Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the extension of the stay-at-home order "and all public health measures" until "at least June 2."
The premier made the comments on Thursday from Queen's Park, saying that it was necessary to have "the most normal July and August" possible.
"At a time when contagious variants cause real risk to our province, we can't rush the reopen," said Ford.
"Of course, the school situation remains a critical concern for parents. On the one hand, we have some doctors saying they want to open the schools. On the other hand, we have the teachers unions saying we cant do that right now. We need public health doctors, teachers, and labour partners to agree on the best path forward. We also need consensus, and we simply don't have that right now. So for the time being, we will continue with virtual learning," said Ford.
Ford again criticized the existing border measures, which he says have failed to keep contagious variants out of Canada, and put the summer at risk.
The announcement came one day after the Ontario Medical Association released a statement saying that the province has yet to take a stance on the matter.
"We all want the third wave to be the last wave," OMA President Dr. Samantha Hill said Wednesday. "No one wants to start lifting restrictions too soon, only to find the virus spreading again and we have to go back into lockdown."
With the province recording more than 2,300 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday alone, and holding a seven-day average of 2,826 infections, as well as a declining but still strained ICU capacity, the OMA said that cases and hospitalizations are still far too high to consider rolling back restrictions.
Last week, Chief Medical officer of Health in Ontario Dr. David Williams said cases should be below 1,000 per day to consider lifting the stay-at-home order.