The Ontario government has issued a stay-at-home order for at least 28 days requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, after cases 6847 COVID cases reported.
Ontario has implemented another provincewide state of emergency immediately, extending remote-only learning for select students and cracking down on retail hours as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths reach record highs.
Province premier Doug Ford made the announcement from Queen’s Park this morning and announced the additional measures to help curb transmission of the deadly disease.
“Under this order, everyone is going to stay home and only go out for essential trips to pick up groceries or go to medical appointments,” Ford said.
“Cases and deaths are the highest since the start of the pandemic and community spread continues to escalate. I’m not blaming anyone, only one thing is truly at fault and that’s the virus,” he said.
The order is intended at plummeting public mobility and reducing the number of daily contacts people have with those outside their immediate household.
The state of emergency gives the government the power to endorse new measures beyond those included in the provincewide lockdown, which began on Dec. 26, 2020.
An emergency order allows the government to close more businesses, prohibit events and gatherings and order people to stay home.
This is the second emergency order issued in the province since the pandemic began last March. The last one expired on July 24, though many of the 47 emergency orders issued under it remain in effect.
Ford also announced that retailers will be subject to shorter operating hours and that outdoor gathering sizes will be reduced from 10 to five people, with limited exceptions.
The government is also advising non-essential workers who are currently working at their places of employment to work from home except in circumstances “where the nature of their work requires them to be on-site at the workplace.”
As for non-essential retail stores, they will be required to close from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. in an effort to discourage late-night shopping.
These stores will be permitted to have all their aisles open, despite some critics suggesting aisles with non-essential items should be blocked off as it’s an unfair advantage to small businesses who were forced to close during the lockdown.
The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery.
The restricted hours, however, do apply to stores offering curbside pick-up
Ford also said schools in Windsor-Essex, Peel, Toronto, York and Hamilton will remain closed for in-person learning until Feb. 10.
Under this order, everyone must stay home and only go out for essential trips to pick up groceries, or go to medical appointments,” Ford said, adding that walking pets or going for walks is still permitted under the order.
All businesses that have the ability to allow employees to work from home must do so.
“Under the declaration of a provincial emergency, the province will provide authority to all enforcement and provincial offences officers, including the Ontario Provincial Police, local police forces, bylaw officers, and provincial workplace inspectors to issue tickets to individuals who do not comply with the stay-at-home-order,” officials said in a government news release Tuesday.
Inland and international flight operations will remain active under SOPs whereas health and school officials are available online in case of emergency.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has not commented yet but the reaction from NDP likely in hours ahead.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday, that his country has reached an agreement to buy 20 million new doses of the Pfizer-Bionic vaccine for vaccination against the emerging coronavirus (Covid-19).
This deal doubles the number of doses that Canada agreed to from the giant American pharmaceutical company, bringing the total number scheduled to reach this year from two certified vaccine companies to 80 million – which is enough to vaccinate the entire Canadian population according to the required dose regime.
“Through our agreements with Pfizer and our managers alone … we are on the right path to get a vaccine for every Canadian who wants a vaccine by next September, ” Trudeau said at a press conference outside his residence in Ottawa.
In all, Canada has now committed to purchasing 40 million doses of Pfizer and 40 million doses of Moderna, with the option to purchase another 36 million doses of Pfizer if it so chooses.
Trudeau’s announcement comes days after Procurement Minister Anita Anand announced that the federal government had chosen not to exercise its option to purchase up to 16 million additional doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, although these doses would not arrive until the end of 2021.