‘Every option is on the table’

Premier Doug Ford speaks to the media at Queens Park in Toronto, accompanied by Education Minister Stephen Lecce, Health Minister Christine Elliott, and Finance Minister Rod Phillips, September 14, 2020. Image courtesy CPAC/YouTube.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says another shutdown could happen in Ontario if a second wave of COVID-19 gets out of control.

During his daily media briefing Monday afternoon at Queens Park, Ford addressed the increase in new cases reported across the province and hinted that all options on how to handle it are up for discussion. The legislature was called back Monday to begin putting together measures to lessen the impact of any second wave of the virus.

According to the province, 313 new cases were reported Monday, the highest number of new patients since early June.

The premier said his government is prepared to do whatever is necessary to keep the impact of any second wave to a minimum.

“Today’s numbers are a cause for concern for all of us,” said Ford. “Let me be crystal clear. Every option is on the table. We will take every step necessary, including further shutdowns. In a second wave of COVID-19, it’s a scenario that we have been preparing for all summer long.”

Ford promised that information will be released in the coming days on the protection of Ontario businesses, as well as the vulnerable. However, Minister of Health Christine Elliott reminded people once again of the importance of following physical distancing and mask-wearing guidelines.

“We did quite well with respect to wave one, but wave two is coming,” said Elliott. “The most important thing that we all need to continue to do is to please continue to follow the public health guidance. Follow proper hand hygiene. If you’re not feeling well, please don’t go out, and don’t go to work.”

The vast majority of the new cases are in three regions on the province, the Greater Toronto Area, the Peel Region, and the Ottawa area.

Just under 40,000 Ontarians who have had the virus have recovered, as of Monday morning. That is a rate of 89.2 per cent.