Ontario having 'serious discussions' about moving to next stage of reopening plan
TORONTO -- The Ontario government says it needs another week of COVID-19 data before deciding if the province is ready to move into the next stage of the reopening plan.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said Tuesday during a briefing at Queen’s Park that things have been going "quite well" since Ontario moved into Stage 2, but that health officials need a bit more time to assess and monitor any potential outbreaks.
"We're taking it very cautiously," Elliott said. "We are having discussions about going into the next phase. Whether we do it across the province, whether we do it regionally, these are serious discussions we are having."
"We hope to be able to move into the next stage as soon as possible."
According to the province's guidelines, released in April, Stage 3 would allow the size of public gatherings to increase and all workplaces to open.
Ontarians are currently prohibited from social gatherings larger than 10 people.
Large public gatherings, such as concerts and sporting events, will continue to be restricted for the foreseeable future.
Last week, Premier Doug Ford said Ontario would enter Stage 3 in a similar fashion to Stage 2, through a regional approach.
"We are going to rely on all of the medical officers of health, all 34 of them from across the province, and I am sure that we will be doing the same staged approach," Ford said last week. “We are only going to move it forward based on health and science and making sure we are very cautious.”
The province's initial framework for reopening called for a two- to four-week period between each phase so that officials could monitor for any uptick in cases.