Ontario extends stay-at-home order to June 2

Grant Boone
May 13, 2021

Premier Doug Ford announced he will be extending all public health measures until June 2, 2021.

This move essentially shuts down any outdoor activities that were anticipated for the upcoming Victoria Day long-weekend as Ontario health officials believe gatherings during the holiday will contribute to the spread of COVID-19.

"I get it from both sides, I get some docs saying no we have to limit mobility and stay home", said Ford, when asked about golf courses being reopened.

However, the premier did say he was prepared to loosen restrictions on outdoor activities once the stay-at-home order ends on June 2.

On Tuesday, the province said it would stop using its remaining AstraZeneca supplies for first doses and would consider whether it's better to allow people who already received one Astra shot to get a second - or whether it's better to give them an mRNA vaccine produced by Pfizer Inc. or Moderna Inc. instead.

This past week (May 2 to 8), the provincial cases rate decreased by 14.8 per cent, with the positivity rate also decreasing to 7.7 per cent compared to 8.6 per cent the previous week.

Despite improvements, key indicators remain high and more time is required before the province can safely lift the Stay-at-Home Order.

Mr. Ford said there needs to be "consensus" from medical experts and teachers' unions before classes can resume.

With supply running out, Alberta to stop giving first doses of AstraZeneca
So far, 10.19 million doses of different vaccines - Sinopharm, SinoVac and CanSino - have been procured from China. That would remove the risk of rare but serious blood clots, which have not been linked with Pfizer and Moderna.

Ontario's stay-at-home order has been extended. Big box stores can stay open with strict safety measures in place, but only for essential items.

The province's associate medical officer of health, Dr. Barbara Yaffe, said last week that while daily COVID-19 case numbers are headed down, hospitals still face serious capacity issues.

Ford said that children ages 12 to 15 and their families will be able to book vaccine appointments as of May 31, although he did not say when schools in the province would return to in-person learning.

WECHU CEO Theresa Marentette said Thursday said the health unit is working on a plan to rollout the vaccine to students over 12 years old.

Meanwhile, Ontario passed another grim pandemic milestone on Thursday when the number of laboratory-confirmed cases of people with COVID-19 passed the 500,000 mark.

"We've made some extremely hard choices in order to protect our hospitals".

The order was set to expire next week, but the Premier indicated that it will need to remain in place for all health regions across the province until June 2 if Ontario is to have a "normal" July and August.

Virtual learning will continue provincewide.

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