Premier Doug Ford again ponders putting COVID clamp on Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills


Published October 23, 2020 at 2:41 pm

Premier Doug Ford said he will take the weekend to mull over the prospect of putting tighter lock-down measures on Halton Region.

At his press conference today (Oct. 23), Ford said he was concerned about the cases of COVID-19 in Halton, but stopped short of putting the region into a modified Stage 2 scenario.

The news comes despite today’s numbers that show Halton has recorded the lowest increase of new cases in weeks and that the number of active cases remain steady.

“We are going to have to take a look at this over the weekend,” said the Premier, adding he will have a plan for Halton come Monday.

Figures released by Halton Public Health this afternoon show the entire region has only seen an increase of 16 cases from the day before. This is in contrast to neighbouring Peel Region which recorded 186 new cases in the same time period. Toronto recorded 292 new cases today while Ottawa has 87 and York Region 72. Hamilton has 15 new cases.

The numbers for Halton today are the lowest since the second wave of the pandemic hit. Of the 16 new cases here, seven are from Burlington, four from Oakville, three from Milton and two in Halton Hills.

Of active cases of people being treated across the region, the number today sits at 222, an amount that has been consistent for weeks.

“I just want to make sure we keep our hands around this and do everything we can with balancing the economy as well,” said Ford. “It’s not easy, I’ll tell you. The last thing I want to do is close places down. I really don’t want to do that.” 

Under a modified Stage 2, which Toronto, Peel, York and Ottawa are now under, the following restrictions would be in place:

  • Reducing limits for all social gatherings and organized public events to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained. The two limits may not be combined for an indoor-outdoor event;
  • Prohibiting indoor food and drink service in restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, including nightclubs and food court areas in malls;
  • Closing of:
    • Indoor gyms and fitness centres (i.e., exercise classes and weight and exercise rooms);
    • Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments;
    • Indoor cinemas, performing arts centres and venues, (except for rehearsing or performing a recorded or broadcasted performance subject to conditions, including no spectators);
    • Spectator areas in racing venues;
    • Interactive exhibits or exhibits with high risk of personal contact in museums, galleries, zoos, science centres, landmarks, etc.;
  • Prohibiting personal care services where face coverings must be removed for the service (e.g. makeup application, beard trimming);
  • Prohibiting real estate open houses (permitting in-person showing by appointments only)
  • Reducing the capacity limits for:
    • Tour and guide services to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors
    • In-person teaching and instruction (e.g. cooking class) to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, with certain exemptions, including for schools, universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, private career colleges, the Ontario Police College, etc.
    • Meeting and event spaces to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors with limited exemptions, including for government operations and the delivery of government services; and
  • Limiting team sports to training sessions (no games or scrimmages).

Halton, along with Durham Region, are the only GTA municipalities in Stage 3, which has looser restrictions on what the public and businesses are allowed to do.

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