Essential workers anxious Ontario's latest COVID-19 'shutdown' won't protect them

Essential workers anxious Ontario's latest COVID-19 'shutdown' won't protect them

The processes we now have in place to protect staff and members of the public are in compliance with the new measures announced by the Province, and will ensure ongoing business continuity as we continue to deliver the essential municipal services on which our community relies.

The colour-coded framework will be paused while the province is under the four-week shutdown.

All indoor and outdoor dining in restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments is prohibited. Essential stores will remain open at 50 percent capacity and non-essential retail, including shopping malls, can operate at 25 percent capacity, reports CTV News Toronto. This includes prohibiting all indoor organized public gatherings and limiting outdoor gatherings to a five-person maximum, except for gathering with members of the same household.

Weddings, religious services, and funerals are limited to 15 per cent occupancy per room, with two metres of social distancing required.

Schools are slated to reopen after the end of this week's postponed spring break, which concludes on April 9.

Toronto will be closing its outdoor patio season a mere weeks after they were allowed to reopen.

"We saw that last time that it had tremendous ill-effect on both children and adults".

Ontario's daily COVID-19 case count is continuing to climb, with the province reporting 3,009 new COVID-19 cases today (April 3) and 3,089 cases on Good Friday (April 2).

Shana MacDonald, a communications expert with the University of Waterloo, worries that some of Canada's pandemic messaging - and Ontario's specifically - is becoming "more ineffective by the day". Someone who catches the dominant B.117 variant is 1.5 times more likely to die.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said the emergency shutdown is different than a stay-at-home order.

Fully vaccinated Americans can resume travel, updated CDC guidance states
However, they would still need to take the test if the destination rules state so. That means the second shot for vaccines that require two jabs.

New variants of the virus risk overwhelming ICUs and threaten the care of all patients, warned Dr. Steini Brown, co-chair of the province's science advisory table.

He said hospitalizations in Ontario have surged by almost 42 per cent in the last two weeks. "Younger people are ending up in the hospital and with these new variants, ICU admissions is two times higher, deaths are one-and-a-half times higher".

The spread of variants threatens the province's health system's ability to deal with regular intensive care admissions and care for all patients, he said.

Ontario's chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, said the key to controlling spread of the virus will be to limit mobility, especially between regions.

When the stay-at-home order lifted, the Porcupine Health Unit moved to the orange - restrict level.

The projections were released just hours before Premier Doug Ford was expected to announce a four-week provincewide "shutdown". As I've said we will do what it takes to protect the people of Ontario.

"He marched us right into grave danger".

Ontario's measures follow Quebec's decision to impose new restrictions in parts of the province on Wednesday.

Premier François Legault said he's talking to the Ontario government about limiting travel between Ottawa and the nearby town of Gatineau in Quebec.

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