Premier Doug Ford continues to be dogged by questions about what Ontarians can and can’t do this Thanksgiving weekend.
Ford was asked to clear up about how large family gatherings can be, given that Ontario’s Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe said yesterday that people wanting to celebrate the annual tradition should stick to their own households. Ford said you can’t compare a family gathering to going out to a restaurant and still did not answer clearly, “What we are asking try to stay within the family. If you are going over and I understand there a lot of single people out there and if they have a family they are close too, please wear a mask keep social distance. Regarding restaurants that’s like apples and bananas, when you go into a restaurant they are taking everyone’s names, you have six at a table, they have dividers, they have protocols in place. And the rest of the people in the restaurant you don’t know. That’s the difference, at a family you know the people. Please it’s very simple, there’s rules and there’s guidelines. The rules are very clear 10 indoors, 25 outdoors. I would really, really discourage people from having 25 people even if it’s outdoors. Stick within 10 people.”
Ford was called out by another reporter who said he really didn’t clear up any confusion in his answer. Ford encouraged reporters to go play back what he had said, “Stick within your household, your household, that’s what I said.”
But Ford called on Dr. Yaffe to speak to Thanksgiving and she again reiterated people should stick to their households, “Bottom line is, COVID is spread person to person so what you should do is think about every interaction you have with every other person… So, for Thanksgiving, we are recommending that you limit is this year to your household and if your household is only one person that person can join another household. Yes, 10 is the max for indoors but that doesn’t mean you should go to ten. We are hoping people will stay with their household.”
Moments after his daily media briefing Ford tried to clear up the confusion by tweeting that his wife has said they will be sticking to only their household this Thanksgiving.
Ford did say we are seeing a flattening of this new upwards curve of COVID-19 and suggests this weekend is going to be very important, “This is going to make it or break it this Thanksgiving. We see the numbers slowly flattening but they still are high.”
Also, during today’s briefing, Ford again resisted calls to close down bars and restaurants saying he will not put tens of thousands of people out of work without hard data that having these establishments open is contributing to the rise in COVID-19 cases.
The province has exceeded over 4-million tests for the novel coronavirus something he said is more than all the provinces combined across Canada. He also announced another $1.3-billion for expanded testing, more contact tracing, and isolating the virus spread.