TORONTO — If the video of Premier Doug Ford saying “stay at home” in 21 languages didn’t convince you to do it, the Ontario government is hoping a, um, different image of the premier will. 

Rick Mercer kicked off the government’s #StayHomeON influencer campaign with a video Friday. In it, he points out that 18 to 29-year-olds have been the most likely to catch COVID-19 since Jan. 15. 

“I know, if you’re a young person and you hear that you have to stay in, you’re thinking one thing. You’re thinking, ‘Hang on. Is the government telling me I can’t hook up?’ Well the answer to that is yes. That is correct.

“Doug Ford is personally imploring you to not hook up. And if you are tempted to do so, just imagine Doug, in the room with you, just six feet away in a hazmat suit and he’s watching you. And imagine the disappointment on his face.”

Heritage Minister Lisa MacLeod said she would never look at a hazmat suit the same way again.

There is no evidence to suggest that young people having sex is a main driver of COVID-19 cases. But the age group Mercer mentioned has been the leading cohort for cases with 52,322 over the course of the pandemic.

Ontario does post data on where people have likely been infected but, for most new cases, that data isn’t available. 

Out of 15,862 new cases since Sunday, 3,197 came from close contact with another person who had COVID, while 1,415 came from outbreaks in places like health-care facilities and workplaces, while 1,529 came from community spread and 92 from travel.

Many Ontarians are still being required to go into work despite the stay-at-home order. Last week, workers at libraries, architecture firms and telecommunications companies told HuffPost Canada that they disagreed with their employers not letting them work from home.


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