Etches calling for stay-at-home order, reviewing approach to schools

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 6, 2021

"While continued expansion of vaccine administration remains a critical component of our long-term pandemic response, public health measures are needed immediately to reverse, as quickly as possible, the concerning trends we are seeing in our health units".

The letter was released shortly before Peel Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh issued a Section 22 order mandating the immediate closure of all schools in the region for at least two weeks.

The medical officers of health for Toronto, Peel and Ottawa have written to their provincial counterpart, Dr. David Williams, to ask for another provincewide stay-at-home order to curb virus transmission, especially given the prevalence of new variants of concern.

The province didn't share statistics on Good Friday, but on Saturday reported there had been more than 3,000 cases of COVID-19 for two consecutive days.

School boards had been urging students and teachers to take learning materials home before the Easter long weekend in case the government opted to shutter schools to control surging cases of COVID-19.

On Monday, there were 494 patients being treated in intensive care units across Ontario with a COVID-related critical illness, the government said, an all time high for the province. Vera Etches said in a Monday afternoon Twitter thread.

The three public health leads also called on Williams to review and trim the essential businesses list, impose travel restrictions between other regions within Ontario, introduce emergency paid sick leave and move schools to online or hybrid learning in areas where school outbreaks are significant.

Toronto's top doctor says workers need both targeted vaccination clinics and paid sick days as protections against the virus.

As of 8:00 p.m. Sunday, 2,545,640 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across the province.

"Our government will continue act on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health who will review the science, data and trends along with collaborating with local medical officers of health and our team of expert health officials on if and when public health measure can be loosened or strengthened".

There are 942 people hospitalized with the virus in Ontario, but the Ministry of Health noted that 10 per cent of Ontario's hospitals do not submit data on weekends.

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