Ford to Announce Further COVID-19 Restrictions Tomorrow

Thursday, 08 Apr, 2021

He said only when people can afford to stay at home will they make the effort to actually stay home.

Premier Doug Ford has declared a third state of emergency and is issuing another stay-at-home order to combat surging COVID-19 cases and record-high intensive care unit admissions.

Big box stores will be limited to selling essential items only such as grocery items, pharmaceutical items, pet care supplies, cleaning supplies and others.

Toronto Public Health (TPH) said in a statement the shutdown is needed to reverse a surge of new COVID-19 infections - the city reported 955 new cases earlier in the day.

The Ontario government has allowed schools to remain open despite using a provincewide "emergency brake" to deal with the third wave of the pandemic.

Permitting outdoor garden centres and plant nurseries, and indoor greenhouses that engage in sales to the public, to operate with a 25 per cent capacity limit and a restriction on hours of operation to between 7 am and 8 pm.

Ontario's Education Minister and the Children's Health Coalition are reacting to Toronto Public Health's decision to issue Section 22 and close all schools for in-person learning as of Wednesday.

Teachers of special education students and all teachers in the Toronto and Peel regions will now be eligible for vaccines and soon all teachers in the province will be eligible, Ford said.

A full video of today's announcement is available to watch here, while more information is available online directly from the province.

All Ontario Case numbers and spread – Source Ontario COVID-19 data
All Ontario Case numbers and spread – Source Ontario COVID-19 data

Ontario Premier Doug Ford in Thunder Bay in 2018.

About 22 per cent of schools now have at least one reported case, while 83 schools, or 1.7 per cent of Ontario 4,828 publicly funded schools, are closed due to COVID-19.

Clark says in the midst of the third wave, 98.7 percent of schools are open and that of the schools that are now closed, 30 percent are due to a lack of staffing and "not due to COVID outbreaks or transmission".

This initiative will be expanded to additional "hot spot" regions based on established patterns of transmission, severe illness, and mortality.

Ford encourages residents to stay at home unless it's for an essential trip, which includes things like grocery stores, pharmacies, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), outdoor exercise, or for work that can not be done remotely.

These will get COVID-19 vaccines to individuals aged 18 and older in high-risk congregate settings, residential buildings, faith-based locations, and locations occupied by large employers.

The government is facing increasing pressure to address coronavirus outbreaks in essential workplaces.

"The Covid-19 situation is at a critical stage and we must act quickly and decisively to stay ahead of these deadly new variants", said Premier Ford.