Ontario unveils Three step Re-opening Plan

By: Laura Steiner
The province of Ontario has unveiled its latest plans for reopening the economy.  It’s a three step plan that begins with reopening outdoor amenities effective May 22, 2021.
“As a result of public health measures we introduced to stop the spread of COVID-19 variants, we are seeing a steady improvement in our situation as ICU and hospital numbers begin to stabilize,” Premier Doug For said.  The stay-at-home order will remain in place until June 2, 2021.
The plan will be three steps, each lasting for a minimum of three weeks each, with capacity limits:

  • Step One An initial focus on resuming outdoor activities with smaller crowds where the risk of transmission is lower, and permitting retail with restrictions. This includes allowing outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, outdoor dining with up to four people per table and non-essential retail at 15 per cent capacity.
  • Step Two Further expanding outdoor activities and resuming limited indoor services with small numbers of people where face coverings are worn. This includes outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, outdoor sports and leagues, personal care services where face coverings can be worn and with capacity limits, as well as indoor religious services, rites or ceremony gatherings at 15 per cent capacity.
  • Step Three Expanding access to indoor settings, with restrictions, including where there are larger numbers of people and where face coverings can’t always be worn. This includes indoor sports and recreational fitness; indoor dining, museums, art galleries and libraries, and casinos and bingo halls, with capacity limits.

The province will remain at each step for a minimum of three weeks each to allow time to public health, and system indicators.  The move to the next phase will be tied to vaccination trends.
Step 1: 60% adults must be vaccinated with one dose.  Ontario has already vaccinated 50% of adults with a single dose.The province expects to enter step 1 June 14.
Step 2: 70% of adults vaccinated with one dose, and 20% full vaccinated with two doses
Step 3: 70-80% adults vaccinated with one dose and 25% of adults with two doses.
Outdoor amenities will reopen beginning May 22, at 12:01 a.m.  These include: golf courses and driving ranges, soccer and other sports fields, tennis and basketball courts.  “We must remain vigilant however ,as the fight against COVID-19 is not over, and our case counts, ICU capacity and hospitalizations are still concerning,” Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said.  The province reported an increase of 2400 cases of COVID-19 today, and a decrease of 81 in the province’s ICU.
Schools will remain on teacher-led remote learning.  Williams along with other health officials will continue to monitor data and advise the province on when to resume in-person-learning.
“Brighter days are ahead, and we believe this roadmap represents a path out of the pandemic, and will encourage Ontarians to get vaccinated and to continue following public health advice,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said.
New Covid-19 Modelling data released
New COVID-19  Modelling data was released by the Ontario Science table led by Dr. Adelsteinn Brown. The data indicated that the province is starting get the pandemic under control.

  • The project ICU bed occupancy due to COVID-19 decreases to 500 beds by mid-June
  • Vaccine coverage is increasing, indicating the strategy to focus on the hotspots is working
  • Increases in cases will occur when businesses and schools reopen.  Brown hopes these will remain manageable.

“We’ve changed the picture,” Brown said.