Simcoe County’s top doc says restaurant/gym reopening is ‘too soon’

Hospitalizations and ICU admissions still high

Premier Doug Ford expected to announce this morning that restaurants and gyms will be able to reopen at half capacity as of January 31, but Simcoe-Muskoka’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Charles Gardner, thinks that’s too soon.

“I think we need to be extremely cautious at this time,” Gardner said Wednesday. “There might some early indicators that transmission is slowing but, for the province as a whole, we’re still seeing the health-care system very heavily impacted by this wave.”

Gardner noted the health-care system remains vulnerable. Any move away from the controls in place, he said, could further endanger the status of the system, with hospitalizations and ICU admissions still running high.

Related: SMDHU reports 12 COVID-related deaths over the past week

There are 84 patients being treated for COVID in hospitals across Simcoe County and Muskoka, 10 are in an ICU.

Restaurants have been not been able to offer in-person dining, gyms and movie theatres have been closed, and retail has been cut back to 50 per cent capacity since January 5. Those restrictions were expected to last until at least January 26.

The Premier’s announcement is expected at 11:30 this morning.