November 27, 2020, Premier Doug Ford reiterated his call to the federal government to provide Canada’s premiers with clarity on how COVID-19 vaccines will be allocated across the country. The federal plan will inform the work of the Ministers’ COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, which was announced earlier this week.
Premier Ford was joined by General Rick Hillier, Chair of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, as well as Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott. Following this afternoon’s announcement, Premier Ford, General Hillier, and Minister Elliott responded to questions from media.
This afternoon, Ontario re-classified certain public health units at new levels of the provincial COVID-19 response framework. The province also issued a statement in support of municipalities as they continue to manage financial pressures associated with responding to COVID-19.
Ontario Calls on Federal Government for Clarity on COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation
This afternoon, Premier Ford reiterated his call on the federal government to provide certainty to Canada’s premiers regarding timelines for receiving preliminary shipments of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as the number and type of vaccines to be allocated to each province. Premier Ford added that greater certainty regarding vaccine allocation is essential as the Ministers’ COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force for Ontario begins to plan for the logistical requirements associated with widescale immunization for COVID-19.
Ontario will continue to work with the federal government as well as local partners to prepare for the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine. General Rick Hillier, Chair of the task force, said that despite not knowing the exact timeline, Ontario will be prepared for the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines on January 1, 2021.
The main function of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force is to ensure that Ontario is ready to receive, store, and administer COVID-19 vaccines in an ethical, timely, and effective manner as soon as they are available. General Hillier noted that preparations are well underway, and his primary role as Chair of the task force is to form a coherent plan accounting for distribution and logistics, medical aspects, public education, and immunization tracking.
Additional task force members are expected to be announced in the coming days.
Questions from Media – Response to COVID-19
Record High Number of Cases
Premier Ford was asked about Ontario reaching a new record high of COVID-19 cases today, with 1,855 new cases reported. In response, Premier Ford pointed to the record number of tests completed within the last day as partially responsible for the spike in case numbers. Minister Elliott added that the province had been expecting a slight increase in case numbers, and that it will likely be another couple of weeks before a decline is observed as a result of the lockdowns in Toronto and Peel.
Re-Classification of Public Health Units at New COVID-19 Levels
This afternoon, the province also announced the re-classification of certain public health units at new levels of the COVID-19 response framework.
Effective Monday, November 30, at 12:01 a.m., stronger public health measures are being implemented in the following five regions:
- Windsor-Essex County Health Unit moves to Red-Control;
- Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit moves to Orange-Restrict;
- Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, Lambton Public Health, and Northwestern Health Unit move to Yellow-Protect.
All other public health regions will remain at their current level. For a full list of public health regions and their classifications, visit Ontario.ca/covidresponse.