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Province declares 28-day stay-at-home order; provincial emergency

With COVID-19 case numbers soaring in the third wave of the pandemic, Premier Doug Ford today announced a provincial emergency and stay-at-home order effective Thursday for the next four weeks.

Ford stated the next four weeks are critical and will make the difference between life and death for thousands of people in Ontario. As hospitals are reaching capacity, surgeries are being postponed.

Depending on vaccination supplies, however, he expects some 40 per cent of adults in the province will be vaccinated over the next four weeks. “Your life is in jeopardy if you don’t get a vaccine,” he said. “But we will recover and we will kick-start the economy.”

“We have a two-point strategy – to get needles in arms, and to stop the spread,” said Ford, adding this wave, with variants, is moving faster than the worst-case scenarios predicted by experts. “It is extremely serious right now.”

People are permitted to leave their homes for essential purposes such as food or medicine, and travel is restricted to their home regions. Schools remain open, he noted, as statistics are showing low case rates in school settings.

All non-essential retailers and dining will close to in-person visits and personal care services are also closed. Retailers can offer curbside pickup and delivery services between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

A select group of stores will be allowed to remain open by appointment only with a 25 per cent capacity limit. This includes safety supply stores, businesses that primarily sell, rent or repair assistive devices, rental and leasing services including automobiles and equipment, optical stores that sell prescription eyewear, businesses that sell motor vehicles and boats, vehicle and equipment repair and retail stores operated by a telecommunications provider or services.

Access is also restricted to shopping malls and big box stores must only sell essential items. Outdoor garden centres and plant nurseries, and indoor greenhouses can also operate with 25 per cent capacity, and a restriction on hours from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The government is expanding vaccinations in provincial hot-spots. Appointments in Hastings Prince Edward are now available for people aged 55 and over and for essential workers to pre-register. Click here for details. 

The premier also addressed paid sick leave concerns noting the federal government has set aside $1.1 billion for workers to access, and more than 300,000 people have already done so. He urged people to visit www.canada.ca/covid19 for details.

Ontario health officials reported more than 3,200 new cases today, the highest daily count in several months. Hastings Prince Edward continues seeing double-digit increases every day since March 31 and today’s active cases are at 167 – with 78 variants of concern reported. Prince Edward County has a record number of cases at 16.

Full details on today’s announcement at Ontario.ca/covid

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  1. Kevin says:

    Tourists aside, it appears we have our own at home problems with distain for the stay at home orders. Check out the Youth Park after school. Parents and kids everywhere. It’s easier finding Waldo than it is finding someone wearing a mask in he park. As the numbers and variants rise in our own neighborhoods, it saddens me to see the lack of common decency and respect some have for the rest of the community. And we were doing so well.

  2. Dennis Fox says:

    I stopped at a chip truck today. At the time, there were only a few of us, maybe 4 or 5. Two people (locals) were not wearing masks – the rest of us were. Considering there was a large sign advising that mask must be worn, I thought the person behind the counter would say something or refuse to serve them – NOPE! All three had a brief conversation and they both placed their order and later picked them up – still without wearing a mask! I am still shaking my head in disbelief – despite all the attention paid to following the basic protocols, some people just feel that it doesn’t apply to them. But it makes me also question the business practice of serving those people – why are taxes going to help such businesses if they are not helping themselves? It makes our efforts to rid ourselves of this disease all the more difficult – and BTW we can’t blame the tourists for this one.

  3. Susan says:

    Hastings is part of our region, they are free to travel in this County.

  4. Angus Ross says:

    The Premier says that travel is restricted to your home region. Why not give him a hand and only allow PEC residents and people who work at permitted businesses to cross the 4 bridges and the ferry giving access to PEC? There are still far too many visitors from high-risk zones coming in to The County and staying in STA’s where the owners only care about the money they will make and not the health of PEC residents.

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