Ontario issues stay-at-home order, second state of emergency over COVID-19

13 Janvier, 2021, 18:52 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced a state of emergency for Ontario at a media conference at Queen's Park

While the newly-declared state of emergency will come into effect this evening, Ontario's new stay-at-home order will become effective at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, January 14.

Outdoor organized public gatherings and social gatherings are further restricted to a limit of five people with limited exceptions.

When asked how the stay at home order differs from a curfew, like the one implemented in Quebec, Ford said he has never been in favour of a curfew and doesn't want to lose the trust of Ontarians.

"There will be soon some really dark days ahead, some turbulent waters, but we will get through this", Ford said. "That's why we are taking urgent and decisive action, which includes declaring a provincial emergency and imposing a stay-at-home-order. The system is on the brink of collapse". "Essential trips" are defined as including those "to the grocery store or pharmacy, (to access) health care services, (and) for exercise or for essential work". Wearing a mask or face covering is now recommended outdoors when you can't physically distance more than two metres.

Schools in Windsor-Essex, Peel, Toronto, York, and Hamilton will remain closed for in-person learning until February 10.

"More than half of our intensive care units in Ontario are full or only have on or two beds left", said Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of Ontario's COVID-19 science advisory table, during a data forecasting presentation at Queen's Park on Tuesday.

"School closures in southern Ontario are being extended. and will be assessed on an ongoing basis by the chief medical officer of health", Christine Elliott said.

Before- and after-school programs can be offered when in-person instruction resumes.

The province said child care for non-school aged children will remain open.

Ontario is reporting 154 new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Wednesday.

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"All we're asking is cooperation from the people to stay home".

"This is an absolutely inadequate response that completely lacks urgency that the circumstances demand", she said.

There are 2,903 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario today, including eight new cases of a variant from the United Kingdom.

Ontario health officials say 11,231 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered across the province on Tuesday and 144,784 doses have been administered in total.

Ontario's long-term care sector continues to be devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and ICU occupancy is increasing with "real consequences for health" are among the key findings in the province's latest round of COVID-19 data and modelling. "People will die from the virus itself and from the overloaded health system that is unable to respond to their needs". "There will be choices about who will receive oxygen and who will be transported to hospital". Nearly 200 long-term care residents and two staff have died this month, more than 400 people are in ICUs and that could rise to as many as 1,000 early next month.

He added that the Ministry of Labour has 450 workplace inspectors who will also be enforcing the emergency order.

There are also growing concerns regarding the United Kingdom variant of COVID-19, which has been detected parts of Canada, including Ontario, which deteced eight new cases on Tuesday.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said he was in favour of Ontario's stricter measures, pointing to the "dire" case projections.

Julie Kwiecinsky with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business slammed the approach.

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