Toronto is one of just three regions in the entire province of Ontario that are not allowed to move to stage two of reopening, said Premier Doug Ford during a press conference on June 15.
The economic red light was also put on for Peel Region and Windsor/Essex in southwestern Ontario.
“With the public health trends improving day by day across the province, I am hopeful all regions of Ontario will enter Stage 2 very soon,” Ford said. “But we must remain on our guard to prevent any potential surge or secondary wave by continuing to follow the sound advice of our public health officials.”
#BREAKING: Regions allowed to move into Stage 2 on Friday, June 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. are:
– Halton Region
– Niagara Region
– York Region
Regions not allowed:
— Travis Dhanraj (@Travisdhanraj) June 15, 2020
Seven more regions joined the 24 from last week in stage two including two that share borders with the city of Toronto in Durham and York regions. So literally, one could cross a street such as Steeles Avenue and experience the wonders of outdoor dining.
Other businesses and services Toronto residents are still not allowed to access include shopping malls, outdoor recreation facilities, hair salons and barbershops.
According to the information presented today by the province, the regions able to enter stage two were deemed worthy due to positive trends including lower transmission of COVID-19, sufficient hospital health system capacity, local public health capacity to assist with rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing provincially.
#Toronto has majority of #COVID cases – not moving to phase 2 but @fordnation opens #childcare/#daycare. Transmission among children will occur & impact the family they return to. Don’t put the economy over the health of #Ontario’s children/families. @JohnTory @TOPublicHealth
— Bill O’Leary (@talk2oleary) June 15, 2020
“Opening more regions of Ontario is another positive sign that we are making steady progress in our collective efforts to contain this deadly virus,” said Health Minister Christine Elliott. “As many more Ontarians begin to work, shop and interact with others, it’s never been more important that we continue to follow public health advice, especially physical distancing with anyone outside of our social circle, so we can soon successfully and safely move into Stage 3.”
Ontario reported 181 new cases of COVID-19 today, the majority in Toronto and Peel.