After 100 days of lockdown, Toronto wants to move into gray zone
After 100 days in isolation, Toronto’s mayor and senior doctor said on Wednesday they were ready for the province to lift a stay-at-home order for the city.
The city’s medical officer of health, Dr Eileen de Villa, announced the change at a press conference on Wednesday with Mayor John Tory, calling it “a step forward towards more flexibility.” She encouraged people to act in a way that did not “waste” this opportunity.
Toronto will remain in lockdown, but will enter the gray zone.
Although de Villa did not provide an exact date, she said the change would take place in the coming days. The province had previously extended its stay-at-home order for Toronto until at least March 8.
“While I think it’s reasonable to go gray, we are also stepping up improved safety measures to protect essential frontline workers who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19,” de Villa said, adding that the townspeople “deserved this change … often at the cost of personal sacrifice.” “
The Toronto update comes as Ontario reports 958 more cases of the disease. The total number of deaths from the new coronavirus has now exceeded 7,000 in the province.
However, the new cases reported on Wednesday are the smallest one-day increase recorded in the past two weeks. In Toronto, 290 new cases have been reported, according to de Villa.
She remains concerned about some of the variants of COVID-19, noting that the number of cases tested positively for a variant “has more than doubled” in the space of a week.
“This is the right approach,” Tory said, adding that “vaccinations combined with regional and economic realities make it the right time for Toronto to step back cautiously.”
The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Ontario continues, but since the effort has been left to each health unit, the pace depends on where a person lives.
Although some units have started vaccinating people over the age of 80, Toronto has yet to start. In an update earlier this week, de Villa did not provide a clear answer on when people aged 80 and over in the city can expect to receive a vaccine.