Health Canada has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people 12 and older in Canada.
"We have to stay there for days because those are delayed metrics for the ICU numbers and hospitalization numbers", he said.
The province's top doctor has said he would like to see "well below" 1,000 daily cases before Ontario lifts the stay-at-home order.
The province said special dedicated youth and family clinics will also be set up to vaccinate those 12 and up and their unvaccinated family members during the weeks of June 14 and 21.
Fuelled by variants of concern, the province is now in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Despite improvements, key indicators remain high and more time is required before the province can safely lift the Stay-at-Home Order", reads a release from the provincial government issued Thursday afternoon.
Premier Doug Ford is extending both the stay at home order and lockdown measures until June 2nd.
The impacts of these measures will continue to be evaluated over the coming weeks, with consideration being made to the reopening of outdoor recreational amenities on June 2, subject to current trends continuing.
Public health officials in the Outaouais are reporting 28 new COVID-19 cases Thursday. "Experience from other jurisdictions shows that driving transmission to very low levels is needed in order to end the third wave".
"We're not out of the woods yet", Ford said on Thursday.
In addition, all publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools in the province will continue to operate under teacher-led remote learning.
Medical officer of health Dr.
Schools will remain closed to in-person learning for the forseeable, but students between the ages of 12 and 17 will be eligible to book appointments for the Pfizer vaccine beginning May 31. Vera Etches said Wednesday that "it's looking positive" to be able to open schools towards the end of May if the rate of COVID continues to come down in the community.
In Ottawa-area regions: Eastern Ontario Health Unit, which includes Cornwall and Hawkesbury, reported 18 new cases, while Leeds, Grenville & Lanark reported two, Renfrew reported eight and Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington reported seven.
Currently, there are 29,235 active cases of COVID-19 in Ontario. In-person shopping at non-essential stores remains closed, and big box stores are limited to selling essential items only.
"With the new, more contagious variants continuing to pose significant risks, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended the Stay-at-Home Order until at least June 2", the government said in a statement.
"We need to do this to make sure that our health system can deal with this capacity".