Canada: Ontario issues stay-at-home order amid spike in Covid-19 cases
Ontario/IBNS: Canadian province Ontario has issued a provincial stay-at-home order and fresh restrictions in view of the surge in Covid-19 cases.
The provincial stay-at-home order will be effective at 12:01 am on Thursday.
The restrictions were on Tuesday announced by Ontario Premier Doug Ford, his deputy Christine Elliott and Health Minister Solicitor General Sylvia Jones Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown, Dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.
The new Covid-19 modeling revealed that the health-care system will be on the verge of being overwhelmed.
"Our province is in crisis," Ford said and added, "Our health care system is on the brink of collapse. We are at levels never seen before. Cases and deaths are at the highest levels since the start of the pandemic and community spread continues to escalate. Stay home. Stay safe. Save lives."
Our health care system is on the brink of collapse. We are at levels never seen before.— Doug Ford (@fordnation) January 12, 2021
Cases and deaths are at the highest levels since the start of the pandemic and community spread continues to escalate.
Stay home. Stay safe. Save lives. pic.twitter.com/dbo75tg4qS
Other measures enacted are limitation of five people in social gatherings; mandatory face coverings in the indoor areas of businesses or organizations that are open; wearing a mask or face covering is now recommended outdoors when you can't physically distance more than two meters; opening of all non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m; the restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery; restriction of non-essential construction including below-grade construction, exempting survey.
"Community transmission is widespread. It's in our hospitals, it's in our long-term care homes, and it's in our workplaces," Health Minister Christine Elliott said.
"Schools in hotspots may not resume," Elliott said.
Ontario, the most populous Candian province, on Tuesday reported 2,903 new infections including eight new Coronavirus variants from the United Kingdom.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)