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Announcement coming Thursday on possible new COVID-19 restrictions for Ontario: Doug Ford

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says an announcement will be made on Thursday regarding possible new COVID-19 restrictions amid rising cases and hospitalizations in the province.

Ford made the remarks when asked about the current status of restrictions during a press conference Wednesday.

“Stay tuned. You’ll hear an announcement tomorrow but I’m very, very concerned to see the cases go up,” Ford said.

“I’m very concerned to see the ICU capacity and we all have to be vigilant and throughout the holidays over the next few days, I’m just asking people don’t gather in large groups.”

Read more:
Ontario considering additional restrictions as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Doug Ford says

It’s not clear what measures the government may be considering.

The president of the Ontario Hospital Association said Wednesday that the number of patients in ICU, based on Critical Care Services Ontario data, is 421, with 32 more admissions Tuesday.

“This is the highest number of COVID patients in critical care at one time since the pandemic began,” Anthony Dale tweeted Wednesday morning.

Ontario has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. On Wednesday, 2,333 were reported, marking the seventh day in a row that figure has been above 2,000.

Ford first announced Tuesday that the province was considering imposing additional restrictions in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.

Click to play video: Science director of Ontario COVID-19  Advisory table issues stern warnings about third wave variants

“Everything’s on the table right now, so folks be prepared,” he said. “I’m asking you, don’t make plans for Easter. … I won’t hesitate to lock things down.”

Ford said Wednesday that “there’s light at the end of the tunnel” with vaccines, but until then, people must continue to follow health guidelines.

“We only have a little ways to go. It’s still going to be a tough haul, but we’re getting there,” he said.

“So let’s stay confident and we will get through this together and we will get back to normal.”

Ontario has loosened restrictions in some regions in recent weeks, including in-person dining restrictions in grey-lockdown, red-control, and orange-restrict zones of the province’s colour-coded pandemic response framework.

On Monday, outdoor fitness activities were permitted in lockdown zones, and the government had announced that on April 12, personal care services would be allowed to open.

— With files from Gabby Rodrigues and The Canadian Press

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