Premier Doug Ford will be calling for the provincial legislature on Tuesday to prolong Ontario’s state of emergency for another four weeks owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Premier acknowledged Monday’s news, but wouldn’t say if any more limitations were going to be lifted.
“We’re working very aggressively on coming up with a plan to get the economy going based on the numbers…Four weeks is a long time. So a lot of things can happen in the four weeks, especially if we see the numbers come down.”
– Doug Ford
Ford then yielded to Health Minister Christine Elliott, who offered no hint that Ontarians would see any big improvements Tuesday, saying there are four different criteria on which they base easing restrictions.
“We need to take a careful and measured approach to any further opening up of the economy,” she said.
“The number of new cases, we need to see them continuing to go down…They have bobbed up and down a little bit in the last week to 10 days but generally speaking, they seem to be going down.”
The health minister has said we need to be sure that hospitals have space for a rapid increase in COVID-19 incidents, that there is adequate monitoring performed by the health department, and that there are adequate touch checks in place.
On March 17th, Ford proclaimed a state of emergency in Ontario and has since been expanded twice. He couldn’t confirm whether he’d consider a fourth extension. The Premier echoed the report that he was seeking a national reopening plan for the province.
“We have no plan right now. Four weeks down the road, are we going to extend it or not?…We’re just going to do what we feel is right to protect the people…With the Toronto and GTHA area, we’re looking at a little different approach because the numbers are a lot higher in the GTA,” Ford said.
Ford said he has been in talks with partners from around the province to seek to bring a strategic strategy together.
“This regional approach is very, very complicated…And we’re just getting input from stakeholders across the province, associations across the province and elected officials across the province to see exactly what this will look like.”