Province expected to announce four-week stay-at-home order

Grant Boone
April 8, 2021

"I welcome the fact that the measures announced today try to address some of the unfairness that has existed between small business owners and big box stores being able to sell non-essential items", he said.

Premier Ford says that they expect to have upwards of 40 per-cent of all adults in the province vaccinated by the end of the stay at home order.

Ford also says there will be no evictions during the third state of emergency.

Premier Doug Ford made the announcement earlier this afternoon just days after pulling the emergency brake, resulting in a province-wide shut down for a minimum of 28 days. "By further strengthening public health and workplace safety measures, we can work to reduce transmission of the virus while we work to rollout Phase 2 of our vaccine distribution plan, and put more needles in the arms of Ontarians".

That framework triggered backlash from the small business community for allowing big-box stores to sell non-essential wares while smaller stores were limited to online sales and curbside pickup.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce said schools won't close under the stay-at-home order, although Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph has closed classes for in-person learning until at least April 18 following a Section 22 order from local Medical Officer of Health Dr. Nicola Mercer.

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Effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday, Ontario's four-week stay-at-home period requires residents to stay home unless for essential reasons. Vaccinations will start during the April break with priority neighborhoods in Toronto and Peel, then rolling out to priority neighborhoods in other hot spot regions, including York, Ottawa, Hamilton, Halton and Durham.

"Immediate steps must be taken to ensure the safety of education workers and students in hot spot areas including a temporary move from in-person to virtual learning", said Sam Hammond, president of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario.

The province says it's also encouraging outdoor education where possible.

It's the second straight day more than 100,000 vaccines have been given out in the province. "We know it has helped us in the Fall", said Lecce. But such an order was recommended by the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table as being one of the retrictions necessary to control the spread of COVID-19 variants.

"The incidents of cases in schools is likely much higher but because the government has failed to provide sufficient access to asymptomatic testing we simply don't know to what extent", said Hammond.

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