After Premier Ford hinted to reporters today that further restrictions could be coming, sources have confirmed CTV News Toronto that cabinet was meeting to “actively consider” issuing a stay-at-home order in addition to the 28 emergency break which took effect this past Easter weekend. It is not known however if such an order would be issued province-wide or regionally.
An emergency-break put into effect over the Easter weekend again closed in-person dining, fitness facilities and personal care services with strict capacity limits imposed on retail stores which were allowed to remain open.
With cases climbing at alarming rates in the Toronto, Peel and Ottawa areas, top health officials issued a letter to Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, requesting a province-wide stay-at-home order and strengthened public health measures be considered. The letter, dated April 4, 2021, emphasized data and key messages shared publicly on April 1st by the Science Advisory and Modelling Consensus Table which pointed out that the third wave of COVID-19 was being driven by variants of concern (VOCs) resulting in younger Ontarians being hospitalized, stressing the province’s health care system.
I am asking each and every one of you to help us get this virus under control.
Mask up. Keep your distance. #StayHome
We have come too far, Ottawa. (5/5) pic.twitter.com/NRvqNKdbYi
— Dr. Vera Etches (@VeraEtches) April 5, 2021
The letter went on to strongly recommend that other measures such as a review of businesses and services considered essential as well as travel restrictions between regions in Ontario be considered by the Ontario Government. This after the number of patients with COVID-19 in ICUs climbed above 500, the highest level recorded since the start of the pandemic. With just shy of 15,000 new cases in Ontario alone over the past five days, VOCs like B.1.1.7 mean the risk of ICU admission could be 2x as high as the original COVID-19 strain with the risk of death 1.5x higher.