December 18th local time, Ontario Governor Doug Ford announced that the blockade measures originally scheduled to end in Toronto and Peel on the 21st were extended, but the extension will depend on when it is needed.
On that day, the Ontario government held an emergency meeting to discuss the current coronavirus epidemic in the province. The day earlier, the Ontario Hospital Association publicly called on the provincial government to “immediately implement the 28-day blockade” because the rapid increase in coronavirus cases has led to high hospitalization and intensive care unit occupancy in hospitals and the pressure on the health care system.
On that day, 2,290 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were added in Ontario, and more than 2,000 new cases were added for the fourth consecutive day, with a total of 151,257 confirmed cases. There were 40 new deaths, with a total of 4,098 deaths. There are 17,742 confirmed cases, 877 hospitalized and 261 intensive care.
Ford said that the provincial government does not want to make a casual decision and needs to consider many factors, including which areas need to enter the blockade and how long it will take. Therefore, the provincial government will hold an emergency meeting again over the weekend and announce whether to add new measures next Monday.
As the Christmas and New Year holiday approaches, including Ontario, there is widespread concern among health care people across Canada that the holiday will lead to a sharp increase in coronavirus cases due to family and friends gatherings during the holiday. However, governments everywhere are cautious about this issue, fearing that the severe blockade measures will cause popular opposition.