RELEASE: Statement from Warden Bob Crate on provincial shutdown

Province wide lockdown to begin Saturday

Ford stated that it was needed to implement a third lockdown due to the spread of COVID-19 variants.

Ford said the variants of concern are increasing rapidly and that this has become a new pandemic. The processes we now have in place to protect staff and members of the public are in compliance with the new measures announced by the Province, and will ensure ongoing business continuity as we continue to deliver the essential municipal services on which our community relies. No indoor social gatherings are permitted and outdoor gatherings are limited to no more than five people.

Some essential workers fear the latest "shutdown" Premier Doug Ford is imposing on Ontario will do little to protect them from COVID-19.

All indoor and outdoor dining in restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments is prohibited.

Prohibiting the use of facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness, including gyms.

Requiring day camps to close.

An Ontario teacher who was "totally healthy" before contracting COVID-19 is now intubated in a Toronto hospital, an infectious disease doctor says.

Two-thirds of the province's public health units are now under what the government calls lockdown (grey zone) or control (red zone) restrictions.

While the provincial government is not introducing an official stay-at-home order as experts have recommended this time around, Ontarians are once again being asked to leave the house only for necessities and to refrain from gathering with people outside their household.

Doctor Abdu Sharkawy, who works at Toronto Western Hospital, said the 47-year-old teacher tested positive for COVID-19 after coming in contact with a student who was also positive. "The most important thing to me is being reunited with my family", she said.

The capacity limit for weddings, funerals and other religious services indoors is 15 per cent, while outside can be the number of people that can maintain two metres physical distance.

Pharmacies and stores that sell food will be limited to 50 per cent capacity; all other retail stores will be limited to 25 per cent capacity.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said the shutdown does not include a stay-at-home order, because last time there were tremendous ill effects on both children and adults.

COVID variants now account for most new cases, and are more contagious and deadly, according to the advisory table.

The total number of new confirmed cases in Ontario has exceeded 2,000 every day for over a week, including another 2,557 cases confirmed this morning-the single highest count since mid-January.

Multiple sources with direct knowledge of the decision said Wednesday the shutdown is expected to begin on April 3 and will last at least a month.

The Premier said that it was not just Ontario that was in this situation, but that a third wave of the pandemic was sweeping North America. The HKPR District Health Unit is emphasizing the importance of continuing with the preventive measures known to reduce spread in order to keep our community safe until widespread vaccination has the opportunity to take hold.



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