The provincial government has announced that it has extended the stay-at-home order until at least June 2 as new, more contagious variants continue to pose significant risks. All public health and workplace safety measures under the province-wide emergency brake will also remain in effect.
Officials said that during this time, the province will prepare to administer the Pfizer vaccine to youth between the ages of 12 and 17, beginning the week May 31 as it also finalizes plans to gradually and safely re-open.
“While we are seeing positive trends as a result of the public health measures put in place, we cannot afford to let up yet,” said Premier Ford. “We must stay vigilant to ensure our ICU numbers stay down and our hospital capacity is protected. If we stay the course for the next two weeks, and continue vaccinating a record number of Ontarians every day, we can begin looking forward to July and August and having the summer that everyone deserves.”
This past week (May 2 to 8), the provincial cases rate decreased by 14.8 per cent, with the positivity rate also decreasing to 7.7 per cent compared to 8.6 per cent the previous week. From May 5 to 12, the number of patients with COVID-related critical illness in intensive care has decreased from 877 to 776.
Despite improvements, key indicators remain high and more time is required before the province can safely lift the stay-at-home order, the province said in a statement. Hospitalization and ICU admissions remain too high and well above the peak of wave two, officials noted.
In addition, all publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools in the province will continue to operate under teacher-led remote learning.
Beginning the week of May 31, youth in Ontario between 12 and 17 years of age and their family members who have not received a vaccine will be eligible to book an appointment to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, including at special dedicated youth and family clinics throughout the weeks of June 14 and 21.
The province will work with public health units to offer both doses of vaccine to youth aged 12 to 17 by the end of August, in collaboration with school boards and other partners. The rollout will be informed by the work of the Children’s COVID-19 Vaccine Table and will provide access to multiple channels to support vaccinating this group, including mass vaccination clinics, community or school pop-ups, and pharmacies.