Etches calling for stay-at-home order, reviewing approach to schools

Ontario to drop two days' worth of COVID-19 data today

Etches calling for stay-at-home order, reviewing approach to schools

The joint letter is addressed to Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams.

Ontario on Monday reported almost 6,000 new COVID-19 cases over a two-day span, and Toronto Mayor John Tory announced he is working on a plan to vaccinate high-risk workplaces.

"A stay-at-home order issued by the province through an emergency order is necessary to prevent and mitigate large scale morbidity and mortality and irreparable strain on the healthcare system", the officials write in a letter they've shared publicly.

Stricter measures have been shown to be effective in other countries to control transmission while vaccine campaigns progressed, the letter states.

The letter specifically asks Williams to issue the stay-at-home order. "While the implementation of additional province-wide public health measures is welcome, stronger measures will be required to reverse the surge our health units (among others) now face". The province reported over 3,000 cases the three previous days.

The doctors also call for fewer businesses to be deemed essential and more operations shut down.

He says the federal and provincial governments should work together to improve the paid sick day program to help workers stay home and self-isolate.

Under Ontario law, local medical officers do have sweeping powers to order businesses and schools to close and limit other activities even if the province does not mandate such closures.

As of 8:00 p.m. Monday, 2,621,839 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered.

About 83,000 COVID-19 tests were administered since Saturday's report.

Younger Ontarians are being admitted to hospital with COVID-19. The data showed the risk of ICU admissions is two times higher and the risk of death is 1.5 times higher with the B.1.1.7 variant, which was first discovered in the United Kingdom.

Stay-at-home orders will "turn the curve" and protect the ability of residents to access health care.

According to provincial data, there are now 2,342 cases of a variant of concern (VOC) in Ontario, with the B.1.1.7 variant comprising 2,165 of the total VOC cases.

The province didn't share statistics on Good Friday, but on Saturday reported there had been more than 3,000 cases of COVID-19 for two consecutive days. Vera Etches and Dr. Lawrence Loh say that the province wide shutdown does not do enough to curb the spread of COVID-19.

When the shutdown was announced on Thursday, the province refrained from issuing a stay at home order, citing mental health concerns. "The situation here in Ontario merits a similar response", the medical officers say.

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