The province of Ontario has unveiled basic principles and conditions to the public which will be used to guide the incremental re-opening of the Ontario economy and society as we have effectively reached and will soon pass over the peak of this disease.
The re-opening will be broken up into 3 stages:
- Stage 1: For businesses that were ordered to close or restrict operations, opening select workplaces that can immediately modify operations to meet public health guidance. Opening some outdoor spaces like parks and allowing for a greater number of individuals to attend some events. Hospitals would also begin to offer some non-urgent and scheduled surgeries, and other health care services.
- Stage 2: Opening more workplaces, based on risk assessments, which may include some service industries and additional office and retail workplaces. Some larger public gatherings would be allowed, and more outdoor spaces would open.
- Stage 3: Opening of all workplaces responsibly and further relaxing of restrictions on public gatherings.
The key point is that the Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will provide advice to the government about easing public health measures using a range of set criteria, including:
- A consistent two-to-four week decrease in the number of new daily COVID-19 cases;
- Sufficient acute and critical care capacity, including access to ventilators and ongoing availability of personal protective equipment;
- Approximately 90 percent of new COVID-19 contacts are being reached by local public health officials within one day, with guidance and direction to contain community spread; and
- Ongoing testing of suspected COVID-19 cases, especially of vulnerable population
So, to summarize, as long as the number of cases continues to decline, the Chief Medical Officer of Health will send gradual and incremental signals to public officials to give the go-ahead for easing of restrictions on people, businesses, and the economy. Another important point to note is that Ontario’s economic recovery and re-opening up after COVID-19 will be guided and administered by the Jobs & Recovery Committee. See this quote:
Supporting the next phases of Ontario’s Action Plan, the new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, chaired by Minister Phillips, will be consulting with key sectors in all regions to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the provincial economy and develop a plan to move forward. The government and Members of Provincial Parliament will lead discussions with business associations, chambers of commerce, municipal leaders, the postsecondary sector, corporate leaders, small business owners, community and social service providers, Indigenous partners, Franco-Ontarians, entrepreneurs and others.