BREAKING: Ontario issues another stay-at-home order, in-person shopping no longer permitted at non- essential retail ers
The Ford government has issued another stay-at-home order amid surging COVID-19 cases and will also order the closure of all non- essential retail outlets for in-person shopping.
“That is when things will start to change dramatically in our favour,” he said. “But the decisions we make now, how we handle the next four weeks and what we do before we start achieving mass immunization will be the difference between life and death for thousands of people. I can’t put it any more clear than that.”
The last stay-at-home order took effect on Jan. 14 and was gradually lifted in public health units across the province, beginning in late February.The Ford government says that so long as the latest order is in effect residents will be required to stay at home except for “except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), exercising close to home and with the people you live with, or for work that cannot be done remotely.”
Ontarians can face fines of $750 for violating any emergency orders, including the stay-at-home order.“To boil it down as simple as possible, folks please stay home unless it is for an essential reason,” Ford said in making the announcement. “The situation is extremely serious and we just need to hunker down right now, we need to limit mobility.” headtopics.com
The new restrictions announced by the Ford government will allow grocery stores and pharmacies to remain open with capacity limits, as well as big-box stores that sell grocery items.But the Ford government says that it will only permit big box stores to sell groceries, household cleaning supplies and pharmacy items to in-person shoppers, something that was not the case during the last stay-at-home order this past winter.
Most other non-essential retailers will be limited to curbside pickup and delivery only and will not be able to operate outside of the hours of 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.However, a small number of other business will be able to open for in-person shopping on an appointment-only basis, including telecommunication company stores that sell cell phones, businesses that sell motor vehicles and boards, optical stores that sell prescription eyewear, rental and leasing services and safety supply stores.
The Ford government will also allow in-person shopping at garden stores but only at 25 per cent capacity.The Ford cabinet met Tuesday afternoon to determine the new restrictions, after Premier Ford said more must be done to quell the “inferno” of cases coming from Toronto, Peel and York regions.
Cabinet met again on Wednesday and formally improved the third state of emergency, which will allow the government to impose an enforceable stay-at-home order.Ontario’s daily COVID-19 case growth more than tripled through the month of March, leading to record-high hospital ICU occupancy of more than 500 by early April. headtopics.com
The province’s active caseload was above 26,000 on Tuesday. It has only ever exceeded 30,000 once, in early January.Speaking with CP24 earlier in the day, infectious disease specialist and provincial vaccine task force member Dr. Isaac Bogoch said at the point the province is at, with unprecedented numbers of people requiring complex care in hospital, there aren’t a lot of options other than a stay-at-home order.
“As terrible as it was, it worked. We saw our cases peak and we had this plan implemented in January, and they plummeted throughout the month of January,” he told CP24. Read more: CP24 »
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