With COVID-19 cases on a rapid rise in Ontario, Premier Doug Ford acknowledged every option is on the table, including going back to Stage 2, as the government grapples with a potentially devastating second wave.
Joined by Christine Elliott and Stephen Lecce at Monday’s daily briefing, Ford says his government is prepared for what comes next as three regions – Toronto, Peel and Ottawa – continue to report high daily infection rates.
“Is it coming? Yeah, I believe it’s coming as sure as I am standing here and I hope to God I am wrong,” Ford said about the increasing probability of a second wave on its way.
“I’d love to be up here a month later and say that I am wrong.”
Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, called Ontario’s increase in cases “disturbing” saying that whether or not this represents the start of a second wave, it’s caught the attention of the government.
“There have been three different types of return that have been modeled for us. One is small surges, up or down. Others are more peaks and valleys. The third, the one that is causing the greatest concern, is the sudden and very big peak. So we’re prepared for the worst and we are ready for it. We have our fall plan ready to go and we will roll that out very shortly.”
If some regions were to go back to Stage 2, these restrictions include tighter limits on social gatherings and no indoor dining.
Elliott and Ford both said shutting down surgeries is not an option, which is why their plan takes the contingencies into consideration.
There is also a greater sense of urgency with the Ford government and health officials as the fall and winter months arrive.
“It’s fair to say that the second wave is going to be more complicated and difficult to deal with than the first wave because we also have flu season approaching,” Elliott said.
“In addition to COVID-19, we also have a reduced capacity in our hospitals, and we’re also working on the thousands of surgeries and medical procedures postponed because of the first wave. We have taken all of these measures into consideration into our fall plan, which we will present very shortly.”