Large groups are a no-go, at least for now. Despite a positive outlook for the province's COVID-19 numbers right now, the limit on Ontario social gatherings will not be increased until the province finally reaches stage three. Health Minister Christine Elliott could not disclose on Tuesday, July 7 what the new limit increase would potentially be.

The provincial government announced on Tuesday that it hopes to extend the current state of emergency to July 24, and that it should be the final extension.

But later that day, Elliott noted that public health doctors are still urging Ontario to only change its emergency measures as it moves into a new stage, so staff can properly assess the effects.

Elliott noted that as a result, it's impossible to raise the cap on social gatherings until Ontario is ready for stage three of its reopening process.

The current limit is 10 people to a socially-distanced gathering, while Ontarians can also have close contact with select groups of 10 family or friends.

Elliott noted there's no information to offer yet on what the limit would be raised to.

"It's going to be something that will happen together with stage three. The increase in the number of people for stage three is something that's being discussed right now as the data is being analyzed," said Elliott at Ontario's media briefing on Tuesday.

"You will be able to expect as time goes on that the number of people involved in a gathering can be increased," Elliott added.

The provincial government also plans to introduce a new bill that would allow emergency orders to be extended and amended into 2021.

So what does this "together with stage three" timeline mean right now?

Well, Ontario could very well see stage three before the month of July is out, teased Premier Doug Ford on July 3.

For now, it seems like the cautious approach the government has been taking in its reopening plans has been working.

Ontario's COVID-19 update for July 7 showed only 112 cases in the entire province. And, as of, Tuesday two-thirds of Ontario Health units have zero new cases.

There was another big milestone on July 6 as Ontario reported no new deaths from the virus overnight for the first time since the end of March.

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