Ontario to enter provincial lockdown starting Christmas Eve, sources say


TORONTO – All of Ontario will be locked down as of Christmas Eve, sources told CTV News Toronto.
These sources, who have first-hand knowledge of the situation, say the lockdown will begin at 12:01 a.m. on December 24 and last 28 days in the southern part of the province (south of Sudbury) and 14 days in the north. .

This lockdown will resemble the province-wide shutdown in March, with only essential businesses allowed to remain open.

As part of the provincial lockdown, sources say the winter break for students will be extended. CTV News Toronto was unable to confirm the exact length of the school closure.

Toronto, Region of Peel, Region of York and Windsor-Essex are already under lock and key. Hamilton is expected to join the gray area of ​​the COVID-19 framework at multiple levels across the province on Monday.

The provincial lockdown has not been officially announced by the provincial government.

Ford said on Friday that an announcement regarding additional measures taken to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus would be made on Monday.

The sources say the decision to implement a province-wide lockdown was made based on COVID-19 modeling data.

Data has shown that regardless of the scenario, Ontario will see 300 people in intensive care by the end of December. At the current rate of transmission, that number would rise to 700 patients by the end of January.

The province has said that once the number of COVID-19 patients in Ontario’s intensive care units (ICUs) surpass 300, it becomes nearly impossible to meet other medical needs unrelated to the disease. disease.

There are currently 261 patients infected with the disease in ICUs across the province.

Infectious disease specialist Dr Issac Bogoch said a “major pivot” was needed to reduce the spread and locate the origin of cases.

“It is certainly not sustainable to have 2,000 cases of COVID-19 per day in the province and we have seen over the last month how hospitals are filling up and how the hospital system is overwhelming its capacity and now we have to cut back on care for non-COVID-19 issues due to the influx of COVID-19 patients, ”Bogoch told CP24 on Sunday.

“I just hope that during this time they will look upstream and examine the root causes of these infections in the community and start to address the root causes of these infections so that we don’t have wave after wave. lock ”. he added.

24 hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area released a joint statement on Sunday calling on the province to implement tougher measures to help curb the spread of the disease. The letter supported the Ontario Hospital Association’s (OHA) call for tougher lockdowns in the province following record infections.

The letter states that frontline workers are “stressed and overworked” and that “this level of stress is simply not sustainable any longer.”

“We are seeing more and more employees falling ill and unable to work – both with COVID-19 and other illnesses,” the letter read. “As we adapt and plan for redeployment, we see more illness and stress and we hear about the negative consequences for families.”

On Thursday, the OHA called on the provincial government to implement a four-week lockdown in every public health unit placed, or considered to be placed, in the “red” control zone of the COVID-19 response framework of the province.

“(Frontline workers) are exhausted, they are emotionally and physically exhausted,” OHA President and CEO Anthony Dale said on Sunday. “And they don’t see an end in sight to the accelerated outbreak of COVID-19 patients and what it does is squeeze out all kinds of other very important care, some of this vital care like heart and cancer care,” even organ transplants are disrupted due to the uncontrolled rise of COVID-19. ”

Dale added that the lockdown measures worked during the first wave of the pandemic in the spring and that these measures, if not more stringent measures, must be put in place now to curb the transmission of the disease.

Ontario has seen the number of daily cases exceed 2,000 for six consecutive days. The seven-day average is currently 2,249.

The total number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ontario is 155,930, including 4,150 deaths and 133,213 recovered patients.


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