Since last autumn, we have seen a steady increase in cases of COVID-19, with new daily records in Toronto and Ontario. We are only beginning to see the impacts of gatherings over the Christmas holidays and the New Year’s celebration. We have now surpassed a total of 5,000 deaths from COVID-19 in Ontario.
Happy New Year and I wish each and every one of you a brighter and healthier 2021!
Yesterday, Premier Ford announced province-wide closures beginning on December 26 at 12:01 a.m. to stop the further spread of COVID-19. These restrictions are urgent and necessary to protect our loved ones. I know for most of us another lengthy and strict lockdown is disheartening, and even heartbreaking. With case numbers continuing to rise across the province, this is the right decision to protect our residents and it should have come earlier and accompanied with increased social and financial supports for struggling businesses and essential workers.
It is odd to think that we are nearing the end of December. The past ten months have been a whirlwind and I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling the weight of the year. I want to thank everyone who continues to work overtime in caring for our communities, including all of our health and essential workers. Thank you for your continued sacrifice in the pursuit of keeping us all safe.
Today the Province of Ontario is reporting 2,275 new cases of COVID-19 and 20 deaths. These are devastating new records. I worry for our communities. With the holidays quickly approaching, I know January could be the worst month yet for Ontario and Toronto. Please do not gather this holiday. I know how challenging it is, and how many of our plans have needed to change to stay safe. I am asking that you remain steadfast and vigilant in adhering to public health guidelines in order to help reduce community transmission. While the beginning of vaccine distribution is promising, it will still be a while yet before we see any immunity to COVID-19.