May 13, CTV breaking news


TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford has announced that the provincewide stay-home-order will be extended for an additional two weeks, saying the move will help deliver the "most normal July and August possible."

“Make no mistake, we’re not out of the woods yet,” Ford said during a news conference Thursday.

“Our hospitals are still under immense pressure. The spread of variants remains a major concern.”

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The order will now expire on June 2, a full month longer than what was announced in April when the measure was introduced.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said that while the province’s daily COVID-19 case counts are “coming down,” Ontario has a “ways to go.”

“Our ICU numbers have backed off, that’s encouraging. But if you look at our numbers now, we’re about where we were at the peak of the second wave,” Williams said. 

The province logged another 2,759 infections Thursday, the fourth day in which case numbers have remained below the 3,000 mark. 

Williams said earlier this week that the province would need to see daily COVID-19 case counts below the 1,000 mark before significantly loosening restrictions.

Under the stay-at-home order, all non-essential businesses must remain closed and residents are required to remain indoors, unless leaving their residence for an essential purpose.

READ MORE: Ontario's stay-at-home order: Your top questions answered here

Moreover,and contrary to the advice of many public health experts, outdoor recreational amenities, like basketball courts and golf courses, also remain closed. 

In a tweet published shortly after the announcement, infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch, who sits on the province’s COVID-19 vaccination task force, expressed frustration with the decision to keep these areas off limits..

“Still frustrated about limiting outdoor activities though. These are safe & should be encouraged,” he said.

Williams said that the rate of vaccinations performed across Ontario will need to remain high to prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus.

As of Thursday, 6.6 million residents have received at least one dose and 407,600 have received both their first and second and are considered fully vaccinated.

The province has previously said that it hopes to have at least 65 per cent of adults in Ontario with one shot by the end of May. 

This is a breaking news story. More to come.