Ontario Enacts Provincial Emergency and Stay-at-Home Order
The Ontario government is immediately declaring a third provincial emergency in response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 transmission, the threat on the province’s hospital system capacity, and the increasing risks posed to the public by COVID-19 variants.
Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, and Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health made the announcement from Toronto on Wednesday.
The province says the case rates, hospitalizations, and ICU occupancy are increasing rapidly, threatening to overwhelm the health care system.
The government issued a province-wide Stay-at-Home order effective Thursday, April 8th at 12:01 am requiring everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise, or for work that cannot be done remotely.
The order is expected to be in effect for four weeks.
- Limiting the majority of non-essential retailers to only operate for curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment.
- Restricting access to shopping malls to limited specified purposes, including access for curbside pick-up and delivery, via appointment.
- Restricting discount and big box stores in-person retail sales to grocery items, pet care supplies, household cleaning supplies, pharmaceutical items, health care items, and personal care items only.
- 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
All schools in Lanark, Leeds and Grenville will remain open.
“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. “By imposing these strict new measures we will keep people safe while allowing our vaccination program to reach more people, starting with our high risk population and identified hot spots. Although this is difficult, I urge everyone to follow these public health measures and together we will defeat this deadly virus.”