BREAKING: Ford considering regionally phased approach to Ontario reopening

"My friends, we are making progress," Ford said. "We're taking the steps necessary and we will get through this. We will rebuild what we've lost. We will bring Ontario back with a vengeance."

Ontario Premier Doug Ford spoke from Queen's Park Toronto today to address the coronavirus crisis with regards to testing, the economic shutdown, the measures to reopen the province.

Ontario has come under fire recently, when it was revealed that the province's long-term care homes have been affected not only by the spread of coronavirus, but by a toxic neglect.

Testing

Ford noted that essential workers are being tested thoroughly, as are vulnerable populations. There are 129 assessment centres open, as well as mobile testing sites. He noted that 18,500 tests were completed yesterday, and that he would be glad to see those numbers go up. "We can't manage what we can't measure," he said.

There is "an army of 2,000 contract tracers in the field," he said, following up on cases. "Getting those testing numbers up is absolutely essential. The more data we have, the more we understand the reality on the ground."

Ontario is one of the provinces that has enlisted the Trudeau government's assistance in contact tracing.

Ford said that with more testing, there will be more cases found, but that this enables better targeting of resources and public health ventures. He said "our testing is getting to where we need it."

Reopening

He is recommending that officials begin considering a regional, phased approach at reopening. "Health officials are right now looking at what a regional model could look like," Ford said.

"I'm not prepared to take unnecessary risks when it comes to our health and safety," Ford said. "We will continue to take a measured and gradual approach to reopening based on the advice of our table."

"My friends, we are making progress," Ford said. "We're taking the steps necessary and we will get through this. We will rebuild what we've lost. We will bring Ontario back with a vengeance."

This is a breaking story and will be updated.