Province wide lockdown to begin Saturday ONTARIO

Ontario to go into month-long COVID-19 shut-down starting April 3

"... If you can, please order take out or delivery this weekend from a local restaurant".

"Friends, we are facing a very very serious situation".

Since the start of the pandemic, the government has added 3,100 new hospital beds. "We're now fighting a new enemy", Ford said of the COVID-19 variants.

All regions across the province of Ontario will be entering a sweeping shutdown as of April 3 to curb the spread of risky variants of concern, and that means new indoor and outdoor gathering limits will also come into effect.

Capacity at weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites, or ceremonies is limited to 15 percent occupancy per room indoors, and to the number of individuals that can maintain two metres of physical distance outdoors.

Two-thirds of the province's public health units are now under what the government calls lockdown (grey zone) or control (red zone) restrictions.

"We're ready to ramp up to 1,500 once we have more vaccines", Ford says, noting millions of additional vaccines are "on the horizon". "Today, I need to make on of those tough decisions". "As we continue to vaccinate more Ontarians, the end is in sight, but right now these necessary measures will help to stop the spread of variants in our communities, protect capacity in our health care system, and save lives".

The government is also asking employers in all industries to allow employees to work from home whenever possible.

"If we don't think this and take action, we will be in deep trouble", the Premier continued.

Ontario chief medical officer of health Dr. David Williams, and co-chair of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table Dr. Adelsteinn Brown, told a briefing at Queen's Park Thursday morning that more younger Ontarians (up to age 59) are ending up in hospital, the infections are being driven by variants, the risk of being sent to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is two times higher and the risk of death is now 1.5 times higher.

"Because they are more transmissible and may have significant negative health impacts, we must remain vigilant". More than 260 of those 451 patients are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

Ontario to go into month-long COVID-19 shut-down starting April 3

While the province has discovered thousands of variant mutations, only 2,214 have undergone genome testing in order to be officially categorized.

Peel saw 539 new cases on April 2, the region's highest daily case count since January 22.

Smith says he doesn't understand the province's logic as the spike in new cases aren't being attributed to these types of businesses. Our vaccine rollout is steadily increasing, and I encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated.

Gyms and personal care services will be closed and indoor and outdoor dining will be prohibited.

According to the provincial government, the current COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open, will be paused when this province-wide "emergency brake" comes into effect, and the impacts of the "time-limited measures" will be evaluated throughout the next four weeks to determine if it is safe to lift any restrictions or if they need to be extended.

"We are in the third wave of the pandemic".

The Education Minister confirmed that schools will remain open across the province until further notice. He took to Twitter to speak about one of his patients, a woman in her 40s, who contracted the disease from her husband - an essential worker at a factory where there was an outbreak - because he could not afford to take a paid sick day off work.

Can I get together with my family?

Most of the new cases reported on Saturday are concentrated in hot spot regions in the Greater Toronto Area.

Health officials reported 3,089 new COVID-19 on Friday and 3,009 on Saturday.

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