Ontario to lay out 'legal parameters' of COVID-19 stay-at-home order today

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced a state of emergency for Ontario at a media conference at Queen's Park

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced a state of emergency for Ontario at a media conference at Queen's Park

The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Ontario rose by 138, for a total of 1,701.

Ever since the Ontario government announced a number of new public health measures Tuesday in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and fast, the main sentiment from members of the public has been one of confusion.

Premier Ford made the announcement at Queen's Park on Tuesday and said the latest modelling data shows that Ontario is in a crisis and, with the current trends, hospital ICUs will be overwhelmed in a few short weeks with unthinkable consequences.

In addition to limiting outings to essential trips, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.

A total of 144,784 doses have been administered in Ontario.

Officials in government and health-care have warned that surging cases are putting great strain on the health-care system.

COVID-19 patients will shortly occupy around 500 of the province's ICU beds and, potentially by February, over 1,000 beds in "more severe, but realistic scenarios", modellers say.

"The unsafe United Kingdom variant of COVID is being found across the province ... if we don't move fast, our hospital ICUs could be overwhelmed by the beginning of February", added Ford.

Under the current restrictions, projections show daily deaths from the virus will double to 100 by the end of February, Canadian Press reporting shows.

"If we do not follow these restrictions, COVID-19 will continue to aggressively spread before vaccines have the chance to protect us", Brown said, adding that grey zone level restrictions have not succeeded in reducing mobility among people.

New restrictions that take effect on January 14 mandate that residents must stay at home except for essential activity, while outdoor gatherings will be limited to five people, and non-essential construction work will be restricted.

The order also restricts hours for non-essential retailers offering curbside pickup, and limits outdoor gatherings to a maximum of five people, instead of 10.

There are now 261 long-term care homes in the province experiencing an outbreak.

The province recorded 5,056 deaths.

"We'll be going to cabinet with recommendations".

The province recognizes that "some people live alone and may require the company or support of others for their mental and physical well-being", which is why these gatherings are still allowed.

"The past nine months of this pandemic has been really jarring for us because everything we had known or what we did in our daily lives, all of it was gone", Ellison said.

However, the consensus at the Royal Bank of Canada's Canadian Bank CEO conference was that things will remain hard in the short term as COVID-19 numbers continue to rise.

Canada's biggest province declared a new state of emergency Tuesday and is invoking a stay-at-home order as COVID-19 threatens to overwhelm Ontario hospitals.

All schools in the hotspot regions of Toronto, York, Hamilton, Peel and Windsor-Essex will also not return for in-person learning until February 10. "Schools in hot spots may not resume". Masks will also be a requirement for students in Grade 1 to 3.

There will also be enhanced screening protocols and the province will be expanding its targeted testing.

The province said child care for non-school aged children will remain open.

"This situation continues to burden local health-care resources, particularly in areas where infection rates are highest", she wrote.

While the COVID-19 situation remained serious across the country, there were glimmers of good news.

To date, evidence gathered from COVID-19 related workplace inspections indicates that the vast majority of employers and workers are following COVID-19 safety requirements when working. Hallways will be used to house makeshift intensive care beds.

"Health experts have said loud and clear: paid sick days save lives", said Patty Coates, OFL President, "it is appalling that Ford's government continues to refuse to act on this common-sense advice". The premier was criticized by opposition leaders and health-care organizations last week, who demanded that the modelling be released right away.

"As I've said from the beginning, when it comes to our children, I will not take any unnecessary risks", says Ford.

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