Canada

Toronto recommends lifting stay-at-home order, move into ‘Grey’ zone next week

The measures would allow non-essential shops to re-open next week

Pandemic related signage along Queen St. W. near Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto, Ont. on Sunday February 28, 2021.

Toronto’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is recommending the stay-at-home order — enacted by Queen’s Park in January to fight growing COVID-19 infections — be lifted and the city be moved into the province’s re-opening framework under the ‘grey-lockdown’ criteria.

While still the harshest level of any of the province’s colour-coded protocols, it would permit non-essential shops to re-open under strict occupancy limits.

“I believe this is the right approach,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said Wednesday.

“The caution transition is the right way to go, all things considered.”

  1. Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto's chief medical examiner, speaks during a media briefing.

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  2. There were long lines of passengers heading to hotels to quarantine on March 1, 2021. Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun/

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  3. International Arrivals at Terminal 1 at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Jan. 26, 2021.

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Medical Officer Dr. Eileen de Villa said COVID-19 variants remains a concern, with the number of cases screening positive for variants more than doubling over the past week.

“Case counts at present calls for a cautious approach, that will allow us to re-open and do so as safely as possible,” she said.

Those same case counts don’t allow Toronto to move higher into the re-opening framework, such as into the ‘Red – Control” category, which would allow restaurants to serve a maximum of 10 indoor sit-down diners at once.

Toronto saw 290 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, with 285 in hospital and 62 in the ICU, and five new deaths.

More to come . . .

bpassifiume@postmedia.com
On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume

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