Premier Doug Ford insists he will do everything in his power to avoid a shutdown of restaurants and bars. At his daily news conference the premier said he believes it is only a very small percentage of operators that are flouting the public health procedures and he vowed stricter enforcement is coming. But as he did in the legislature yesterday and again today the Premier was passionate in his support for trying to keep the restaurant sector afloat.
Reports continued to cite various elements of confusion over the advice that the public is receiving, especially around the question of family gatherings over Thanksgiving. Earlier in the pandemic Ontario residents were told to establish a social bubble of no more than ten persons and to stick with that grouping. But after the large outbreaks recently the advice changed to limiting gatherings to only those who live under the same roof with an exception being persons who live alone. In her attempt to deal with the issue today Provincial Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Barbara Yaffe still urged, for this holiday only, people try to stay within their household but called the advice ‘a recommendation.” The Premier said he was pleased to see Toronto’s new COVID count improving somewhat although Toronto still accounted for almost half of Ontario’s new cases again today. Meanwhile Health Canada regulators today approved another rapid COVID-19 test — the first antigen device to receive the necessary approvals for use in this country. U.S.-based Abbott Laboratories can now sell and distribute the Panbio COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test Device, which can produce results in less than 20 minutes. Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said today the federal government has signed an agreement to buy more than 20.5 million of these tests in the coming weeks. The devices are to be deployed to COVID-19 hotspots as demand for testing spikes and caseloads grow.