TORONTO - Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced May 13th that the provincial stay-home-order will now be extended for an additional two weeks, stating that the move will help deliver the "most normal July and August possible."
“Make no mistake, we’re not out of the woods yet,” Ford said during a news conference Thursday.
"Our hospitals are still under immense pressure. The spread of variants remains a major concern."
The order will now expire on June 2, a full month longer than what was announced in April when the measure was introduced.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said that while the province’s daily COVID-19 case counts are declining, more progress must be made to reduce the number of COVID 19 infections.
“Our ICU numbers have backed off, that’s encouraging. But if you look at our numbers now, we’re about where we were at the peak of the second wave,” Williams said. "They've come down, but we have a ways to go yet."
The province reported 2,759 infections and 31 deaths Thursday morning. In remarks made earlier this week, Williams said the province would need to see daily COVID-19 case counts below the 1,000 mark before significantly loosening restrictions.
Under the stay-at-home order, all non-essential businesses must remain closed and residents are required to remain indoors, unless leaving their residence for an essential purpose.
Ford said the province should be able to lift restrictions on outdoor recreation by June 2nd, with more details on reopening plans to follow in the days and weeks after that. "The situation is slowly trending in the right situation," Ford stated with that caveat that "Make no mistake, we're not out of the woods yet."
In the Kingston Area, KFL&A Public Health has opened new bookable appointments for adults who are 40+ in addition to other eligible groups. There are also daily clinic standby lists where eligible residents may register. Please visit the KFL&A website for details on how to book vaccination appointments including instructions, locations and more. KFL&A reminds all residents that they should not call KFL&A with appointment inquiries.