Premier Doug Ford has a message for young people in the province who are acting like the pandemic is over: “Just don’t go to a party. Simple.”
The premier spoke to reporters during a press conference in Mississauga on Tuesday and was asked about the fact that cases among those aged 20 to 39 have been steadily increasing in Ontario, to which he responded that young people need to continue to heed public health advice.
Over the past week, an average of 68 cases per day have been reported among those within this category, and this age group represents roughly half of all new cases confirmed within that time.
The spike in cases among young people comes as businesses across the province have been reopening, with regions in Stage 3 permitted to resume dine-in service in restaurants and bars — something that is known to lead to infection transmission.
And in regions that remain in Stage 2, such as Toronto, restaurants and bars are only allowed to offer patio service. But countless incidents of no social distancing and overcrowding on patios have been reported in recent weeks.
Many have also pointed out that if this is what’s happening in public spaces, one can only imagine what many young people are doing behind closed doors on private properties.
Stage 3, meanwhile, also allows for larger gatherings — 100 people outdoors and 50 indoors — which makes throwing a party or other social event all the more possible and, let’s face it, likely.
“Just don’t go to a party. Simple. You are hurting people by doing this,” Ford said Tuesday.
“Go back to the golden rule. Wear a mask and if you don’t have a mask keep two metres. I just ask people to hold off on these parties. I don’t know why everyone wants to party so badly, but enough.”
The issue of increased infections related to bars, restaurants and parties has been prominent in other cities in recent weeks, and Toronto Mayor John Tory has requested that a new set of amendments be made to Stage 3 guidelines as a result.
“We have the brightest, smartest people coming out of our colleges and universities and the vast majority, 98 per cent them are following all the protocols and procedures but a couple per cent are going hog wild,” Ford said.
“Guys, you have to rein it in. It is as simple as that. Because again you may get through it, but maybe your grandparents won’t get through it. That is what you have to think about.”