Ontario Extends Stay-at-Home Orders for Parts of Toronto Region Until March 8

Tanya Simon
February 20, 2021

"With today's announcement of extended lockdowns for Toronto, Peel and North Bay until at least March 8, the Ontario government has once again chosen to use small business as cannon fodder, renewing its reputation as the least small business-friendly government in the country during the pandemic", the CFIB statement says.

The Progressive Conservative government has been loosening health measures across the province this month despite predictions that doing so could set off a third wave of infections.

There are 47 new deaths linked to the virus, the highest number in two weeks.

After returning to the Framework, public health regions are required to stay in their level for at least two weeks.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 376 new cases are in Toronto, 264 are in Peel, and 108 are in York.

On February 8th the government announced an extension of the shutdown in the majority of public health regions in Ontario and a gradual transition of each region to a revised and strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework when it is safe to do so.

When asked about those projections, Ford said his government is being cautious in the hardest-hit areas and regions with fewer cases can't be compared with hot spots like Toronto.

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The decision followed calls from Toronto and Peel to keep strict measures in place to prevent more illness and death.

York Region, meanwhile, passed a motion asking to be placed in the Red-Control zone with additional modified restrictions.

There are now confirmed cases of the UK, South African, and Brazilian COVID-19 variants in the province. He encouraged people to reach out to those they know in that age group to ensure they learn about vaccine opportunities.

Rtd. Gen. Rick Hiller, chair of Ontario's COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, said Friday 155,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines arrived in Ontario this week ahead of more next week as the province plans to begin vaccinating independent seniors across Ontario starting next month.

As of 1 p.m. EST, provinces reported vaccinating 1,007,578 people, according to an online vaccine tracker run by Noah Little, a student at the University of Saskatchewan.

Premier Doug Ford expressed confidence in the province's vaccination efforts Friday and said that as soon as larger shipments of the vaccine begin flowing from the federal government, the province will be able to roll out those doses. The province has so far been focusing on the highest-priority groups, which include long-term care residents and some health-care staff.

Ministry of Health officials said they are also pleased with the results of Operation Remote Immunity, the operation led by Ornge to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine to all adults (18 and older) in the 31 fly-in First Nation communities and Moosonee in Northern Ontario.

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