Alarmed at the spike in new COVID cases in the province at a time when the province is trying to re-open schools, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has announced strict new social gathering restrictions on the entire province, saying that “alarm bells are ringing” as COVID-19 cases continue to surge.
Ford said the province needs to take “decisive action” to stop the spread of the disease.
Effective immediately, new gathering sizes will be capped at 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors for at least the next 28 days. The previous gathering limits were 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
“We need to take decisive action like we did in the early stages of COVID-19,” Ford said. “Too much of it has been tied to people not following the rules – people who think it’s okay to hold parties, to carry on as if things are back to normal.”
Ford said the decision to cap gathering sizes was made based off the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams.
A reporter noted that some young people say they won’t be honest about their social contacts for feat of “snitching” on their friends. Ford and Dr Barbara Yaffe, Deputy Chief medical officer had this response :
Effective next week Ontario residents will be able to get COVID tested in local pharmacies, but Ford stressed the pharmacy tests are not for people experiencing any illness.
Dr Yaffe also clarified the precautions that should be taken in even the new reduced social gatherings.