TORONTO -- Ontario’s top doctor said Monday that an uptick in COVID-19 cases could force the closure of some spaces that are identified as being problematic but he stopped short of threatening to order those regions to a more restrictive stage of re-opening.

At a briefing on the province’s COVID-19 situation, Dr. David Williams was asked how large a jump in daily COVID-19 cases would trigger a return to Stage 2 for those areas entering Stage 3.

Williams said that he will be working with the local medical officers of health to identify any spaces where COVID-19 is spreading in the province and will act to shut down those spaces rather than order an entire region back to an earlier stage of re-opening if there is an uptick in cases.

“There are ways to limit certain places if they’re identified as too risky. We could go that way,” Williams said. “If you’re talking about a whole movement back from Stage 3 to Stage 2, that’s why we staged it, we’re hoping not to do that writ large.”

The implication is that each type of business will have to prove in an ongoing way that they are able to operate safely without contributing to an increase in COVID-19 spread.

Williams said spaces that are found to be contributing to COVID-19 spread could be shut down “much like we did in Stage 2 with the nail salons.”

“We’re going to be asking health units to assess what’s happening in their respective jurisdictions as we move into Stage 3,” he said. “Are they seeing any things that are particularly concerning to them?”

Health officials have said that they are examining four weeks’ worth of data to determine whether a region should move forward to a more advanced stage of reopening.