Ontario police forces waiting on answers about new restrictions

Ontario police forces waiting on answers about new restrictions

Ontario, which is battling a coronavirus surge that has swamped its hospitals and triggered a province-wide lockdown, could also see roughly 1,500 more deaths in its long-term care homes through mid-February under a worst-case scenario, according to modeling from experts advising the government.

Ford says eight new cases of the United Kingdom strain of the virus were identified today and still one third of Ontarians are ignoring published guidelines.

The province is also expected to provide more details regarding its newly issued stay-at-home order, which takes effect Thursday.

Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario's associate medical officer of health, said a curfew was not among the recommendations going before cabinet, adding that she had seen no evidence one would be effective.

In addition to limiting outings to essential trips, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.

All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, may only be open between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

The government also further delayed the return to in-person learning for schools in some hot spots and introduced several new restrictions, although critics said not much had changed from measures already in place in the current provincial lockdown.

Brown said the health-care system is working flat out to cope, but it is being overwhelmed by COVID-19.

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Officials in several Canadian provinces expressed concerns Monday about the health network's ability to handle a rising tide of COVID-19 cases, with a senior Quebec health official warning that the province could soon face hard choices about whom to treat.

Over 50,900 tests were completed over the last day but a backlog of 61,000 remains.

Liberal health critic John Fraser said the government is displaying a "lack of urgency" despite the rising death toll from the virus. Since Jan. 1, 198 LTC residents and 2 LTC staff have died of COVID-19. There will also be further measures taken at schools which include masking required for Grades 1 to 3 and requirements to wear masks outdoors, enhanced screening and an increase in testing.

Schools in the hot-spot regions of Toronto, Hamilton, York Region, located north of Toronto, Peel Region, located west of Toronto, and Windsor Essex, which is west of Hamilton, will remain closed until February 10.

Canada began targeted vaccinations in December, with current efforts focused on healthcare workers and residents of long-term care homes.

Those who decide not to abide by orders will be subject to set fines and/or prosecution under both the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, (ROA) and EMCPA. "Schools in hot spots may not resume". The province will assess whether schools in other regions can reopen on January 20. "It's because they need help to do it".

"This situation continues to burden local health-care resources, particularly in areas where infection rates are highest", she wrote.

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