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Ontario announcing provincewide stay-at-home order: sources

RICHARD SOUTHERN | posted Wednesday, Apr 7th, 2021

The Ford government will announce a provincewide stay-at-home order, the closure of non-essential retail and new restrictions for big box stores, sources tell 680NEWS.

In an effort to curb rising COVID-19 cases and ICU admissions, non-essential retail stores will be restricted to curbside pickup only according to two sources with knowledge of the situation.

Big-box stores meanwhile will be restricted to essential aisles only — the first time during the pandemic that such a restriction has been imposed.

The reimplementation of a stay-at-home order will be announced, which one source says could be in place for a month. Ontario’s previous stay-at-home order went into effect on Jan. 14 and was lifted nearly two months later on March 8.

The decision comes after medical officers of health in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa called on the government to ramp up public health measures, including a stay-at-home order, saying the recently imposed shutdown does not go far enough to curb the surge of COVID-19 cases in the province.

Dr. Eileen da Villa, Dr. Lawrence Loh and Dr. Vera Etches sent a letter to Dr. David Williams, the province’s top doctor on Tuesday, saying the move was “necessary to prevent and mitigate large scale morbidity and mortality and irreparable strain on the health-care system.”

Earlier Tuesday, Premier Doug Ford warned of increased restrictions in the COVID-19 hotspots of Toronto, Peel and York region. He also expressed frustration at seeing GTA malls, such as Yorkdale, flooded with people this past weekend.

“Going to the malls is not essential,” he said, despite current public health measures permitting them to remain open. “It was absolutely jam-packed and I truly was hoping that people wouldn’t be going in there at the volume that we saw.”

The new restrictions, expected to be announced Wednesday, will likely go into effect in the next 24 to 48 hours.

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