No hint from the Premier on an early start to Step Three of the Road to Reopening plan, or what it’ll look like, during a trip through Barrie Thursday afternoon.
Premier Doug Ford was in the city to tour the Georgian College campus and have a look at the Holly Recreation Centre’s vaccination clinic. Barrie 360 pressed him for hints on what Step Three will look like, and if it could be entered into earlier than planned.
Ford couldn’t say. “I’ve had a conversation with the health table, I’m in constant communication with Dr. Moore (Ontario’s new medical officer of health) and he’s doing a great job,” said Ford. “And I’ve never wavered from listening to science and health, and I will never waiver from that. And once he gives us the green light, we’ll move forward.”
Ford said the key to getting into Step Three is vaccination. Only 66 per cent of Simcoe-Muskoka residents have sought their first shot, as the local health unit struggles with vaccine hesitancy. Ford was asked what his government can do to better support the health unit’s efforts. “We’re just running ads constantly. Really, we just encourage people to come and get vaccinated,” said Ford. “If you know a family member, a friend or co-worker, please just get (them) vaccinated. It is going to help the healthcare in general, it’s going to help us move forward a lot quicker. And that’s how we’re going to get out of this: vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate.”
Ford was at Georgian College for the announcement of more than $564,000 to help increase nursing education enrollment. The money is expected to support up to 62 new practical nursing students. He also made a visit to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and the Holly Recreation Centre COVID-19 vaccination clinic.