Ontario's leading staff just can't seem to agree on the recovery timeline. In the provincial daily update on May 12, Dr. David Williams discussed the Ontario reopening plan put forward by Premier Doug Ford. And the province's top doctor does not agree with the leader that we are ready to officially kick off stage one of the process.
On Tuesday, May 12, Ford announced Ontario is gearing up to begin "stage one" of its recovery from Thursday, May 14.
That includes reopening street-front businesses that are available for curbside pickup, opening some parks and outdoor areas, as well as maintaining current social distancing measures.
There's only one problem. The province's top doctor disagrees.
When asked if he was confident that the province has met the requirements to go into the first phase, Dr. Williams didn't seem to agree with Ford's recent comments.
"No, I would have recommended if we’re already there but we haven’t yet," responded Dr. Williams in the briefing.
"We're on a downward trend, about day eight or seven... but we haven't had all those things come together yet where we say 'now we're ready to enter stage one.'"
This comes after the province's Chief Medical Officer said earlier this week that the continued high rate of community transmission is "perplexing."
He suggested the reason could be that we're still not social distancing enough, or at least not entirely in line with health advice.
In the briefing on Tuesday, Dr. Williams also emphasized that "stage one" as put forward by Ford is actually the start of phase two.
Phase one is the pandemic period, which Dr. Williams insists is not over yet.
And, while Ford suggested Thursday will be a seminal moment for Ontario in the battle against the virus, he also announced on Tuesday that the province is looking to extend its state of emergency until June 2.
Whenever it is that the province does reopen for business in earnest, things are likely to look pretty different as Ontario adjusts to a "new normal."
Protective measures currently implemented like window barriers and maintaining physical distancing in stores across the province could be the new reality until things get back to the way they used to be.
For now, though, staff can't even agree on the timeline.