TORONTO — Public health officials are urging residents not to invite anyone over for Thanksgiving dinner this year but it would seem that even Premier Doug Ford is confused about the rules.
Ford was asked about the latest public health guidelines during his daily briefing on Tuesday afternoon and seemed to suggest that he planned to limit Thanksgiving dinner at his home to 10 people or less.
That would be in keeping with an emergency order prohibiting indoor social gatherings of more than 10 people but would go against advice from Ontario’s Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe and Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa, who have both urged people to mark Thanksgiving with only members of their immediate household and forgo big family dinners.
“Thanksgiving is going to make or break it. Just please hang in there. You know, I have a big family and I told Karla (Ford’s wife), and she knows this, we can have no more than 10. Simple as that,” Ford said on Tuesday. “That is what we are going to abide by.”
Ford initially said that his advice about limiting indoor gatherings is “as clear as I can be” and that there “shouldn’t be any confusion.”
However, when he was pressed about the discrepancy between his message and that of Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe he seemed to change his position again.
This after Ford told reporters on Monday that residents should use their own judgement and practice “common sense” when it comes to Thanksgiving.
“If you play it back I said stick within your household, your household. That is what I said so that is what I believe in,” he said Tuesday.
After Ford’s news conference, he tweeted that he spoke to his wife and that they will stick to their “immediate household for Thanksgiving dinner.”
Speaking with reporters later in the briefing, Yaffe reiterated her earlier advice and said that anyone wishing to celebrate Thanksgiving should “limit it to your household” with the only exception being for those who live alone. She said that while provincial laws permit up to 10 people to gather indoors in private residences, “that doesn’t mean you should go to ten.”
“We are hoping people will stay with their household and that is the best thing to do this year for Thanksgiving,” she said.
Ontario health officials reported 548 new infections, which represented a decrease over Monday’s total when 615 new cases were reported. Seven more COVID-19-related fatalities were also added since yesterday, bringing the province’s death toll to 2,987.
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