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New task force to advocate for reopening of York Region businesses

With input from the business community and regional councillors, York Region Public Health will provide the plan to the premier and chief medical officer of health
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York Region Administrative Centre in Newmarket. Supplied photo/Region of York

A newly formed York Region Public Health task force will create a strategy that will be provided to Premier Doug Ford and Ontario's chief medical officer of health to advocate for the safe re-opening of businesses ordered to close down to ease the spread of COVID-19.

The task force will review the feedback it has received from the business community and study the measures required to allow businesses, including restaurants and gyms, to safely re-open following the 28-day period of the modified stage 2 that York Region entered on Oct. 19, according to a joint statement issued by York Region chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson and medical officer of health Dr. Karim Kurji.

"York Regional Council and York Region Public Health remains committed to protecting the health and safety of our 1.2 million residents. At the same time, we cannot ignore the financial and personal impacts these restrictions have on our community, including the economic impact on large, medium and small businesses alike," they stated.

The early findings of the task force will be shared at a public meeting on Thursday, Nov. 5 beginning at 9 a.m. 

Following the discussion with regional council, public health will finalize the measures businesses need to implement to safely re-open.

The initial 28-day period of modified stage 2 COVID-19 restrictions ends Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020 at 11:59 p.m

To help stem the increase of COVID-19 cases, the Ontario government restrictions include the closure of indoor dining and drinking in bars and restaurants, and the closure of gyms, fitness centres, cinemas, performing art and gaming venues.

"The concerns of our residents, our municipalities and our local business community are genuine. By working together and supporting each other we can get through this second wave and continue to build strong, caring and safe communities," they said.