Windsor-Essex can advance to Stage 3 of province's reopening plan on Wednesday
Published Monday, August 10, 2020 7:27AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 10, 2020 3:00PM EDT
Windsor-Essex has now been given the go-ahead to join the rest of Ontario in Stage 3 of the province' s reopening plan.
In a news release issued Monday, the province confirmed that the region, which is the last part of the province to remain in Stage 2, will be able to advance to the next stage on Wednesday at 12:01 a.m.
"Thanks to the collective efforts of our frontline health care workers, public health experts, and the people of Windsor-Essex, more businesses in the region can hang up their 'Open for Business' sign and more people can go back to work as of this Wednesday," Premier Doug Ford said in a written statement.
"As all of Ontario now enters into Stage 3, I ask everyone to remain on their guard and keep following the public health measures to protect the tremendous progress we've made and keep this deadly virus at bay."
The number of new cases in Windsor-Essex has fallen significantly in the past week, with just four new infections confirmed on Sunday and three on Saturday.
The region saw a spike in cases in July due to an outbreak of the virus among migrant farm workers.
Gyms, spas, and movie theatres will be permitted to open in Windsor-Essex for the first time since March and indoor dining can also resume.
Having all regions of Ontario in Stage 3 also means the province could be one step closer to reopening amusement parks.
Last week, officials confirmed that Canada’s Wonderland would not be given the green light to resume operations until the entire province had entered Stage 3.
According to the province, the chief medical officer of health and other public health experts will "closely monitor" the situation and will provide further updates about when health restrictions can be "further loosened" or "if they need to be tightened."
"I want to take the time to thank each and every Ontarian for their efforts, sacrifice and hard work, the entire province will now be in Stage 3 effective this Wednesday," Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a written statement.
"This is an important milestone for the province in our fight against COVID-19 and one we can all be proud of. However, it's never been more important for each of us to remain vigilant in following all public health advice.
Speaking to reporters at Queen's Park on Monday, Ford said the situation impacting some members of the farming community in Windsor-Essex is "getting much better."
"We have more testing and we have the mobile units going to the farms. We are testing everyday...I just want to thank the farmers. I want to thank the workers and the mayors... and especially the people of Essex," Ford said.
"They are incredible people. I absolutely love them... I just want to get them back on their feet and help them any way we can."