On Thursday afternoon, Premier Doug Ford announced the extension of the current stay-at-home order, for another two weeks, until “at least” June 2.
The stay-at-home order was set to expire on May 20, ahead of the Victoria Day long weekend.
“The situation is slowly trending in the right situation. Make no mistake; we’re not out of the woods yet,” Ford said, during a news conference. “Our hospitals are still under immense pressure. The spread of variants remains a major concern. So, we must stay vigilant.”
Ford added that his goal is for Ontario to have “the most normal July and August as possible.”
The stay-at-home order was first implemented on April 8, and has been extended twice in an effort to curb surging cases and hospitalization rates in the province.
On Thursday, Ontario reported 2,759 new cases as the provincial total pushed past 500,000 cases.
“I understand, believe me, the weather’s nice. Everyone wants to get out. You know I’d love to get out golfing. I’m a terrible golfer but I’d love to get out golfing. And right now, you know, the ICUs are still at risk. I think yesterday’s number was 805, and that’s not good,” Ford said.
Earlier this week, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said that the province would need to see daily COVID-19 case counts below the 1,000 mark before significantly loosening restrictions.
During the news conference, Ford also confirmed that starting on the week of May 31, children between the ages of 12 and 17 will be able to book their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
There will also be special dedicated youth and family clinics to vaccinate those 12 and up, as well as their unvaccinated family members, throughout the weeks of June 14 and 21.
Remote-learning will continue for all publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools.