Friday, 16 April, 2021

Canadas Ontario to go into four-week lockdown amid coronavirus cases rise

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announces the new shutdown due to the Ontario Premier Doug Ford announces the new shutdown due to the"alarming surge in COVID-19 cases. Credit Doug Ford Twitter
Deanna Wagner | 04 April, 2021, 02:26

"It's spreading far more quickly than it was before and we can not vaccinate quickly enough to break this third wave, this is the challenge of the new variants".

"We are facing a serious situation and drastic measures are required to contain the rapid spread of the virus, especially the new variants of concern", said Premier Doug Ford in a statement Thursday.

"This is a new pandemic, we are now fighting a new enemy". This includes prohibiting all indoor organized public gatherings and limiting outdoor gatherings to a five-person maximum, except for gathering with members of the same household.

Schools remain open because, the government says, they are crucial to students' mental health.

Prohibiting the use of facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness (e.g., gyms) with very limited exceptions.

Requiring day camps to close.

Experts say inconsistent public health messaging in parts of Canada has plagued the country's handling of the pandemic since COVID-19 first started circulating here. "All 34 public health regions will move into shutdown for a period of four weeks".

While the shutdown comes with its own set of new or renewed regulations and restrictions, some of those are already in play here in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) region, where Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore has already extended a Section 22 Class Order that limits the number of people allowed to gather in one space to five, both indoors and outdoors.

The London region now has 505 active cases. "As I've said many times, we will do what it takes to protect the people of Ontario".

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Weddings, funerals and other religious services will be capped at 15 per cent of regular indoor capacity. The province hit a new high on ICU patients on Wednesday.

COVID-19 cases could fall to between 1,000 to 1,500 a day by the end of April if the province activates a shutdown for four weeks, the table said.

"We are preparing for a worst case scenario in Ontario's hospitals - a case where we have no more intensive care units".

Crawley writes that "the only difference between this and the current lockdown provisions now seen in some areas of the province appears to be the closure of patio dining and golf courses, alongside a limit of five people instead of 10 for outdoor gatherings".

In-person shopping is restricted to 50 per cent capacity for supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers' markets, stores that primarily sell food, and pharmacies.

Premier Doug Ford said the rapidly spreading coronavirus variants are to blame.

However, the province-wide emergency brake announced on Thursday - which the province is not calling a "lockdown" - does not include a stay-at-home order.

Ontarian's are also being asked to limit trips outside the home to necessities and employers are being requested to make every effort to allow employees to work from home. 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.