Friday, 16 April, 2021

Province-wide shutdown starts Saturday

Ontario to go into month-long COVID-19 shut-down starting April 3 Mississauga and Brampton now under provincewide 'shutdown' to control spread of COVID-19
Gustavo Carr | 03 April, 2021, 22:03

And the restrictions will not be going away for a while.

The measures were introduced to combat what Premier Doug Ford calls an "alarming" surge in COVID-19 infections and are set to last for four weeks.

"What we are introducing is an emergency brake shutdown that allows some activities to be carried out, but the lockdown we know, with the warmer weather coming, with all that we've asked Ontarians to sacrifice, is too hard to do and we also of course have to balance any measures that we take with people's mental health as well".

"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", Ford said in a statement.

The Canadian Press has learned that Ontario is expected to announce a 28-day provincewide "shutdown" today to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"I know pulling the emergencybrake will be hard on many people across the province, but we must try and prevent more people from getting infected and overwhelming our hospitals".

"I don't feel safe continuing to work non-essential retail in a third wave", Ghent said. "That is our best protection against this deadly virus". The variants spread faster and do more harm than the virus we were fighting past year.

The province of Ontario is entering into a new category of its COVID-19 response framework, which will see new restrictions and limits on gatherings.

At LHSC there are now five or fewer patients in the ICU. No indoor social gatherings are permitted and outdoor gatherings are limited to no more than five people. Supermarkets and pharmacies will operate at 50% capacity and other retailers at 25%. Restaurants are allowed to provide takeout and delivery only.

Schools will also remain open.

In-person dining (indoor and outdoor) is prohibited. Ski hills, golf courses, and driving ranges will also be closed.

Police officer killed in vehicle attack on US Capitol
The US Capitol complex was placed on lockdown after the shooting, and staffers were told they could not enter or exit buildings. But CBS News reported that security officials had already warned congressional staffers of a threat before the auto ramming.

Casinos and bingo halls, cinemas and performing arts facilities are closed.

Schools and child-care centres will remain open and the planned April break for students and teachers will go ahead as planned.

Six public health regions, including Toronto's and Hamilton's, are now in the grey "lockdown" zone of the province's colour-coded system. The report noted that even with new four-week measures and vaccinations in place, admissions to intensive care units could reach 800 by the end of the month.

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".

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has been in the red-control zone of the framework since the shutdown ended, with the exception of a week (March 1-7) in grey-lockdown.

And despite being under shutdown since last November, Toronto, Canada's biggest city and the country's financial hub, remains Canada's biggest COVID hot spot.

Of the new cases on Saturday, 954 were in Toronto, 434 were in Peel, and 348 were in York region.

There are 796 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Ontario, with 451 patients in intensive care and 261 on a ventilator.

Ontario reported 2,333 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday and 15 more deaths linked to the virus.

The previous peak of 420 came in mid-January, during the height of the second wave of the pandemic.

That followed a record 46 admissions on Monday.