Further shutdowns are possible as COVID-19 cases surge in Ontario: Ford

A sign advising people to physical distance in Kingston Ontario on Thursday Sept. 10 2020

Answering a question Monday afternoon during a virtual town hall with Northern Ontario's chambers of commerce, Ford reiterated the province's intent to continue with a regional, rather than a one-size-fits-all, approach to COVID-19, saying he will always rely on the advice of the province's chief medical officers of health. "Let me be crystal clear".

The vast majority of the new cases are in three regions on the province, the Greater Toronto Area, the Peel Region, and the Ottawa area.

15 PHUs in the province have no new cases.

Ford promised that information will be released in the coming days on the protection of Ontario businesses, as well as the vulnerable. "It's not bars per se or restaurants". I'm begging you, please cut out the social gatherings. It's just not worth it. COVID is ramping up again and we just can't have the large social gatherings. "We have to make sure we remain vigilant".

Health Minister Christine Elliott said there were 313 new infections detected Sunday when 31,143 tests were conducted. "People have worked so hard to get us to this point, but if we have to, we will", she said.

"If we can delay the gratification of the need for intense socializing for several months, our reward will be less suffering, less death and a more open society".

Since the start of the pandemic last spring, there has been talk of a second wave hitting in the fall.

On Sept. 4, the health unit reported a single staff member at the John Noble Home was infected and a case was confirmed at Le Ballon Rouge Daycare on Clench Avenue.Due to privacy issues, the health unit won't say whether that case is a child or a staff member but a new provincial website that's tracking the virus in schools and daycares notes the case is a staff member.

County coronavirus numbers fall back to pre-surge levels
Three ZIP codes in McHenry County (61038, 60135 and 60072) have reported five cases or fewer, according to the health department. The number of single-day coronavirus cases globally has hit a new record high, said the World Health Organization (WHO).

"We did quite well with respect to wave one, but wave two is coming", said Elliott.

"We don't want to have to shut things down or lock things down again, but it is absolutely essential that people continue to follow these rules".

"We all know the second wave of this virus is coming... We also have reduced capacity in our hospitals".

The current increase in ICU admissions for COVID-19 in the city is a concern for hospital and public health officials.

Elliott said hospital surgeries will not be halted and will continue to meet a backlog said to be as high as 180,000 files in the province.

"We're still in a good spot, we still have time", Chakrabarti said.

Ford acknowledged that most Ontario residents are following public health restrictions, it is a small "percentage" of people who are "getting lax with guidelines ... and it's coming back to bite us", he said.

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