Ontario's stay-at-home order sparks questions and disappointment

Remigio Civitarese
Gennaio 13, 2021

Premier Ford is expected to announce a new round of COVID-19 restrictions at 1:30 p.m. this afternoon.

Ontario is imposing a stay-at-home order starting Thursday as part of several new restrictions meant to bring down surging COVID-19 infections.

When asked how the stay at home order differs from a curfew, like the one implemented in Quebec, Ford said he has never been in favour of a curfew and doesn't want to lose the trust of Ontarians.

The premier hasn't indicated what the new rules could be, but he has previously suggested the current provincial lockdown may need to be extended past its original end date of January 23.

"The trends in key public health indicators are continuing to deteriorate, and further action is urgently required to save lives", said Dr David Williams, chief medical officer of health.

Ford says eight new cases of the United Kingdom strain of the virus were identified today and still one third of Ontarians are ignoring published guidelines.

Among the projections that should the United Kingdom variant spread too much in the community, the rate at which our case counts double will drop from the current rate of 35 to 40 days to just 10, and that forecasts suggest there will be more deaths in long-term care in this current wave than the first.

The provincial government imposed strict rules on public gatherings and business openings in mid-November, and case counts started dropping a few week later.

Workplace inspections will be ramped up across the province.

Other measures approved by cabinet and the Ford government include lowering the limit for outdoor gatherings from 10 people to five, effective immediately. Schools in Northern Ontario will remain open.

The provincial government has also reduced the number of people who can gather outdoors from 10 to five.

Ontario's top doctors are predicting the daily death toll in Ontario could double by mid-February if current COVID-19 case rates continue.

"Without significant reductions in contacts, the health system will be overwhelmed and mortality will exceed the first wave totals before a vaccine has time to take effect", the briefing concludes. While there has been no evidence shown that the new variant is not more severe, more cases will put more pressure on the health care system as a whole. Since January 1, 198 long-term care (LTC) residents and 2 LTC staff have died of COVID-19.

Modelling tables from the province's COVID-19 advisory group revealed that nearly 40% of long-term care homes have active COVID-19 outbreaks. Ontario expects to receive 80,000 doses of Pfizer's vaccine every week for the rest of January.

Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change.

Non-essential construction is further restricted, including below-grade construction.

He also says that between now and sometime between April and June, Canada will have enough doses to vaccinate up to 20 million people against the deadly coronavirus.

There has been a big jump in hospitalizations in the past 24 hours. The province also reported 41 more deaths linked to the virus.

As of Monday evening at 8 pm, the province has administered 133,553 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

During a Zoom call with her grandmother after she contracted COVID-19, Bains said another female resident entered the room and began hugging and kissing the elderly woman on the forehead.

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