The Ontario government has officially announced that the current stay-at-home order and related restrictions have been extended to June 2nd at the earliest.
Premier Doug Ford made the announcement on Thursday afternoon that the stay-at-home order, which had been previously set to end on May 17th, will be kept in place for at least a few more weeks.
1/ Ontario will keep the stay-at-home order until June 2nd.
As per Doug Ford "We can't rush to reopen".
This is the right approach – it will help us vaccinate significantly more people & have greater community-level immunity. It should also make this the last lockdown for ON.
— Isaac Bogoch (@BogochIsaac) May 13, 2021
Though daily COVID-19 case counts have been gradually dropping amid the current restrictions and closures, they are nowhere near low enough for the provincial government to relax any current measures just yet.
“While we are seeing positive trends as a result of the public health measures put in place, we cannot afford to let up yet,” said Premier Ford.
“We must stay vigilant to ensure our ICU numbers stay down and our hospital capacity is protected. If we stay the course for the next two weeks, and continue vaccinating record number of Ontarians every day, we can begin looking forward to July and August and having the summer that everyone deserves.”
Ontario’s chief medical officer Dr. David Williams has said cases need to drop to well below 1,000 confirmed province-wide per day before the province begins to reopen or ease up on any current restrictions.
Currently, only essential retailers such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores are open for in-person shopping with reduced capacities. Restaurants are open for takeout and delivery only, and non-essential businesses are permitted to be open for curb-side pickup or delivery.
The hope is that some restrictions can start to be lifted by the beginning of June, particular as the province’s vaccination program continues and ramps up thanks to an increase in dose supply.
On Thursday, Ontario confirmed 2,791 new known cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 31 more deaths. Over 500,000 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Ontario since the start of the pandemic.
Read more here.