SPONSORED:

Ontario locking down for 28 days to slow virus: report

Ontario locking down for 28 days to slow virus: report
© Getty Images

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is expected to announce a new round of “shutdown” measures for 28 days in the Canadian province in response to record numbers of patients in intensive care units (ICUs) and new, higher rates of COVID-19 cases in school.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), citing sources close to the matter, reported that new modeling will be announced on Thursday and will be identical to restrictions already in place in other parts of Canada.

For shutdowns, as Ford is reportedly considering, measures include: only going outside for work, school, exercises and necessities; barring indoor gatherings with people outside of the immediate household; and closing all indoor restaurant services.

ADVERTISEMENT

Schools are not expected to be affected by the new restrictions, sources told the outlet.

CBC noted that Ford had said on Wednesday that he is “extremely concerned” about the rising ICU numbers as well as the rise in new cases. When asked if the government will tighten public health measures, Ford said to “stay tuned” and that an announcement would come on Thursday.

Sources told CBC other personal care services such as hair salons and indoor fitness activities will also be prohibited. Essential businesses like grocery stores will have to limit their capacity to 50 percent, while nonessential businesses will have to limit customers to 25 percent of their capacity.

Ontario is currently experiencing a third wave of coronavirus cases, with new cases steadily rising since the beginning of March. Last week, the number of new coronavirus cases reported in schools reached the highest it has ever been since the pandemic began, with 1,222 cases reported among staff and students.

Ontario has so far administered around 2.3 million doses of coronavirus vaccines with 300,000 people fully vaccinated. However, CBC notes that the vaccine rollout has not been fast enough to combat the rising threat posed by new, more infectious variants, leading health care workers to call for stricter measure to slow the spread of new infections.