Beginning the week of May 31, youth in Ontario between 12 and 17 years of age and their family members who have not received a vaccine will be eligible to book an appointment to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, including at special dedicated youth and family clinics throughout the weeks of June 14 and 21.
"We can't rush to reopen".
The province's stay-at-home order was invoked on April 17 was was set to expire on May 19.
The province said it will consider reopening outdoor amenities, including tennis and basketball courts and outdoor sports fields, on June 2.
The stay-at-home order requires everyone to remain at home except for specified purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise, or for work that can not be done remotely.
Fuelled by variants of concern, the province is now in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Just hang in there", said Ford, for a couple more weeks, and Ontarians may be able to enjoy a more normal summer.
Ford said remote learning will continue for students across the province until further notice. Schools were closed to in-person learning and moved online following the April Break, on April 19. The main issue right now is the load on our hospital system, ' said Dr. Williams. The virus variants that now predominate in Ontario are more contagious.
On Monday, Dr. Williams said he wants to see schools re-open before anything else, and "as soon as we can".
Daily new cases, hospitalizations, and intensive care unit admissions reached record highs last month, though numbers are starting to trend downward, with Ontario reporting fewer than 3,000 new daily cases in recent days.
There were 774 in Toronto, 602 in Peel Region, 258 in York Region, 147 in Durham Region, 133 in Hamilton, 110 in Ottawa and 104 in Halton Region.
There were 31 new deaths reported in the province, bringing the total to 8,405.
Meanwhile, Ontario passed another grim pandemic milestone on Thursday when the number of laboratory-confirmed cases of people with COVID-19 passed the 500,000 mark.
"As much as we're seeing a decline, which is good, everyone is moving forward, we're getting the vaccines in the people's arms, but we just can't risk it".
There are 1,632 people in hospital as of Wednesday, with 776 of them in ICU. These variants have made up a significant portion of Ottawa's new COVID-19 cases since mid-March. The statistics reported later in the day by Ottawa Public Health later in the day often vary slightly from the provincial numbers because the data are collected at different times.