ONTARIO – Premier Doug Ford announced on Thursday, May 13 that the province would extend the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home order and other health measures until June 2.
The stay-at-home order, which was originally issued on April 7 was scheduled to expire on May 20.
Ford explained that while the measures were working, that they needed to remain in place for an additional two weeks in order to have a more “normal” summer.
“We have made some extremely hard choices to protect our hospitals,” he said. “We have put in place some of the toughest health measures in the country, today I can say, they’re working.”
Ford went on to explain that the province was “not out of the woods yet.”
“We must stay vigilant. We must keep doing what we’re doing because it is working,” he said. “My goal is to have the most normal July and August as possible. That means there won’t be large sporting events or concerts.”
Dr. David Williams said that some of the pressure was being taken off of Ontario’s hospitals, but that the current rate of infection was still similar to the peak that was seen during the pandemic’s second wave.
Ford explained that the province was currently able to distribute 30,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine daily, and that that vaccination rate should allow the province to lift restrictions on June 2 and at that time, he would present his plan to re-open the province.
The Premier blamed the federal government for creating the need for the current lockdown.
“One thing threatens the summer everyone hopes to have and that is the weak and porous border measures that the federal government has kept in place,” Ford said.
Today’s announcement extends the stay-at-home order, the closure of in-person shopping at all non-essential businesses, at-home learning, no dining at restaurants, and the closure of the provincial borders with Quebec and Manitoba.