Just in time for the August long weekend, the Ontario government is moving the City of Toronto and Peel Region into Stage 3 of reopening the province on Friday, July 31.
The province said a number of factors came into play to make this happen including lower transmission of COVID-19, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity to conduct rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing.
“While more restaurants, theatres and businesses can hang up their Open for Business sign, we’re asking everyone to follow public health advice and act responsibly,” said Premier Doug Ford. “We have made tremendous progress that allows us to return to something a little closer to our normal lives this summer, but we are not out of the woods yet. This virus is still among us and we have to be extra cautious to avoid sparking a surge or an outbreak. I strongly urge everyone to continue following public health protocols.”
Proposals from the City of Toronto and Toronto Public Health, if adopted, would further limit close contact and interaction in restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments. This includes further restrictions on movement/seating and maintaining client logs to support case and contact tracing and limit the spread of the virus.
Windsor-Essex is the only health unit in the province that will remain at Stage 2. To address the needs of the region, the government said measures will be taken such as on-farm testing, the deployment of mobile testing units and the adoption of new public health guidance for positive asymptomatic workers for all workplaces.
“More businesses and services are able to reopen thanks to the collective efforts of all Ontarians to limit the spread of the virus,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “While public health trends across the province are positive, we continue to closely monitor Windsor-Essex so that we can move the community into Stage 3 when the time is right. No matter which stage a region is in, everyone needs to continue to follow public health advice to protect themselves, their families and community.”