Ontario reopening to start on Friday

Love Kingston Marketplace signage Sept 2020

Love Kingston Marketplace signage Sept 2020

Premier Doug Ford's cabinet met earlier on Monday to finalize the decision, which was accelerated due to fact that the province's key health indicators haved improved faster than was factored for when the reopening plan was first announced last month.

If at the end of the 21 days the province has vaccinated 70 per cent of adults with one dose and 20 per cent of adults with two doses, the province will move to Step Two of the Roadmap.

Outdoor dining will be allowed in groups of up to four people, and outdoor gatherings in groups of up to 10 people.

Outdoor fitness classes and personal training will also be allowed to resume, and day camps will be permitted to operate, in accordance with public-health regulations. The province's situation is now exceeding the best-case scenario presented in recent modelling, which indicated the province would reach below 1,000 new daily infections by June 30, 2021, according to the release. It will also permit more limited indoor settings to be open, all with restrictions in place, according to the release.

"Thanks to the ongoing success of Team Ontario's vaccine rollout and the ongoing improvements in public health trends, we are able to enter step one of the roadmap and begin to safely and cautiously lift restrictions", Ford said.

In Peel Region, the Delta variant is poised to become dominant this month, and experts fear it could spread across the province if it isn't contained. "In order to guarantee that, the Ford government needs to do what the experts are telling them to do: offer everyone in a hot spot a second dose of the COVID vaccine right now".

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Hospiltizations have also steadily declined and as of today there are only 497 COVID-19 patients in the ICU, down almost 20 per cent from this time last week.

Step One also requires continued improvement in key public health and health system indicators.

Green party Leader Mike Schreiner said the government should further support small businesses with grants, noting that independent retailers will only be able open to small numbers of people at a time.

Kelly, however, said that he would like to see the province add more businesses to the list of those permitted to operate during the first step. We should be able to hit that second dose target, which is 20%, in time for hopefully a slight reopening early than scheduled.

At a press conference on Monday, Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario's associate chief medical officer of health, stressed that with 525 new COVID-19 cases reported on Monday, that is the lowest daily case count since september 27, 2020.

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