Ontario Premier Doug Ford appeared receptive Thursday to the idea that a widespread lockdown is needed to stop the alarming rise in COVID-19 infection across the province, suggesting the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area could be targeted.
Repeating five times in 15 minutes that he would not hesitate to act and that “everything is on the table,” Ford remarked that the GTA and Hamilton area appears to be generating the lion’s share of infection as of late.
“It’s really concentrated in one area. And that’s a GTA, and I’ll throw Hamilton, GTHA,” Ford said. “That’s where we’re seeing the spread to the exception of Halton. Halton’s still about 55 (cases per 100,000), but the other cases are just growing at a rapid pace. So everything’s on the table.”
Earlier on Thursday, the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) called on the provincial government to implement and enforce a four-week lockdown in every public health unit placed, or considered to be placed, in the “red” zone of the COVID-19 framework.
In a statement issued on Thursday morning, the association called for “immediate action” as the number of daily infections and hospitalizations related to the novel coronavirus continues to grow.
“A growing number of hospitals are grappling with outbreaks, and many have already had to cancel scheduled surgeries and other activity. Ontario’s health care professionals are being asked to carry a very heavy burden,” the OHA said.