Ford wants to take 'surgical approach' to next group of shutdowns in hot spots

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he wants to take a "surgical approach" to shutdowns in the province's COVID-19 hot spots when deciding if regions need to remain in a modified Stage 2.

"We need to take a surgical approach," Ford said, while making an announcement in Barrie, Ont. on Thursday. "I've always said this, some regions are very large geographical areas."

Ford wouldn't say whether Toronto, Peel Region, Ottawa or York Region would be moved back into Stage 3 of the province’s reopening plan. All four regions were placed into a modified Stage 2 for 28 days because of their rising infection rate. 

The modified Stage 2 forces indoor dining to close, as well as movie theatres and gyms.

The 28-day period expires for Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa on Nov. 7, while York Region is a week later.

Ford used Peel Region as an example of why he thinks a surgical approach needs to be taken, saying while Mississauga and Brampton have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases, Caledon has not seen numbers spike at the same rates.

"Caledon, they're complaining because the numbers are escalating in other regions," Ford said. 

Ford said he's "working with all the mayors and all the different regions" to decide on what restrictions will be lifted or kept in place when the 28-day period ends.

"We're working on coming up with a safe plan with collaboration with all the local mayors and local health teams and then we'll make a decision before this 28 days runs out."

"The good news is we are seeing a little bit of a decline," Ford said about COVID-19 cases in Ontario. "But make no mistake about it … do not let your guard down. It happened before and it just spiked up."

Ford's comment on the decline in cases comes as Ontario's seven-day rolling average hit 899, which is a record high since the pandemic began.

Ontario's four COVID-19 hot spots continue to have the highest number of COVID-19 infections.

Of the new cases reported on Thursday, 420 were in Toronto, 169 were in Peel Region, 95 were in York Region and 58 were in Ottawa.

Province launches 'Ontario Made Consumer Directory'

Meanwhile, the Ontario government announced on Thursday that it has launched a new directory to make it easier for people to shop and support local businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Canadian Manufactures and Exporters (CME), with the support of the Ontario government, launched the "Ontario Made Consumer Directory."

Ford said that promoting Ontario-made products will help support "good-paying jobs" in the future. 

People can find made-in-Ontario products on the government's new website SupportOntarioMade.ca

"I'm proud to support this new CME campaign to encourage Ontarians to look for the 'Ontario Made' label when shopping,” Ford said.