Ontario back into shutdown starting April 3

Ontario to go into month-long COVID-19 shut-down starting April 3

Ontario is imposing stricter provincewide COVID-19 restrictions for at least 28 days.

With cases and serious infections on the rise, Ford said that "everything is on the table", but over the past week, he's taken to pointing the finger at millennials for driving the latest surge of COVID cases. There are 430 Covid-19 patients in ICUs.

Workers' concerns extend beyond the retail sector, said Doris Grinspun of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario. This is a new pandemic.

"We're now fighting a new enemy", Ford said.

How is the shutdown different from the restrictions already in place under the provincial COVID-19 framework?

A source with knowledge of the restrictions says the final details of the new measures are still being worked out.

Last week, the Progressive Conservative government made some tweaks to the framework, allowing outdoor patios to open and outdoor fitness classes to operate in the grey zone and indoor dining capacity was increased in the red zone.

Essential retail stores are capped at 50 per cent of their maximum capacity and non-essential stores are limited to 25 per cent. The number of people allowed to gather outdoors has also decreased from 10 to five.

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.

People are seen outside the Rideau Centre in Ottawa last December as they tried to complete their holiday shopping before a provincewide lockdown took effect on Boxing Day.

While Thursday's measures will force more closures in most parts of the province, measures in hard-hit areas of the Greater Toronto Area remain relatively unchanged, except for restaurant patios closing.

The province will not be issuing a stay-at-home order, but are asking residents to limit trips outside of their home, unless it's for essential reasons.

Ontario's science advisers say stay-at-home orders will control the third wave of COVID-19, which is being driven by rising rates of the more deadly variants of concern.

New modelling also shows Ontario could have up to 6,000 new cases a day by the end of April due to the new variants of the virus. The variants spread faster and do more harm than the virus we were fighting a year ago. Someone who catches the dominant B.117 variant is 1.5 times more likely to die. The peak of 800 is expected, even if the province implements a stay-at-home order and continues vaccinations.

At LHSC there are now five or fewer patients in the ICU.

"We are now seeing almost 14 per cent increase in hospitalizations, with COVID-19 patients in ICU increasing dramatically", Ford said. Younger people are ending up in the hospital.

"The bottom line is, we need more time", Ford said Thursday.

He says the province's vaccine rollout is not reaching the highest risk communities, which is delaying its impact as an effective strategy to fight the pandemic.

All 34 public-health regions went into the grey zone on December 26, followed by a provincewide stay-at-home order on January 14 that suspended the colour-coded system.



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