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Ontario planning for second wave of COVID-19: Ford

A Canada Goose is the only visitor outside at a Covid-19 testing centre in Toronto on Monday, April 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Premier Doug Ford says his government is taking steps to prepare for a potential second wave of COVID-19 in the fall.

Ford has provided no details of the plan, but says the province’s health system is better off now than in the early stages of the pandemic.

The premier made the comments during a visit to a Cambridge, Ont., business that is manufacturing personal protective equipment.

Ontario’s hospitals are warning the province it must prepare the health-care system for a potential second wave of COVID-19 that could hit during flu season.

The Ontario Hospital Association says the government must develop a contingency plan to ensure regional service and staffing plans are in place ahead of a possible surge.

OHA president Anthony Dale says if a potential second wave collides with flu season, it will add significant pressures to hospital operations.

The call comes in reaction to the government’s decision to move most of Ontario to Stage 3 of reopening later this week.

Dale said moving to Stage 3 will represent a heightened risk for the province and it must be prepared to respond.

Meanwhile, Ontario is reporting 111 new cases of COVID-19, along with one new death due to the novel coronavirus.

The total number of cases now stands at 36,950, which includes 32,785 marked as resolved and 2,723 deaths. The province is also reporting 122 newly resolved cases today.

Ontario completed more than 16,744 tests for the novel coronavirus over the previous 24 hours.

The numbers of people in hospital, in intensive care and on ventilators because of the virus all increased slightly.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said 28 of Ontario’s 34 public health units were reporting five or fewer cases.