Queen’s Park Bureau Chief and Video Journalist, CTV News Toronto
Cross-Platform Writer, CTV News Toronto
The Ontario government is expected to announce Thursday that it will implement an “emergency brake” and force the province to close for a month, CTV News Toronto has learned.
Several sources with direct knowledge of the decision said on Wednesday the shutdown is expected to begin on April 3 and will last for at least a month
According to government guidelines, a closure – which appears as a sixth level colored white under government – is similar to the old gray zone rules in which retail is allowed to open with strict capacity limits, restaurants inside remain closed and gymnasiums are closed
While most outdoor facilities, including golf courses, baseball fields and football fields, would remain open, other sectors of the economy will be closed or restricted for the next month.
Personal care departments and fitness businesses would be closed, big box stores would be limited to 50% capacity, while other retail businesses would see a 25% capacity limit Shopping centers would remain open with a 25% limit for individual stores
Restaurants would be closed for in-person meals and would be forced to deliver or offer take-out instead
Residents will not be able to meet with anyone outside of their home indoors and outdoor gatherings will be limited to five people, as long as physical distance can be maintained
Despite concerns about COVID-19 outbreaks linked to manufacturing and warehouses, these sectors would remain open as long as they supply essential products or offer packaging, distribution and delivery.
Schools, daycares and children’s day camps could continue with current public health protocols
On Wednesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said an announcement regarding possible additional health restrictions would be made the next day, with COVID-19 admissions to intensive care units across the province reaching a level record
According to a report from Critical Care Services Ontario, there were 421 patients with COVID-19 in the intensive care unit on Wednesday This is the highest number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care at any given time since the start of the pandemic
Wednesday also marked the seventh day in a row that the province has reported more than 2,000 daily cases of COVID-19
The province’s seven-day average for the number of recorded cases is now 2,316, down from 1,676 a week ago
“I am very, very worried to see the cases increase I am very worried about the capacity of the intensive care unit and we all need to be vigilant,” Ford said on Wednesday while referring to Thursday’s announcement
The COVID-19 Modeling Collaborative released new projections Wednesday afternoon suggesting the province could see around 700 COVID-19 patients in the ICU by the second week of April
Updated projections for COVID-19 critical illness cases in Ontario ICUs from our CORE model imageTwittercom / a9M0TMB00U
Without additional public health measures, modeling by the University of Toronto predicted that between 1,000 and 1,600 people could be in intensive care by the end of April
Just a week ago, Ford announced changes to the COVID-19 shutdown framework, changing the gray area to allow alfresco dining on patios and increased capacity for indoor service in restaurants
Outdoor fitness classes resumed in the gray zone areas on Monday, while personal care services were scheduled to reopen in the gray zone on April 12
Full coverage at CTVNewsca / Coronavirus
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Ebene News – CA – Ontario is expected to announce month-long provincial shutdown on Thursday, sources say