test results by Labs did not have the postal codes, whereas this information is required for collecting data, Elliot said that the efforts of the government is being directed to monitor new cases as well as contact tracing to reduce the number of new cases and to follow up as Ontario gets ready for Stage 2 of reopening.
Elliott added that she is pleased to announce that 20,000 tests on COVID-19 were completed on June 4 and that efforts are being made to increase testing.
Stage 2 would imply loosening of many restrictions being imposed by the COVID-19 outbreak by expanding the current limitations of the maximum size of social gatherings of five.
The reopening of a wider number of office-based businesses would also be allowed in Stage 2.
Ford said he hoped to quickly reopen in parts of the province that are far less affected by COVID-19 by reversing his previous proposal of a regional reopening due to the recent outbreaks on farms, primarily in southwestern Ontario.