#Ontario; #Covid19Pamdemic; #StateOfEmergency; #StayAtHomeOrder
Ontario/Canadian-Media: New restrictions including provincial stay-at-home order were announced jointly by Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown, Dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto in a news conference on Jan 12 .
Image: State of Emergency declared in Ontario. Image credit: Twitter handle of Doug Ford
"Our province is in crisis," Premier Doug Ford said in a news conference this afternoon and added, "The system is on the brink of collapse. It's on the brink of being overwhelmed."
A provincial stay-at-home order would be effective Thursday at 12:01 a.m., said the Ontario government requiring everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes.
Ontario's health-care system is seen to be on the verge of being overwhelmed, the new COVID-19 modeling revealed today.
Other measures enacted are: limiting five people in social gatherings; mandatory face coverings in the indoor areas of businesses or organizations that are open, face covering outdoors not having physical distancing more than two meters; opening of all non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m; the restricted hours of operation not applicable to stores that sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery; restriction of non-essential construction including below-grade construction, exempting survey.
"Community transmission is widespread. It's in our hospitals, it's in our long-term care homes, and it's in our workplaces," Health Minister Christine Elliott said today in the news conference and added,
"Schools in hotspots may not resume," Elliott said.
"We're at a dangerous point," said Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, at a morning briefing in Toronto, CBC News reported.
More deaths in Ontario in long-term care are forecasted in the pandemic's second wave compared to the first.
Since Jan 1 there have been 198 deaths of long-term care residents and two staffers.
A new, more easily transmissible variant of the virus first identified in the U.K that could begin spreading rapidly in the province, warned Public health experts.
"We are in a serious situation, so we need more serious measures put in place," said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, the province's associate chief medical officer of health, at the briefing."
The seven-day average of new daily cases fell slightly to 3,523 with a test positivity rate of 7.8 percent.