Ontario reports 3,295 new coronavirus cases; 19 additional deaths

Ontario said to plan another stay-at-home order as COVID spreads

Last Thursday, the government pushed the emergency brake to begin a province-wide shutdown Saturday with restrictions similar to the previous Grey-Lockdown zones.

Toronto saw 1,174 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, with 426 people in hospital and 65 receiving intensive care.

According to CTV News, Premier Doug Ford is expected to announce a stay-at-home order on Wednesday that would apply to the entire province. "Although this is hard, I urge everyone to follow these public health measures and together we will defeat this deadly virus".

"As we continue to see COVID-19 variants of concern drive this third wave of COVID-19, it is evident stronger public health and workplace measures are needed to help interrupt the spread of the virus", said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Premier Doug Ford says he waited to enforce these stringent restrictions as soon as he saw ICU capacity reach critical levels.

Everyone is required to stay home during the next four weeks, except for essential reasons, such as grocery shopping, going to the pharmacy, accessing health care, getting vaccinated, exercising close to home or for work that can't be done remotely.

Stores that sell goods such as groceries, cleaning supplies and pharmacy products can remain open but only to sell essential items.

Under these new restrictions, all non-essential businesses will be limited to curbside pick-up service, with deliveries being limited to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Schools and child care will remain open for in-person care and learning in public health regions where it is permitted.

This initiative will be expanded to York, Ottawa, Hamilton, Halton and Durham when vaccine supply increases.

In addition, beginning during the April break, education workers who provide direct daily support to students with special education needs across the province, and all education workers in high-risk neighbourhoods in Toronto and Peel, will be eligible for vaccination. Under that order, a 50 per cent capacity limit on all retail settings, prohibition of personal care services and limiting outdoor gatherings to no more than five people.

The province says it's also encouraging outdoor education where possible.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Lecce said teachers' unions were stoking fear when it comes to school safety and protocols put in place.

Ontario is reporting 3,295 new cases of COVID-19 today and 19 more deaths linked to the virus.

Both Toronto and Peel closed schools this week until April 19 due to a spike in COVID-19 outbreaks.

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