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Ford orders province-wide shutdown for four weeks

Ford orders province-wide shutdown for four weeks”

Ford stated that it was needed to implement a third lockdown due to the spread of COVID-19 variants.

"They spread faster and do more harm than the virus we were fighting previous year", Ontario Premier Doug Ford said during a news conference in Toronto on Thursday.

"This is a new pandemic", Ford said. We are now fighting a new enemy.

In-person dining, personal care services and gyms will close again for the next four weeks. Indoor social gatherings are prohibited and outdoor gatherings will be limited to five people.

Spring break will also continue as planned for the week of April 12th.

Ontario's daily COVID-19 case count is continuing to climb, with the province reporting 3,009 new COVID-19 cases today (April 3) and 3,089 cases on Good Friday (April 2).

All sports and recreational facilities are closed with the exception of day camps and childcare.

As of 8:00 p.m. yesterday, 2,424,063 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario. At least two-thirds of the province's public health units have already been under lockdown (grey zone) or control (red zone) restrictions.

Chagla agrees people are "feeling defeated", adding that confusion about what's allowed and what isn't tends to arise whenever a province updates its restrictive framework.

From lockdown to shutdown to circuit breaker to emergency brake, jurisdictions across the country have been using different buzzwords to describe periods of tightened COVID-19 restrictions.

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"While experts were warning him of explosive growth of more infectious and more deadly variants, he cancelled public health protections", said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath in a statement.

"They're all dealing with the effects of a third wave and a unsafe new variant", Ford says, adding the decision for the shutdown was "not made lightly".

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.

In-person shopping is restricted to 50 per cent capacity for supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers' markets, stores that primarily sell food, and pharmacies.

The province is set to announce new restrictions Thursday, but schools are expected to stay open next week. The province hit a new high on ICU patients on Wednesday.

While a stay-at-home order is not in effect during the shutdown, the province is asking all Ontarians to limit trips outside the home to necessities such as food, medication, medical appointments, supporting vulnerable community members, or exercising outdoors with members of their household.

Ontario's hospital intensive care units had 421 patients critically ill with COVID-19 as of Tuesday, more than at the worst point of the pandemic's second wave.

Of the new cases reported in Ontario, 67 per cent are the result of a variant of concern.

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

The latest figures come as a provincewide shutdown takes effect across Ontario.



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