Today, Ontario is reporting another 2578 cases of COVID-19, including 815 new cases in Toronto. While this number is a decrease from the case numbers that have been seen in recent weeks, it comes with the caveat that we processed the fewest tests since January 5.
Ontario is in a dire situation – with over 300 patients currently on ventilators and nearly 400 in ICUs.
Right now, it is up to all of us to do everything we can to slow the spread of this virus, especially as it continues to find its way into our long-term care system.
So today, I am renewing my call to our community to take every available caution. Please limit all non-essential trips, wear a mask, maintain distance, and keep working together to put COVID-19 behind us.
This afternoon, we learned from Dr. David Williams that the province is looking to see fewer than 1000 new daily cases of COVID-19 before lifting lockdown measures in Ontario. For context, as it stands, our seven-day rolling average for daily cases stands at 3035 – and the last time we were under 1000 daily cases on average was Nov 6.
Sadly, the lockdown measures that have been introduced across the province still fall well short of what we need to get on top of the rapidly spiraling outbreak in our province. We need more staff in our long-term care homes, self-isolation centres, expanded testing and contact tracing, a real ban on evictions, and more.
Without the real action that has been continuously recommended by the experts, there are going to be more tough days ahead.
In the midst of this, Doug Ford has doubled down on his refusal to implement paid sick leave for Ontarians. Just this afternoon, he told reporters that there is “no reason” for the province to ensure workers receive paid sick leave.
Frankly, it is ridiculous that he is refusing to act on this issue.
We need to ensure that any worker who is not feeling well is able to stay home without risking financial ruin. Especially during COVID-19, the decision to not guarantee paid sick leave directly contributes to the continued spread of the virus in our communities – especially for our most vulnerable who cannot risk missing a cheque.
MPP for Toronto—St. Paul's