Ontario Construction News staff writer
The provincewide stay-home-order that has been in place since April 3 has been extended for an additional two weeks, in an attempt to ensure the “most normal July and August possible”.
The provincewide order and the resulting restrictions on non-essential businesses and ban on outdoor recreation activities were set to expire on May 19 and will now be in place until at least June 2.
“Make no mistake, we’re not out of the woods yet,” Premier Doug Ford said at a news conference Thursday. “Just hang in there. We aren’t asking a lot, just a couple more weeks.”
While there are positive trends as a result of the public health measures put in place,Ford said Ontarians “must stay vigilant to ensure our ICU numbers stay down and our hospital capacity is protected.
“If we stay the course for the next two weeks, and continue vaccinating record number of Ontarians every day, we can begin looking forward to July and August and having the summer that everyone deserves.”
Ford says his goal is to have the “most normal” July and August possible.
“Obviously, that won’t mean large sporting events of concerts, but, if we manage the next few weeks properly, I believe that we can have things in a very good place this summer.”
From May 3 to 9, the provincial cases rate remained very high at 134.9 cases per 100,000 people, and per cent positivity was above the high alert threshold of 2.5 per cent. Hospitalization and ICU admissions also remain too high and well above the peak of wave two.
“Experience from other jurisdictions shows that driving transmission to very low levels is needed in order to end the third wave. We must stay the course as we continue to quickly vaccinate more Ontarians, including our children and youth,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said.
Beginning the week of May 31, youth in Ontario between 12 and 17 years of age and their family members who have not received a vaccine will be eligible to book an appointment to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, including at special dedicated youth and family clinics throughout the weeks of June 14 and 21.
Eligible groups including construction workers across the province can use Ontario’s vaccine booking system to find out how to schedule an appointment, or can call the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line number at 1-833-943-3900. For general inquiries, individuals can call the Provincial Vaccine Information Line number at 1-888-999-6488 or TTY service is also available by calling 1-866-797-0007.
“Expanding vaccines to youth 12 and up will bring us one step closer to normalcy for our students,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “We are focused on delivering a safe, stable, and well-resourced learning experience with an additional $1.6-billion in resources to protect students and school communities in the 2021-22 school year.”
More than 50 per cent of Ontarians aged 18 and over have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.