Published Friday, December 18, 2020 7:26AM EST
Last Updated Friday, December 18, 2020 4:06PM EST
Ford made the comment as he delivered prepared remarks prior to an emergency meeting via teleconference with 113 Ontario hospital leaders on Friday afternoon.
He said that the lockdown orders in Toronto and Peel that are set to expire next week will be extended and that his government will have “additional information on Monday for the balance of the province.”
Today’s talks with hospital leader comes as Ford faces increased pressure to order further lockdown restrictions.
There have also been calls for schools to go remote-only for the first two weeks of instruction after the holiday break.
On Friday, Ford did not provide any indication of what sort of measures could be coming but he did say that he wants to hear from people “on the ground” about what is happening within Ontario’s hospitals, where nearly 900 people are now being treated for COVID-19.
Speaking with CP24 about the situation earlier on Friday morning, Toronto Mayor John Tory said that we have now reached a point where we “need to have further restrictions to even stem the tide.”
“I want to express the hope that the province does what I believe they should do and that is to have a region-wide series of additional restrictions during a quieter period of time at this time of year so that we can really take advantage of that quieter period of time and have a jolt to the system that stops these numbers from growing the way they have been to new records almost every day," he said.
Crombie wants GTHA-wide lockdown
The province’s rolling seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases now stands at 2,089, which is up nearly 12 per cent from this time last week.
Hospitalizations have also continued to steadily rise, forcing some hospitals in the GTHA to cancel elective surgeries and procedures and some officials to warn of "important care" now being at risk.
"It’s been two days now since we all got that pretty clear warning note or alarm bell from the Ontario Hospital Association and today he says it’s going to be another three days before any decision is made," Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath told reporters while Ford was in his emergency meeting on Friday afternoon. "I mean the guy drags his feet. He’s not prepared to make urgent decisions."
The Ontario Hospital Association has called on the province to implement a 28-day lockdown in all areas seeing 40 new cases per 100,000 residents or more to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed.
The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario is also calling for a province-wide lockdown.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued on Friday afternoon Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said that she wants to see Ford announce a GTHA-wide lockdown on Monday “to drive down case numbers across the larger region and to protect our hospitals.”
“What is becoming evident from the aggregate cellphone data we have is that people across the GTHA are moving from one region to another much more than they did in the first wave. And unfortunately, this is also leading to more community spread,” she said.