"I hate doing this", said Premier Doug Ford following his announcement this afternoon that York Region is returning to a modified stage 2, which will suspend indoor dining and close down gyms, cinemas and casinos for 28 days at the end of this weekend.
"I'm encouraging people to order takeout, but we've got to be fair (to the restaurants)", he said.
According to data reported today, two people between 60 and 79 years old and three people over the age of 80 have died from COVID-19. "Those government cellphones, they're your property ... we can lead by example".
Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario's associate chief medical officer of health, also acknowledged health officials are looking at Halton with concern and that recommendations will be made soon. We need to protect our schools and our communities.
"We're going to make sure the number one priority is to get companies back on their feet, get families back on their feet". Since October 3, York Region has seen the total number of patients requiring an ICU bed jump from 63 to 72, and the number of patients requiring a ventilator went from 19 to 25 across the region.
On Friday, that number decreased to 62 cases in York Region compared to Toronto (213), Peel Region (135) and Ottawa (108) Health Minister Christine Elliot said despite today's dip in cases the decision still stands because the overall disease trend in York Region remains very concerning.
Elliott added that she hopes the province doesn't have to implement further health restrictions in other regions of Ontario.
Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti thanked Ford for the advance notice and noted "overall daily infections are exceeding levels at the peak of the first wave in April and May".
There is a new outbreak in a ward of The Ottawa Hospital's General campus. "These new restrictions bring about more uncertainty and additional challenges", Scarpitti said in a statement. "We can not let out guard down". Before-school and after-school programs will also continue to be exempt from these new restrictions and will remain open.
The province says that more than 1,130 one-time keys have been entered by Ontario app users who have tested positive for COVID-19.