Ontario issues home support order, declares third state of emergency amid COVID-19 pandemic

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The Ontario government has declared the province’s third state of emergency amid the COVID-19 pandemic and is issuing a province-wide home stay order starting at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

The order will remain in effect for four weeks and officials have said it means residents must stay home except for essential reasons including shopping for groceries, picking up prescription drugs, accessing health care, go to work when it cannot be done remotely and exercise. close to the house.

Premier Doug Ford made the announcement at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

“We just need to curl up right now, we need to limit mobility… I know it’s tough on business, but I promise we’ll continue to support you.”

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Ontario government extends COVID-19 vaccines to educators in high-risk areas

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Ontario issues stay-at-home order, declares third state of emergency amid spread of COVID-19 variants

Ontario issues stay-at-home order, declares third state of emergency amid spread of COVID-19 variants

The government restricts most non-essential retail businesses to curbside recycling only.

Big box stores will be limited to selling essential items only for people who shop in person.

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Schools and daycares will remain open for in-person operations, except in areas where local doctors have ordered them to be closed.

The government has said education workers who provide direct daily support to students with special needs across the province and education workers in high-risk neighborhoods in Toronto and Peel Region will be eligible for vaccination during the April holidays next week.

Eligibility will also extend to education workers in high-risk neighborhoods in hotspots like York, Ottawa, Hamilton, Halton and Durham and possibly the rest of the province as the supply arrives, people said. responsible.

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Highlights of Ontario’s new home support order measures due to take effect on Thursday

The government has also announced that as part of its Phase 2 vaccine distribution plan, mobile teams will administer injections in sensitive neighborhoods in high-risk gathering places, religious venues, residential buildings and occupied locations. by large employers for people 18 years of age and older. It is not yet known when this will start.

“Our hospitals are hit hard. The intensive care units now have more patients than in previous waves, ”Ontario Minister of Health Christine Elliott said Wednesday afternoon.

“The current level of vaccination is not sufficient to prevent the spread of the virus we are seeing.”

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Ford has said “hope is on the horizon,” but the variants make the third wave of the virus particularly difficult.

He said that as long as the federal government follows planned vaccine allocations, 40% of adults will be able to get the vaccine when the stay-at-home order should be lifted.

Ontario administered a record 104,382 vaccines on Tuesday and Ford said 128,000 appointments had been booked for Wednesday.

Officials said the stay-at-home order would be enforced, but added that ultimately they need residents to comply with regulations to bring the spread of the virus under control.

The government will step up inspections at critical businesses in sensitive areas and continue to deploy rapid workplace testing in key economic sectors, including manufacturing and construction, officials said.

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Ford said residential evictions would be suspended pending the decision to stay at home.

He also touched on the subject of paid sick leave and said the province had not implemented its own plan because the federal government had already made funds available.

Global News first reported on Tuesday evening that the government was considering imposing the stay-at-home order.

The new restrictions come on top of measures put in place several days ago as part of a “province-wide shutdown.”

The shutdown, which took effect on Saturday, meant, among other things, that in-person meals, personal care services and gyms had to close. However, non-essential in-person retail was still allowed to remain open with capacity restrictions, and the government opted not to issue a stay-at-home order.

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But on Tuesday, Ford hinted at the possibility of more restrictions and expressed frustration at seeing scenes of a crowded Yorkdale Mall parking lot over the long weekend.

When asked what had changed since last week to result in the implementation of additional restrictions, Ford and the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr David Williams, said hospital admissions had increased faster than expected.

Ontario has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in recent weeks as the province continues to be hit by a third wave of the virus, largely due to more contagious variants. As of Wednesday, 3,215 cases of COVID-19 were reported, marking the largest increase in one day since mid-January.

Seventeen additional deaths were also reported, bringing the death toll in the province to 7,475. The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units across the province also remains among the highest of all. times, at 504.

Ontario Government Designated Hot Spot Communities

Here is the Government of Ontario’s list of designated hot spot communities based on COVID-19 cases and sorted by postal codes (the first three characters):

  • Durham Region: L1S, L1T, L1V, L1X, L1Z
  • Halton Region: L9E
  • Hamilton: L8W, L9C
  • Niagara region: L2G
  • Peel Region: L4T, L4W, L4X, L4Z, L5A, L5B, L5C, L5K, L5L, L5M, L5N, L5R, L5V, L5W, L6P, L6R, L6S, L6T, L6V, L6W, L6X, L6Y, L6Z, L7A
  • Ottawa: K1T, K1V, K2V
  • Simcoe-Muskoka Region: L3Z
  • South West: N5H
  • Toronto: M1B, M1C, M1E, M1G, M1H, M1J, M1K, M1L, M1M, M1P, M1R, M1S, M1T, M1V, M1W, M1X, M2J, M2M, M2R, M3A, M3C, M3H, M3J, M3K, M3L , M3M, M3N, M4A, M4H, M4X, M5A, M5B, M5N, M5V, M6A, M6B, M6E, M6H, M6K, M6L, M6M, M6N, M8V, M9A, M9B, M9C, M9L, M9M9R, M9 , M9M9R,, M9V, M9W
  • Waterloo: N2C
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: N1K
  • Windsor-Essex: N8H, N8X, N8Y, N9A, N9B, N9C, N9Y
  • York Region: L0J, L3S, L3T, L4B, L4E, L4H, L4J, L4K, L4L, L6A, L6B, L6C, L6E

– With files from Nick Westoll

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