Premier Doug Ford says he's hearing the calls across the province to relax social distancing and restart the economy. However, he says he's not ready to do it just yet.

"I do not want to just turn this on full tilt. We can't. We just can't, until we get clearance, and then we have to consult with communities. We have to consult with sectors," he said, during yesterday's media conference.

Last week, the premier said the province lost 400,000 jobs in March, with more expected in April.

Yesterday, the premier was joined at the podium by Finance Minister Rod Phillips and Health Minister Christine Elliott. Together, they continued to answer important questions about long-term care home residents.

Across the country, roughly half the deaths related to COVID-19 are related to seniors in long-term care. As of yesterday's media conference, the province had at least one case of the coronavirus in 100 of about 600 long-term care homes. 

While the total number of cases continues to rise in Ontario -- close to 7,500 as of yesterday -- the number of new cases being reported each day actually seems to be slowing down, with 421 reported yesterday. That's down from 550 new cases reported last Wednesday.

The exponential growth is shown clearly in graphs, where the province reported:

  • about 5,000 total cases April 8,
  • just under 2,800 cases April 2 and
  • less than 1,400 cases March 29.

When it comes to new cases:

  • 550 reported April 8
  • 260 reported March 31
  • 100 reported March 25
  • 59 reported March 21
  • 24 reported March 14

The premier acknowledged there's room for some cautious optimism in recent statistics numbers related to COVID-19 cases in Ontario, Ford is encouraging people to keep up the good work, when it comes to fighting COVID-19

"The reason we're at the numbers we're at right now is because of the great work of the residents of Ontario. Everyone pitched in. The vast majority of everyone is listening," he continued. 

During his media conference yesterday, the premier said he was cautiously looking at ways to restart the economy, but it may not be for a while yet. The provincial government has also been working with private industry, health experts and community leaders to increase testing and reduce the wait time for getting results.

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