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Premier hints at crackdown on social distancing violators

At his news conference in Guelph today Premier Doug Ford hinted that the province is ready to take more forceful action in the GTA and Ottawa where the major breakouts of new COVID cases have occurred. The premier also fielded several questions by reporters about the long lineups that are talking place at COVID testing centres across Ontario as parents express concerns about children returning to school. Yesterday the Premier said he would not hesitate to impose a return to the restrictions around gatherings that were in place earlier this year, but he also noted that any lockdowns would be applied on a region by region basis because the virus is essentially under control in many areas of the province. Toronto and surrounding area and Ottawa account for almost 80 percent of the active cases in the province. There are virtually no active cases in most of northern Ontario. When asked about the spike in new cases that has taken place since the beginning of the weekend Ford sounded this warning:

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Ford said he has been in discussion with Shopper’s Drug Mart, and sounded like he is ready to allow Ontario’s pharmacies to take on some of the COVID testing load from the hospitals and Public Health Unites. Health Minister Christine Elliot also mentioned the possibility of the involvement of Pharmacies, but noted that it is equally important to be able to process the tests quickly. Ford said there should be an announcement on both the testing situation, and measures to ensure social distancing gin the next couple of days.

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