'We are so close': Ontario's Solicitor General urges residents to avoid May long weekend gatherings
WATERLOO -- Ontario's Solicitor General Sylvia Jones is urging Waterloo Region's residents not to gather over the May long weekend in an effort to save the summer.
"We have seen when there is a holiday, when there is a long weekend, unfortunately, two weeks later we do see a rise in the number of COVID cases," Jones said.
Officials in the province are racing to bring COVID-19 case counts and hospitalize down while aiming to at least partially vaccine 65 per cent of people 18 and older by the month's end.
The Ontario-wide stay-at-home order is set to expire June 2, with provincial officials teasing the release of a reopening strategy soon.
"We are so close to getting the vast majority of people vaccinated," Jones said. "I don't want people to throw that away for three days of sunshine."
The Solicitor General's warning comes as the Waterloo Region's Chief of Police says the force will continue to take a balanced approach when called about private gatherings and will only ticket or charge when necessary.
"There are individuals, a small percentage in our community, that overtly continue to flagrantly breach the Reopening Act of Ontario," police chief Bryan Larkin said.
"I know that our police officers and our bylaw enforcement officers will use their judgement to protect people," Jones said.
But as summer-like temperatures move in and the Victoria Day long weekend fast approaches, Jones said Ontarians must hold off summer visits for a little bit longer.
"Grand Bend will be there in July and August when we have a majority of citizens vaccinated," she said. "We are protecting each other."