Ford expected to announce tighter restrictions for Ontario on Thursday

Friday, 02 Apr, 2021

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.

Since the start of the pandemic, the government has added 3,100 new hospital beds. We are now fighting a new enemy. Indoor social gatherings are prohibited and outdoor gatherings will be limited to five people.

With more than $1.6 billion invested to protect against COVID-19, schools remain safe for students and staff. Keeping schools open is critical to the mental health and well-being of Ontario youth.

Premier Doug Ford on Thursday is expected to announce some form of provincial lockdown for at least 28 days, to help curb the spread of COVID-19 as the province's hospital intensive care units reach capacity in the pandemic's third wave. This does not include social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions, which are not permitted indoors and are limited to five people outdoors.

The change, coming just two weeks after opening the province to outdoor dining, is "devastating" for members of his organization, said Todd Barclay, CEO of Restaurants Canada.

"We're not going to be producing a stay-at-home order, because we saw the last time that it had tremendous ill effect on both children and adults", said Health Minister Christine Elliott.

Sources told CBC News that Ford and his cabinet intend to announce a four-week shutdown of the province that will begin on Saturday.

Leger said its poll would have a margin of error of plus or minus 1.9 per cent, 19 times out of 20, though the polling industry's professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys can not be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

With Ontario battening down for its latest fight against the virus, many are wondering whether schools will resume in-person instruction after their spring break, which was delayed in March until the week of April 12.

While a stay-at-home order is not in effect during the shutdown, the province is asking all Ontarians to limit trips outside the home to necessities such as food, medication, medical appointments, supporting vulnerable community members, or exercising outdoors with members of their household.

"I don't think we're supposed to know what they mean", Chagla said.

By applying this "emergency brake", we will bridge the gap until the mass amounts of vaccine anticipated for delivery arrive in Ontario in the next few weeks.

Legault has said the increase in infections in the affected regions isn't due to inadequate health measures but rather to people violating those rules.

Capacity at weddings, funerals and religious services, rites or ceremonies is limited to 15 per cent capacity per room indoors.

The physicians noted that variants of concern have been quickly spreading across Ontario, which has impacted ICU capacity.

The group says a survey found that two thirds of small businesses would consider using COVID-19 rapid tests to remain open.

Unifor called on all provinces to mandate paid time off to allow workers to get vaccinated when it is their turn to do so.