Caution needed if northern Ontario to re-open sooner than other places: Northwestern Health Unit
The provincial government should use caution if it decides to move ahead with re-opening some parts of Ontario sooner than others, the acting medical officer of health with the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) said Tuesday.
Talk has increased in recent days about the possibility of re-opening places like northwestern Ontario, which have relatively-few cases of COVID-19, sooner than the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), where most new cases of the virus are being reported.
"One could make an argument that opening things up a bit could be done perhaps earlier than some other places in Ontario, but with caution," Dr. Ian Gemmill said. "The way I look at this is we've got our thumb on the end of the hose, and we don't want too much water to escape, and we don't want it to get away from us."
"So, we would need to do it by adjusting, and being able to monitor very carefully what happens."
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has not committed to a regional re-opening of Ontario; he has said he's considering it, and the final decision would be based on advice from public health officials.
Gemmill said the numbers of COVID-19 cases in Ontario - 446 new cases were reported in the province on Tuesday, most of them in the GTA - is "demoralizing."
"This may be partly because there is a lot of more testing going on, and more people are coming forward," he said. "And that's a great thing, because then it allows people in public health to speak to the case, and to find out who their contacts are, so that they can be quarantined."