The Ontario government is allowing more businesses and services to open and getting more people back to work by moving the City of Toronto and Peel Region into Stage 2 on June 24.
This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the local medical officers of health. It is based on positive local trends of key public health indicators, including lower transmission of COVID-19, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity to do rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing.
“Today’s announcement is another sign that we continue to make steady progress,” Premier Doug Ford said. “We have been working hand-in-hand with our municipal partners and local public health units to safely and gradually reopen the province. We will do everything we can to get our final region, Windsor-Essex, into Stage 2 as soon as possible. That’s why we are ramping up testing and inspections on Ontario’s farms to protect workers and keep our food supply chains strong and healthy.”
Toronto Public Health and Peel Public Health will enter Stage 2 on June 24 at 12:01 a.m. They will join the 31 other public health regions that entered Stage 2 on June 12 and 19.
“Because of our collective efforts, we continue to make real and significant progress in stopping the spread of COVID-19,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said. “As a result, more regions have met the public health criteria to move into Stage 2 and reopen more services for the communities to enjoy. Just as importantly, these efforts to stop the spread have ensured that we aren’t seeing spikes in cases in those regions that have been open for well over a week now.”
Windsor-Essex will remain in Stage 1 and the situation in the region will continue to be assessed on an ongoing basis. To ensure the region is able to move forward as soon as it is safe to do so, the province is building on the work completed by Windsor-Essex County Health Unit to date and collaborating with federal and local authorities to support the implementation of a targeted and collaborative response.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation in all regions of the province to advise when public health restrictions can be gradually loosened or if they need to be tightened.
Although restrictions are being gradually relaxed in Stage 2, the government is strongly recommending that everyone in Ontario follow public health advice, including physical distancing, wearing a face covering if physical distancing is a challenge, washing hands frequently and thoroughly, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
**Government update from June 24: The Ontario government is allowing Windsor-Essex to move into Stage 2 of reopening on June 25 with the exception of the Municipality of Leamington and the Town of Kingsville. These areas are being held back due to the higher transmission rates in the local agriculture and agri-food sector. This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the local Medical Officer of Health of Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.