Ontario records 6,100 cases of COVID-19 in two days as the shutdown order takes effect - By Joy Osiagwu.
The Province of Ontario has recorded 6,100 cases of COVID-19 in two days, while the Ottawa Public Health reports 240 cases of COVID-19 Saturday and one death, as the provincial 28-day "emergency brake'' shutdown commenced from April 3, 2021, at 12:01 am.
"We are facing a serious situation, and drastic measures are required to contain the rapid spread of the virus, especially the new variants of concern," said Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
"I know pulling the emergency brake will be difficult on many people across the Province, but we must try and prevent more people from getting infected and overwhelming our hospitals. Our vaccine rollout is steadily increasing, and I encourage everyone eligible to get vaccinated. That is our best protection against this deadly virus." He said.
The message is the crux of Premier Doug Ford's decision after consultation with the Chief Medical officer of Health and other Ontario experts.
Safety measures put in place by the Province include but not limited to:
- Prohibiting indoor organized public events and social gatherings and restrict the capacity for outdoor organized public events or social groups to a 5-person maximum, except for meetings with members of the same household (the people you live with) or meetings of members of one family and one other person from another home who lives alone.
- Restricting in-person shopping in all retail settings, including a 50 per cent capacity limit for supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers' markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies, and 25 per cent for all other retail, including big box stores, along with other public health and workplace safety measures.
- Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take-out, drive-through, and delivery only.
- Prohibiting the use of facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness (e.g., gyms) with minimal exceptions.
- Requiring day camps to close; and,
- It is limiting capacity at weddings, funerals, religious services, rites, or ceremonies to 15 per cent occupancy per room indoors and the number of individuals who can maintain two meters of physical distance outdoors. This does not include social gatherings associated with services such as receptions, which are not permitted indoors and are limited to five people outdoors.
Meanwhile, the public members took advantage of the Saturday sunny weather and the opportunity to do a bit of last-minute major shopping in stores and the Markets as they were seen all over Ottawa and Toronto, despite the shutdown order's commencement.