Halton will join the rest of Ontario in a Stay-at-Home order for another two weeks following Premier Doug Ford’s announcement that the current lockdown, which was supposed to end on May 20, is now being extended until June 2.
While daily COVID-19 case counts in Halton remain on the decline, having fallen below 100 for the fourth day in a row as of May 13, Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward says the region isn’t in the clear just yet despite moving in the right direction.
“It is expected that we’ll be in this for a little bit longer,” Meed Ward told inhalton.com‘s Khaled Iwamura in a recent interview.
When asked whether she thought the lockdown would extend past June 2, Meed Ward said that while it’s hard to tell, there are “good indicators.”
“The numbers are coming down across the province. The numbers are definitely coming down in Halton and we are starting to hear talk of surgeries being picked back up again,” said Meed Ward.
“That means hospital capacity is starting to go in the right direction; so these are all very good signs, but we’re not there yet.”
In terms of whether Halton could open up prior to Peel or Hamilton, Meed Ward says it depends on the status of the region’s hospital capacity.
Meed Ward went on to state that several people from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) have often had to travel hours to other hospitals across the region.
“Once hospitalizations kind of stabilize, some of those folks can come back to their local hospitals but that will still create a capacity issue in the short-term for those hospitals in the region,” said Meed Ward.
“It really depends on where the hospital capacity is at. Our numbers are looking good, but they’re still not in the threshold for reopening yet. If you look at all the monitoring indicators, we’re getting close and going in the right direction, but we’re not there yet.”