Stage 2 Closures Will Officially Take Effect In York Region Starting Monday

Ontario reports 712 new COVID-19 cases as hospitalizations continue slow climb

"I hate to do this", he admitted.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the Ford government has been "waiting until things are far down the road" before taking action, and sending mixed messages as to what's expected of residents.

Effective Monday, October 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., York Region will join Ottawa, Peel and Toronto public health regions in a modified Stage 2, as a result of their trends in public health indicators, including higher than average rates of COVID-19 transmission.

All indoor gyms and fitness centres, including yoga and dance studios, will be closed along with cinemas and gaming establishments.

Schools, child care centres, dental offices and places of worship will remain open.

The province has been warning it might have to expand the number of regions who reverted to Stage 2 for the past week, saying on Thursday that York Region specifically has "been teetering for a little while" in their daily number of reported COVID-19 cases.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reporting 93 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, and one more death.

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Even though overwhelmed Toronto Public Health officials suspended contact tracing of COVID-19 cases earlier this month, outside of outbreaks in congregate settings, medical experts continue to state it is a crucial weapon in the fight against the coronavirus.

"We're seeing a rapid increase in the rate of infection with the positivity rate of 2.77 per cent, above the high alert threshold of 2.5 per cent", Ford continued.

"You may be winning for the next few days because you're allowing those customers to come in but in the long term we're all going to get hurt". "We need to avoid a full lockdown".

Meanwhile, Quebec reported 969 cases of COVID-19 and eight deaths in the past 24 hours.

Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott says the numbers in York Region are "heading in the wrong direction".

"This is a very hard decision to make because we know it requires sacrifices on many people and it's going to affect people's lives significantly", Elliott said. Since October 3, York Region has seen the total number of patients requiring an ICU bed jump from 63 to 72, and the number of patients requiring a ventilator went from 19 to 25 across the region.

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