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Premier’s roadmap for reopening the province

It’s the HOW not the WHEN, but Premier Doug Ford says we have now reached a point where we can start planning for reopening the economy. At his news conference he said, “I won’t set hard dates because the virus moves at its own speed.”

The Ontario plan will involve three stages, with each being monitored by health authorities for 2 to 4 weeks. Moving to the next stage will depend on  virus spread, containment, including consistent 2-4 week decrease in daily cases;  health system capacity, including ventilators, and PPE for health workers; and finally the capacity of the public health system to respond to a resurgence.

The government news release describes the three phases:

In the first stage, we will consider:

opening select workplaces that can meet current public health guidelines

allowing essential gatherings of a limited number of people

opening some outdoor spaces

continued protections for vulnerable populations

Stage 2

In the second stage, we will consider:

opening more workplaces with significant mitigation plans

opening more public spaces

allowing some larger public gatherings

continued protections for vulnerable populations

Stage 3

In the final stage, we will consider:

opening all workplaces responsibly

relaxing restrictions on public gatherings

continued protections for vulnerable populations

Considerations for each stage

To reopen the economy, we will consider factors such as the risk of the spread of COVID19 and the ability to implement protective and preventative measures in the workplace. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will advise the government on when it may begin to ease public health measures using a range of criteria, including: a consistent two-to-four week decrease in the number of new daily COVID19 cases, sufficient acute and critical care capacity, including access to ventilators and ongoing availability of personal protective equipment, the ability for approximately 90% of new COVID19 contacts to be reached by local public health officials within one day.

The premier wouldn’t say when this process could start; however Ontario has experienced three straight days of a decrease in COVID cases and the criteria suggest we would need two weeks of such decreases.

The full news release is here

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