The entire Province has well surpassed the targets and indicators to move to step 3, yet there continues to be hesitation. I recognize the need to be cautious as no one wants to take a step backwards. We ALL want this to be the last time anything is closed and we have had great success and made tremendous efforts as a community, and as a Province, to get fully vaccinated to ensure this is the case.
It is now time to start to allow indoor activities again while maintaining public health and safety measures. The discussion is not to fully open and abandon all health and safety measures. Rather, it is to safely move forward with a plan that allows more activities.
Over 50% of our population is now fully vaccinated. To continue to prohibit virtually all indoor activities is simply unnecessary. We have done our part and have been vaccinated in record numbers for ourselves, our family, our neighbours – the greater community, and so that we can open things up. The Province needs to reward these efforts so we can get ourselves and our kids back to being active indoors, our businesses to begin to recover and for the physical and mental well being of all.
Looking at York Region and Aurora specifically, we are leading the province with over 80% of adults having received one dose and over 56% fully vaccinated. The Region’s positivity rate is at .5% and we have a weekly avg daily case count of 7… More specifically Aurora has 1 active case over the last 2 weeks. These numbers would have put Aurora and the Region in the Green Zone in the former Provincial Framework.
The York Region Medical Officer of Health has stated “With cases so low, there is no need to use blunt instruments like these lock downs, we cause a lot of damage and really, it’s going to take us a long time to recover from those” and “We’ve been urging the province; I don’t think we need to be this cautious with the reopening”. We should continue to follow the advice of our York Region health expert and move to Step 3 now, not two weeks from now. The numbers clearly demonstrate we are ready.
Lastly, we need the Province to provide clear guidelines for Step 3 as the current framework is quite vague as to what will be and won’t be allowed and we need to know what happens after step 3? Is there a step 4? When do we begin to talk about getting back to being fully open? What is the criteria? We need answers now. Our businesses, our residents, community programs, organizations, arts and culture groups and local government leaders need clarity in order to plan for the days ahead. We need to know there is a clear plan for a path forward.