Ontario Getting Close to Reopening Parks, Retail Curbside Pickup, Ford Says

imageOntario Premier Doug Ford is teasing good news on steps toward reopeningfor retail stores, parks and cottagers, if the COVID-19 numbers keep going down.

Ontario is reporting 370 new cases of COVID-19 today, and 84 more deaths.

That brings the provincial total to nearly 17,923 cases, including 1,300 deaths and 12,505 resolved cases — nearly 70 per cent of all of Ontario’s cases.

The new total is 2.1 per cent higher than the previous day, which is part of a downward trend.

Ford says as trends head in the right direction, it means Ontario is “getting close” to opening parks and retail for curbside pickup.

The premier also says he will speak with cottage country mayors this week, adding that with the May long weekend approaching, there’s only so long he can “hold the big gates back.”

Ontario’s latest data also showed that the number of people in hospital as well as those in intensive care dropped, while the number of patients on ventilators remained relatively stable.

In long-term care, where information comes from a different database than the provincial totals, five more outbreaks were reported for a total of 175, and 18 more deaths were reported for a total of 972.

There were 14,555 tests completed in the past 24 hours, the lowest total in four days, though officials have said there tends to be less demand on the weekends.

Monday marked a gradual start to reopening in Ontario, as a small list of mostly seasonal businesses were allowed to set up shop again.

Doug Ford announced the plan on Fridayand said it should be seen as a “glimmer of hope” that the province’s efforts to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus are working.

The businesses include garden centres that offer curbside pick-up, lawn care and landscaping companies and automatic car washes.

Auto dealerships can reopen but by appointment only, and marinas and golf courses can prepare to reopen.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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