Ontario entering province-wide shutdown starting Saturday

Ross Houston
April 2, 2021

The limit is 25 per cent for all other retail, including discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, hardware stores and more.

Those include food, medication, medical appointments, supporting vulnerable community members or exercising outdoors with members of their household.

Some outdoor activities will be allowed such as golf, but team sports will not be permitted.

"We can not vaccinate quickly enough to break this third wave".

"So it's a complete shutdown of the entire province", said Ford.

"This is a new pandemic. We're now fighting a new enemy".

Indoor social gatherings are prohibited and outdoor gatherings will be limited to five people.

This excludes gatherings with members of the same household or gatherings of members of one household and one other person from another household who lives alone. Takeout and delivery remain an option, however.

Limiting capacity at weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies to 15 per cent occupancy per room indoors, and to the number of individuals that can maintain two metres of physical distance outdoors.

Six regions are already in Grey-Lockdown, including Toronto, Peel, and Hamilton, while another 16 areas are in the Red-Control zone when it comes to provincial restrictions.

"This is a top priority", he says.

"They spread faster and do more harm than the virus we were fighting past year", Ontario Premier Doug Ford said during a news conference in Toronto on Thursday.

Ontario announced a province-wide "emergency brake" shutdown beginning this weekend as Canada's most populous province struggles to cope with a surge in ICU admissions that provincial leaders said they feared was fueled by rapidly spreading coronavirus variants.

"What we are introducing is an emergency brake shutdown that allows some activities to be carried out but the lockdown, we know, with the warmer weather coming, with all that we've asked Ontarians to sacrifice, is too hard to do".

Outside gatherings are capped at five people while schools will stay open with COVID-19 safety protocols in place. We saw what happened in the last holiday season, it took off.

The Ontario government is imposing a provincewide "shutdown" in an effort to combat a recent spike in COVID-19 infections.

A source with knowledge of the restrictions discussed at an hours-long cabinet meeting Wednesday night said the final details of the new measures will be worked out Thursday morning.

The letter says doctors are seeing younger patients on ventilators and many are parents of school-aged children.

He says 2.3 million vaccines have been administered to date in Ontario, noting more pharmacies, primary care settings and mobile clinics are coming online every day. Our vaccine rollout is steadily increasing, and I encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated.

Brown said variants of concern are now the dominate strain of the virus in the province.

The per cent positivity of COVID-19 tests in Windsor-Essex increased to 3.6 per cent for last week, compared to 2.8 per cent the previous week. "As I've said many times, we will do whatever it takes to protect the people of Ontario".

The Premier's change in the course shows just how much of a threat the variants of concern pose on the province's ability to limit and control a third wave of the virus.

Schools will remain open for in-person learning with strict safety measures in place, as Education Minister Stephen Lecce indicated earlier Thursday.

Essential workers still make up the highest number of people who are being infected with COVID-19.

"We've put in so many layers of safety for our patients, but to have the province do this, it's leading to a lot of people feeling really burnt out and frustrated".

"I'm asking everyone to only gather with your immediate households because, my friends, I want us to have a good summer and these steps the next four weeks are our best chance to save lives and to make sure this summer we can get things open and get back to our lives".

Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of the group, says short-term case projections will depend entirely on the public health measures implemented by the government and vaccination rates.

Other reports by iNewsToday