COVID-19 Update for October 16 2020 – 2:00PMOctober 16, 2020
This afternoon, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that York Region would be joining Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region in moving to the modified Stage 2.
Admitting that he “hate[s] doing this,” Ford is moving York Region into the modified Stage 2 restrictions as of 12:01 a.m. on Monday. After 28 days have elapsed, the provincial government will re-examine the situation to determine if the measures need to stay in place or can be lifted.
Health Minister Christine Elliott, the MPP for Newmarket-Aurora in York Region, said the move to modified Stage 2 is needed to keep schools open, protect seniors and avoid harsher measures in the future. “The trends we have seen in York Region are in the wrong direction,” she said. “The numbers have jumped and we need to do everything we can to avoid a very severe second wave. This was not an easy decision. We know we are asking very real sacrifices of Ontarians, but this about preventing something potentially much worse.”
Businesses affected by the increased public health measures in York Region will also have access to the $300 million made available to small businesses in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recounted what the government has done to support the country through the pandemic and implored all Canadians to “double down” to flatten the curve and beat the second wave that is showing daily case numbers that are still too high. In particular, Trudeau made an appeal to kids to continue to do their part to fight the spread. Noting that it is his son’s 13th birthday this weekend, and acknowledging that a lot of kids have had birthdays and milestones during the pandemic that were “a lot less fun than usual,” Trudeau called on kids to help keep their grandparents safe.