Mayor John Tory and the City of Toronto have officially asked Ontario to extend Toronto's lockdown by two weeks.
The worst mistake we could make right now is to ignore the advice of our medical experts and begin to reopen too quickly.
Toronto's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa told reporters that she had given her official recommendation to the province, asking the province to extend lockdown until at least March 9.
She said officials from Peel region have asked the province for the same thing.
Tory acknowledged that a prolonged lockdown will cause "continuing hurt," but said that he supported Dr. de Villa's decision.
"We need to ensure that this lockdown that we're presently in is the last one," Tory said. "We can do that by not reopening too quickly and letting the variants get out of control."
Dr. De Villa said there were 283 presumed variants of concern in Toronto that are being tested by Ontario's laboratories.
"Right now, the case counts don't look so bad. They don't sound bad," Dr. de Villa said.
"But today's variant count is the tip of an iceberg. By the time the confirmed case counts are big enough to shock us, it will be too late to do anything."
"We will be in a third wave, as bad as anything we've been through thus far."
Under the current schedule, Toronto is set to move out of the Stay-At-Home Order and into the grey zone on February 22.
Grey zone restrictions would allow non-essential retailers and shopping centres to open up to the public again.