Premier Doug Ford says rolling back the province into Stage 2 restrictions is not a discussion they will be having today. Ford says health officials are continually trying to balance health and safety and the economy. When asked in particular about potential job losses in the foodservice industry he said he supposes he could say everything is on the table, “But, Dr. Williams has been very reasonable.  He fully understands you know, we’re measuring again health and safety, number one priority, and the economy.  These people are struggling, how do you measure the mental health effects?”

Ford continued, “We aren’t rolling back today, I’m not saying it’s never going to happen but today that’s not a conversation that’s going to happen in cabinet. We’re going to take the advice from Dr. Williams and the team as we always have.”

Dr. Williams would not confirm what advice his team has given to the province to discuss today and said we would have to wait for that to be announced.

But, Ford said today’s modelling data that shows by mid-October we could see 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 a day is deeply concerning, “Cases are doubling every 10 to 12 days now…we are starting to see a rise in case numbers across all age groups, not just among young people and if these numbers keep rising we’ll see 200 to 300 people in ICU beds per day. Folks, we have to work together to turn the tide in this fight.”

The Premier reiterated the future is up to us, “As the Doctor [Williams] said how bad the second wave is, how far it spreads is up to us. And the actions are simple, practice physical distancing, wear a mask, stay at home if your sick, get a flu shot, look after the elderly and vulnerable.”

Ford got heated and emotional when he was asked about the group Hugs Over Masks encouraging people to give false names at restaurants and businesses in order to prevent contact tracing if it is needed. According to a reporter, the group is apparently encouraging people to give his name out in the Niagara Region.

Ford called this news disappointing and referred to the group as “yahoos”, a phrase he regularly uses when talking about people flouting public health rules.  Ford got emotional when talking about the effects of COVID-19 on the public, “They’re like rebels, like really? Do you really want to do this while everyone’s working their back off?  Have you ever walked through an ICU unit and seen someone struggling for their life on a ventilator and having their loved ones outside in the hospital and they can’t even see their loved ones?”

“Have you ever been to a long-term care facility where people are struggling and PSW’s are out there working their back off, putting their lives ahead of their own family, and putting their community first?”

Ford continued apparently in disbelief, “And you guys want to go out there and act like a bunch of yahoos, and I’m being polite by saying yahoos.  Guys, give your heads a shake.”

During his daily briefing, he also reviewed the province’s $2.8-billion dollar COVID-19 Fall Preparedness Plan which has been unveiled over the last week in stages.