KAWARTHA LAKES-The Provincial government has announced new measures to restrict the freedoms of Ontario residents.
Premier Doug Ford, Health Minister Christine Elliot and other health officials made the announcement today.
Starting tomorrow kids will no longer be able to use outdoor playgrounds, basketball courts, soccer fields and golf courses will be closed. Non-Essential construction will be shuttered, there will be check-points at provincial borders.
To increase public compliance with the Stay-at-Home order and stop the spread of COVID-19, amendments to an emergency order (O.Reg 8/21 Enforcement of COVID-19 Measures) have been made that will provide police officers and other provincial offences officers enhanced authority to support the enforcement of Ontario’s Stay-at-Home order.
Effective Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., police officers and other provincial offences officers will have the authority to require any individual to provide their home address and purpose for not being at their residence. In addition, police officers, special constables and First Nation Constables will have the authority to stop vehicles to inquire about an individual’s reasons for leaving their home. This additional enforcement tool will only be in effect during the Stay-at-Home order and exclusively to enforce the Stay-at-Home order.
If police don’t like your reasons for being out of your home you could be fined $750.
People will not be allowed to gather with anyone outside of their home. Seniors who live alone can still have contact with one other household.
The government has prohibited all outdoor social gatherings and organized public events, except for with members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone or a caregiver for any member of the household.
The Premier and other officials cited increasing cases of Coronavirus and overwhelmed hospitals as the reason for the clampdown.
“As the latest modelling confirms, without taking immediate and decisive action COVID-19 cases willspiral out of control and our hospitals will be overwhelmed,” said Premier Ford. “That’s why we aremaking difficult, but necessary decisions to reduce mobility and keep people in the safety of their own homes. We need to contain the spread of this deadly virus, while getting vaccines in as manyarms as quickly as possible.”
However hospitals have been overwhelmed and “on the Brink since at least 2018 when the Ontario hospital association said “Throughout the past year, half of all hospitals were at full capacity, with some hospitals at 140% capacity.”
Read the full report from 2018 here: https://www.oha.com/hospitals-on-the-brink
For the second consecutive day, Ontario reported another single-day record for new cases as the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care surpassed 700. Ontario health officials say the province logged 4,812 new infections today, topping the previous record of 4,736 set on yesterday.
The number of deaths from the infection is not following the same trajectory. 28 Deaths were reported on April 15th. That’s down from the death rate from December 2020 to mid February when many more people lost their lives.
Today the premier said we are losing the battle between the variants and the vaccines.
The government also intends to implement the following public health and workplace safety measures effective Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.
- Close all non-essential workplaces in the construction sector;
- Reduce capacity limits to 25 per cent in all retail settings where in-store shopping is permitted. This includes supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers’ markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies; and,In addition, effective Monday, April 19, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government is limiting the capacity of weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies to 10 people indoors or outdoors. Prohibiting social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions, except for with members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone. Drive-in services will be permitted.
All other public health and workplace safety measures for non-essential retail under
the provincewide emergency brake (i.e., curbside pick-up and delivery only), will continue to apply.
To further support “hot spot” communities where COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted certainneighbourhoods, as part of Phase Two of the government’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, the government is committed to dedicating 25 per cent of future vaccine allocations to the 13 public health regions with historic and ongoing high rates of death, hospitalization and COVID-19 transmission.