Toronto and Peel Region Moves to Stage 3 of Reopening as Ontario Reports Lowest Single Day Increase in COVID-19 Cases Since March

On Wednesday morning, as promised from Premier Ford and the Ontario Government last week, the province had decided to allow Toronto and Peel Region to move ahead to Stage 3 of Ontario’s Reopening plan. 

Toronto and Peel Region will be joining 31 public health units across Ontario that have entered Stage 3 of Reopening since July 17 and July 24. 

In a news release issued by the Ontario Government “The decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local medical officers of health,”.

“It is based on positive local trends of key public health indicators, including the lower transmission of COVID-19, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity to conduct rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing.”

As of Friday, July 31, Toronto and Peel Region will officially enter Stage 3 of reopening, which leaves the Windsor-Essex region as the only region in the province to remain in Stage 2. 

“Ontario will continue to monitor local trends of key public health indicators in the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit region and move it into Stage 3 when it is safe to do so,” said the news release from the Ontario government. 

Along with the confirmation of Stage 3 reopening, indoor dining can resume at bars and restaurants in the Toronto and Peel Region after months of closures and limited business. 

Also, the size of gatherings both indoors and outdoors can be increased to 50 people for indoors gathering and 100 people for outdoor gatherings. 

In either case, physical distancing is still required during any gathering with people outside an individual’s social circle. 

Premier Doug Ford urged Ontarians to continue to follow public health advice and act responsibly as Toronto and Peel Regions join other regions in Stage 3 reopening plans. 

“While more restaurants, theatres and businesses can hang up their Open for Business sign, we’re asking everyone to follow public health advice and act responsibly,” said Premier Ford in a statement.

“We have made tremendous progress that allows us to return to something a little closer to our normal lives this summer, but we are not out of the woods yet. This virus is still among us and we have to be extra cautious to avoid sparking a surge or an outbreak. I strongly urge everyone to continue following public health protocols.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory said on Wednesday morning that the Stage 3 confirmation is the result of “a lot of hard work by Torontonians and our frontline workers”. 

“It seems like a long way from the scary days of the winter when we were having our meetings at the beginning of the pandemic and hearing numbers that were almost incomprehensible, in terms of case counts and also projections as to how many people could lose their lives or become ill,” said the Toronto Mayor.

“You could go down to zero and I hope that happens but after that, we’ve just got to stay vigilant. COVID-19 doesn’t go away just because we are in Stage 3.”

Ontario’s COVID-19 Updates: Province Reports 76 New COVID-19 Cases, Lowest Single Day Increase since March

The news of Toronto and Peel Region’s move to Stage 3 comes after Ontario reported only 76 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday morning. 

To date, the province has seen 38,986 confirmed cases of the virus and it seems to have slowed down over the past couple of days. 

Ontario’s Health Minister Christine Elliott noted that the COVID-19 report on Wednesday marks the lowest increase in COVID-19 cases within 24 hours since March 22, almost 4 months ago. 

The Health Minister also noted that the death toll in the province had slowed down significantly as Ontario reports one new death as of Wednesday with the total number of deaths in the province at 2,769 deaths due to COVID-19 related complications. 

The Ministry of Long-Term Care reported that there have been 1,844 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario, which remained unchanged from the previous day as there are 15 current outbreaks. 

According to the latest epidemiology reports, a majority of new cases came from Windsor-Essex with 22 new cases, followed by Ottawa with 13 new cases, Niagara Region with 13 more cases, and the Chatham-Kent Region reporting 10 new cases. 

Elsewhere in the province, public health units across Ontario reporter zero of fewer than 10 new cases today. 

Since the start of the pandemic, Ontario has completed over 2,114,263 COVID-19 tests, with up to 18,268 tests still currently awaiting test results. 

Ontario COVID-19 Stats: 

Confirmed Cases: 38,986

Recovered: 34,741

Deaths: 2,769

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