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Stay-at-home order in effect Thursday as province enters second state-of-emergency

Effective Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work. In addition to limiting outings to essential trips, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.

The order comes as the province enters a second state-of-emergency and and other new and existing public health restrictions aimed at limiting people’s mobility and reducing the number of daily contacts with those outside an immediate household.

In addition are new measures which include limiting outdoor gatherings to five people, from 10. All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m. The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores and restaurants for takeout or delivery. Non-essential construction is further restricted, including below-grade construction, exempting survey.

The province has been in lockdown for two weeks now, but numbers continue to surge. However, in Hastings Prince Edward region, one new case was reported Tuesday afternoon and with recoveries, total cases dropped to 23, from 27 yesterday.

Modelling numbers shared by Ontario health officials Tuesday morning show an overwhelmed health care system amid rising COVID-19 case numbers.

Daily death rates could double and Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of the Ontario COVID-19 science table stated hospitals will have to make “choices” about who will get the care they need and who will not.

“The choices will affect all patients needed intensive care, whether it’s patients who have a heart attack, who have been in a motor vehicle accident, who have COVID-19 or any other cause,” he said. “Ths almost means care for thousands of patients waiting for surgery will be delayed or cancelled while we add more patients to this wait list. Simply put, delays kill.”

“The latest modelling data shows that Ontario is in a crisis and, with the current trends, our hospital ICUs will be overwhelmed in a few short weeks with unthinkable consequences,” said Premier Doug Ford. “That’s why we are taking urgent and decisive action, which includes declaring a provincial emergency and imposing a stay-at-home-order. We need people to only go out only for essential trips to pick up groceries or go to medical appointments. By doing the right thing and staying home, you can stay safe and save lives.”

In Hastings Prince Edward region, total active cases Tuesday at 23. Though there is just one case at Hastings Manor in Belleville, provincially, 40 per cent of 252 long-term care homes are in outbreak.

By Jan. 20 the Chief Medical Officer of Health will advise the Ministry of Education on which public health units (PHUs) will be permitted to resume in-person instruction, based on the most up-to-date data and modelling. Before- and after-school programs can be offered when in-person instruction resumes. Schools in northern PHUs will continue to remain open. Schools in several areas (Windsor-Essex, Peel, Toronto York and Hamilton) will not return to in-person learning until Feb. 10.

Child care centres for non-school aged children will remain open, and emergency child care for school-aged children will end in approved public health regions on Jan. 22 as these elementary schools return to in-person learning. During this extended period of online learning, in areas where in-person elementary learning is suspended, emergency child care will continue for eligible families in regions subject to school closures.

The government declared its first provincial emergency March 17 and it remained in effect to July 24.

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  1. Chuck says:

    One can only assume since they are open that trips to the Beer Store, the LCBO, the Convenience Store for lottery tickets and the Dollar Store for balloons are deemed essential travel from home.

  2. SM says:

    The intent of the order is clear: Stay home, keep to your own household, only go out for what is necessary. Non essential stores can still provide curbside pickup. By Thursday, the date of implementation, you should be able to search and find the actual order on the Province’s covid page or in e-laws. The only reason for this order is that we as citizens have done a poor job limiting our social interactions, using masks, washing hands and all of the other measures advocated by Public Health.

  3. Emily says:

    The order is very vague. Grocery stores, pharmacies and essential work allowed. But all kinds of stores are open like convenience stores, Walmart, Costco, Dollar Shops etc.

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