COVID-19: Ford government pulling 'emergency brake'

Ruben Fields
April 2, 2021

"We've put in so many layers of safety for our patients, but to have the province do this, it's leading to a lot of people feeling really burnt out and frustrated".

On March 31, Health Minister Christine Elliott announced that 2,333 new cases of COVID-19 were reported, with over 52,500 tests completed.

I know that, over a year into this pandemic, news of a shutdown is frustrating to hear. We are now fighting a new enemy.

Indoor organized public events and social gatherings are prohibited, and the capacity for outdoor organized public events or social gatherings will be capped to a 5-person maximum.

In a letter to the Ford government, 153 ICU physicians said that the province is at a "critical point in the pandemic" and that new public health measures need to be implemented immediately.

Earlier this week, the president of Ontario's Hospital Association (OHA), said hospitals reached a record high with at least 421 COVID-19 patients now in the province's intensive care units.

Outdoor public events and social gatherings must comply with public health advice and have no more than five people.

That assessment warned that COVID-19 is spreading far more quickly than it was before and "killing faster and younger", with a higher propotion of younger people being admitted to hospital intensive care units, and recommended a four-week stay-at-home order to reduce the spread of infections.

No dining indoors or outdoors at restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments.

One notable change from the January 2021 shutdown is the province will not issue a stay-at-home order this time.

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Oshawa will be back under an emergency lockdown, along with the rest of the province, effective Saturday, April 3 at 12:01 a.m.

The group said that COVID-19 hospitalizations are up by over 40 per cent over the past two weeks.

Ontarian's are also being asked to limit trips outside the home to necessities and employers are being requested to make every effort to allow employees to work from home. "And I'm just glad that there's a way that we can just keep as close to normal - or what our old normal was".

"As we continue to vaccinate more Ontarians, the end is in sight, but right now these necessary measures will help to stop the spread of variants in our communities, protect capacity in our health care system, and save lives". "We need more runway to allow our vaccine roll-out to get where we need it".

By applying this "emergency brake", we will bridge the gap until the mass amounts of vaccine anticipated for delivery arrive in Ontario in the next few weeks.

Religious, wedding, and funeral services are limited to 15 per cent capacity of the indoor room and outside is limited to the number of people that can safely physical distance from each other.

Legault has said the increase in infections in the affected regions isn't due to inadequate health measures but rather to people violating those rules.

Chagla says Ontario's shutdown could result in slowing transmission in certain areas, but it likely won't do much to halt spread in workplaces that remain open.

Ontario is reporting 2,557 COVID-19 cases Thursday with 23 deaths.

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