The province's top COVID-19 experts say aggressive vaccination and sticking with Ontario's stay-at-home order would help avoid a third wave and a third lockdown.
They added that given the spread of the B.1.1.7 variant, cases will likely start to rise by the spring.
We're not opening up. We're allowing some things to be available.
Dr. David Williams
Ontario's COVID-19 science advisory team unveiled a presentation today which warned residents that the spread of COVID-19 variants of concern will likely increase.
Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, the dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, said Ontario's "most likely scenario" would see us hit 5,000 and 6,000 new daily cases by the end of March.
But Dr. David Williams, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, said Ontario's transition away from the stay-at-home order and into the colour framework will continue as planned, with an emergency brake in place if necessary.
He told reporters that there's a "fine balance" between keeping numbers down and limiting personal and economic suffering.
Toronto, York, and Peel are set to be the last regions to leave the stay-at-home order on February 22.
Once the order ends, all retailers in the province will be allowed to open again, with capacity limits in place.
"We're not opening up. We're allowing some things to be available," Dr. Williams explained.
"We want even more personal adherence to the stay at home [orders], to the masking, to limiting your household contacts," the doctor added.