Dec 21, 2020
By Jane Brown
A sweeping new lockdown for Ontario is set to begin on Thursday, Christmas Eve Day.
There are multiple reports from various unnamed sources within Doug Ford’s government revealing that the premier will announce the lockdown at his 1pm news conference.
“We’ve got to protect the public healthcare system and we’ve got to protect public health and I think it’s a very good time of year to do it,” Toronto Mayor John Tory explained Monday morning, “recognizing there are people that do need to go to work now and so on, but frankly people don’t need to do much shopping beyond their essentials like grocery shopping.”
The lockdown announcement comes after six straight days of daily COVID-19 case numbers higher than 2000 and as pressure increases from GTA hospital administrators and the Ontario Hospital Association to implement stricter restrictions.
OHA president Anthony Dale suggests under the current scenario, there could be 700 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units by the end of January. Currently, the number is 261. Provincial experts have said that once the number of COVID patients in Ontario’s intensive care units surpasses 300, supporting other medical needs not related to the virus becomes nearly impossible.
Currently there are five areas of the province in the grey lockdown zone of tiered restrictions; Toronto, Peel Region, York Region, Windsor-Essex, and now Hamilton as of 12:01 Monday morning.