Premier Doug Ford had some strong words of caution for the hordes of people who flocked to Trinity Bellwoods this past weekend looking to enjoy the nice weather.
“I’m disappointed to say the least with everyone that showed up to Trinity Bellwoods on Saturday,” Ford said on Monday. “Why don’t you do us all a favour and go get tested now? Go to a local hospital assessment centre and get tested.”
Although Ontario initially sought to conserve coronavirus testing in the past, the province has recently loosened its restrictions. On Sunday, Ford urged all Ontarians who fear they might’ve had contact with COVID-19 to get tested, even if they’re asymptomatic. Given the sheer number of people that attended Trinity Bellwoods and the lack of social distancing observed, Ford suggested this might be a good idea.
“It was like a rock concert without the band,” Ford said. “These are smart young people that were there. Come on guys, give me a break. Don’t do reckless things like that.”
Mayor John Tory also made an appearance at the Toronto green space to speak with people picnicking there over the weekend.
Honestly, @JohnTory, what the heck is this? Not only are you less than 6ft from these people, LOOK AT YOUR MASK! Italian Mayors roamed the streets yelled at people to go home; you pull your mask down for a photo op? Toronto and @epdevilla deserve a public apology from you! pic.twitter.com/VhCc7JGVTK
— Heather – #NoCutsToEducation (@OhhaiHeather) May 24, 2020
The Toronto mayor was spotted with his mask down and has since received a lot of criticism for his apparent lack of social distancing.
Shortly after, Tory issued an apology on Twitter.
I want to apologize for my personal behaviour yesterday. I visited Trinity Bellwoods Park to try to determine why things were the way they were. pic.twitter.com/2x1OIrnKI9
— John Tory (@JohnTory) May 25, 2020
Coronavirus cases on the rise in Ontario
As of Monday, May 25, there are 25,904 cases of coronavirus across the province, up 404 cases from the day before. After 10 days of daily case counts falling below the 400 mark in Ontario, new daily cases have risen above 400 for the past five days.
Ontario’s Minister of Health Christine Elliott was able to shed some light on the upward trend at today’s press conference.
“The increase in the number of cases that we’re seeing right now relay back to the week before, with the Mother’s Day events and so on. People seeing families when there should not have been more than five people together,” Elliott said. “What we’re going to see going into this week will really be based on what’s happened with the opening up of the economy, which started last week.”
However it still remains unclear how the province will respond should numbers continue to climb.
“If they continue to increase, that will be a time to stay paused. To look at the situation, understand why the numbers are increasing and take action or don’t take action going forward,” she said.
In the meantime, the province continues to stress the need to stay at least two metres apart from other people.
“Please everyone, if you want to go to the parks, if you want to enjoy yourself, we’re not telling you not to, but please maintain that social distancing, it’s still vitally important,” Elliott added.