Ford 'concerned' about third wave of COVID-19, says another Ontario lockdown would be 'absolutely terrible'
TORONTO -- Premier Doug Ford said it would be "absolutely terrible" if Ontario was forced to go back into lockdown because of the third wave of COVID-19 and that it's critical people remain cautious and vigilant to protect themselves.
Ford made the comments on Tuesday at a new mass-vaccine clinic in Toronto, where he announced $3.7 million in funding to ensure transportation for people who need a COVID-19 vaccine.
At the press conference, the premier was asked whether Ontario would consider further relaxing restrictions, to allow for activities like outdoor fitness classes and outdoor haircuts, for regions still under lockdown.
Ford said those discussions will take place on Wednesday during a meeting with his cabinet but then stressed the importance of continuing to follow public health guidelines.
"I can't stress this enough, please. We have to be cautious," Ford said, adding that the province's third wave of COVID-19 concerns him 24/7.
Ford said while it's great for people to “get out and get fresh air,” Ontarians need to remain vigilant and follow the protocols set out by Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams.
"Folks, it's absolutely critical that we do this because none of us want to go back to another lockdown, it'd be absolutely terrible."
Ford said he needs to watch Ontario's COVID-19 daily case numbers, which have increased over the past few weeks, "like a hawk."
"We have to keep an eye on the numbers."
For the sixth day in a row, Ontario's COVID-19 test positivity rate has increased in the province.
Health officials reported 1,546 new infections Tuesday, a decrease following four straight days of case numbers above the 1,600 mark.
At the same time, and with 32,556 tests processed in the last 24 hours, the government says Ontario's COVID-19 positivity rate stands at 5.7 per cent, a number that has been trending upward since March 18.