Toronto extending coronavirus lockdown through March 8

"I want to assure the people of this great province that we are ready to get vaccines into as many arms as possible, we simply need the supply", said Ford.

York Region, however, will see the order lift next week as it moves to the red - or second-strictest - category of Ontario's tiered pandemic restrictions framework.

"Our government's number one priority is the safety of all individuals and families, and that's why we are taking a gradual, cautious approach to returning regions to the [colour-coded] framework", said Christine Elliott, the Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

A lockdown and stay at home order is being extended in Toronto until at least March 8.

The government also announced that Lambton Public Health will move from the orange zone to the red zone "as a result worsening public health trends in the region over the past week".

The government has been moving ahead with its economic reopening despite warnings it could set off a third wave of infections.

Toronto officials asked the provincial government this week to extend the lockdown after Toronto's medical officer of health said she has never been more anxious about the future because of new coronavirus variants. The region's top doctor said COVID-19 cases doubled last week compared with the previous week, with many linked to institutional outbreaks.


The first phase was recently expanded to include adults aged 80 and older, and the province is working with public health units to build and expand capacity to immunize Phase Two populations by increasing delivery networks and preparing a booking solution and customer service supports for mass vaccination clinic registrations.

The appointments will likely begin in March, said retired Gen. Rick Hillier, who is leading the vaccine rollout.

Provincial officials say primary physicians may begin contacting seniors in that age group while an online booking system and service desk for appointments are still in development.

Officials say doses of the Moderna vaccine for next week will be lower than expected, at 47,400, but supply is expected to increase in March.

The province has administered 518,834 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine so far.

Ontario confirmed 1,150 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, after 1,038 infections were reported on Thursday.

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