Province expected to announce four-week stay-at-home order

Rodiano Bonacci
Aprile 8, 2021

"The situation is extremely serious".

Ontario premier Doug Ford urged residents to stay at home to help bring down the number of rising cases and break the cycle amid fears of the third wave.

"What we do until we start achieving mass immunisation will be the difference between life and death for thousands of people", he said.

Industry groups had criticized Ford for allowing big box stores to remain open during past lockdowns while shutting small businesses. The province has averaged more than 2,800 cases a day over the past five days, though Thunder Bay has seen its case count plummet recently, with just 89 cases in the past week.

Other changes under the state of emergency and stay-at-home order include non-essential businesses only being able to offer curbside pick-up and delivery between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m, while delivery to patrons can happen between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Ford had said that a new stay-at-home order was not issued because it produced tremendous ill effect on both children and adults.

Stores that sell safety supply equipment, assistive devices, eyeglasses, cellphones, vehicle rentals, mechanics and auto dealerships can only operate at a 25% capacity limit, and by-appointment between the same hours as non-essential businesses.

Hospitals in Ontario are becoming more stretched.

As part of Phase Two of its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, people living in regions with the highest rates of transmission will be prioritized to receive a vaccine, starting with the most at-risk in the Peel and Toronto public health regions.

As vaccine supply allows, eligibility will expand to high risk neighbourhoods in other hot spot regions, including York, Ottawa, Hamilton, Halton and Durham, followed by a rollout across the province as supply allows.

On Tuesday, Toronto Public Health shuttered the city's schools for in-person learning, sending the country's largest school district of around 247,000 students back to remote learning through April 18.

Hours earlier, Ford had told reporters that schools were safe and closures would be unnecessary.

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