No new announcements from Premier Doug Ford at his daily briefing. He provided an update on volunteer efforts, and answered questions about long-term care home takeovers and the much-criticized crowd at Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods Park on Saturday.
On the volunteer front, Ford specifically thanked “Feed Ontario” and the daily bread warehouse for putting together more than 60,000 hampers of food (with funding support from the province) to help those in need.
He reported that SPARK Ontario – a program connecting volunteers with community organizations – has seen over 3,500 Ontarians sign up, with 141 community organizations registered.
Hospitals Take Control of Long-Term Care Homes
The Premier confirmed that Southlake Regional Health Centre and Humber River Hospital have temporarily taken control of two long-term care homes for 90 days – a term that could be extended if necessary.
You can read full news release here.
Trinity Bellwoods Gathering
Ford had strong words for people who gathered at public parks this weekend – particularly Trinity Bellwoods – where large groups violated public health guidelines. “All Ontarians who gathered at Trinity Bellwoods Park this weekend should go and get tested at assessment centres” he chastized, but added that that while he was very disappointed by the behaviour he will not punish all Ontarians for the mistakes of a few.
Health Minister Christine Elliott noted that the Trinity Bellwoods incident has deepened public health officials’ reluctance to ease restrictions on group gatherings at this point in time. Raising the limit on gatherings from five to 10 people was indicated to be pending two weeks ago, but Elliott explained, “it has been pushed back for now and will be revisited once the numbers trend downwards.”
Provincial Testing Strategy
Premier Ford did not provide details on a new COVID-19 testing strategy, saying only that all Ontarians – both symptomatic and asymptomatic – will now be able to get tested at one of the 129 assessment centres across the province. He said the province will be releasing details of the new testing strategy in the coming days.