Ontario premier holding emergency meeting with health officials Friday as new COVID-19 cases climb

Ontario premier holding emergency meeting with health officials Friday as new COVID-19 cases climb

Premier Doug Ford says he will be holding an emergency meeting with Ontario health officials Friday to discuss the increasing spread of COVID-19 cases in the province.

In a tweet published Friday morning, Ford said he will meet with Minister of Health Christine Elliott as well as Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, and the province’s “hospital leaders” to discuss the “next steps to break the concerning trends in cases and hospitals.”

The meeting comes a day after Ontario recorded the most cases of COVID-19 in a single day with more than 2,400 infections logged and hospitalizations for the disease continue to climb.

As of Friday, there are 919 patients in hospital with COVID-19, with 263 patients being treated in intensive care. This sparked a call from the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) for “immediate action” to curb the spread of infection. 

In response, Ford said on Thursday he would not make a “snap decision” on whether to put more regions into a lockdown despite the calls by the OHA.

“There’s a lot of things to consider,” Ford told reporters at the time. “The worst thing we could do is rush up there and make a snap decision in a heartbeat. We have to make sure that if we do make this decision, is it going to be two weeks, is it going to be three weeks, is it going to be 28 days for a full cycle?”

Toronto and Peel Region continue to report the highest number of new cases on a daily basis with infections regularly reaching the triple digits. Both regions are currently operating in the “grey zone” of the province’s framework which places restrictions on all non-essential activities. Those measures are set to expire on Monday. 

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In weeks past, the province has issued a news release on Friday afternoons indicating which regions would move up or down the province’s lockdown framework.

The government tells CTV News Toronto that the emergency meeting will take place at 1 p.m. via teleconference. 

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