As Ontario reopens, ‘robust’ coronavirus testing and tracing needed: experts

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After a two-month, near-total shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government announced on Thursday that it would be kicking off the first phase of its reopening plan on May 19, with some seasonal businesses and activities getting the go-ahead as early as May 16.

With that, the government released a list of businesses and activities that will be permitted to resume after the long weekend, under certain restrictions and guidelines.

The list ranged from a resumption of all construction activities and certain medical services, to the reopening of retail and seasonal businesses, domestic services and select recreational and sporting activities.

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But is Ontario ready for that leap at this time?

At a news conference on Thursday, provincial health minister Christine Elliott said the government has the “confidence” to begin gradually reopening the economy because the number of daily new coronavirus cases in the province is trending down; hospitals are maintaining “significant capacity,” there’s an “unmistakable decrease” in the number of ICU admissions and patients requiring ventilators; the province has ramped up its daily testing and “a growing number of public units are contacting 90 per cent of new cases within 24 hours.”

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Earlier in the day,

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