Ontario Enacts Provincial Emergency and Stay-at-Home Order
Ontario is at a critical stage and our government is acting quickly and decisively to stay ahead of the third wave of COVID-19.
Case rates, hospitalizations, and ICU occupancy are increasing rapidly, threatening to overwhelm the health care system. While every action possible is being taken to increase capacity, the province is reaching a tipping point.
In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, the province is immediately declaring a provincial emergency and issuing a provincewide stay-at-home order in response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 transmission, the threat on the province’s hospital system capacity, and the increasing risks posed to the public by COVID-19 variants.
Effective Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a province-wide Stay-at-Home order requiring everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise close to home and with the people you live with, or for work that cannot be done remotely.
The province is also strengthening public health and workplace safety measures for non-essential retail under the provincewide emergency brake, including limiting non-essential retail to curbside pick-up and delivery, restricting access to shopping malls, restricting discount and big box stores to essential items only.
Additionally, as part of Phase Two of its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, people living in regions with the highest rates of transmission will be prioritized to receive a vaccine, starting with the most at-risk in the Peel and Toronto public health regions. This initiative will be expanded to additional “hot spot” regions based on established patterns of transmission, severe illness, and mortality. To support this expanded vaccination effort, mobile teams are being organized to administer vaccines in high-risk congregate settings, residential buildings, faith-based locations, and locations occupied by large employers in hot spot neighbourhoods to individuals aged 18 or over. Pop-up clinics will also be set-up in highly impacted neighborhoods, including at faith-based locations and community centres in those hot spots, in collaboration with public health units and community organizations within those communities.
On Friday, April 9, 2021, individuals aged 50 or older in public health units with highly impacted neighbourhood, as identified by postal code, will be eligible to book their vaccine through the provincial booking system.
By putting in place additional public health and workplace safety measures, we can work to reduce transmission of the virus while we work to rollout Phase 2 of our vaccine distribution plan, and put more needles in the arms of Ontarians.