Premier Doug Ford’s government has approved a province-wide stay-at-home order and will close all non-essential retail stores except for curbside pickup, CBC News is reporting.
The decision was made following last week’s announcement for an emergency brake to occur in the province. Critics thought the emergency brake was not enough to slow the spread of Ontario’s third wave of COVID-19 and that more needed to be done.
The stay-at-home order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. EST Thursday and lasts for up to four weeks. CBC News did not name the source of this information as the source was not allowed to speak publicly about the announcement.
The source told CBC only pharmacies and grocery stores would be allowed to open for indoor shopping. Big box retail stores would be restricted to selling only grocery and pharmacy items for in-person shopping.
Ford has defended his decision on the emergency brake measure but hinted additional measures were coming.
“I think we made massive moves last week by basically shutting down the entire province,” Ford said during a news conference earlier. “That was huge, shutting down thousands and thousands of business, that I hate doing, but we’re going to have further restrictions moving forward, very very quickly.”
The premier will be holding a press conference at 2 p.m. today.
Three of the biggest public health units’ medical officers – Toronto, Peel Region, and Ottawa – urged the province on Monday to impose a stay-at-home order, travel restrictions between regions, and an emergency mandate for paid sick days.
Ontario has reported on average more than 2,800 daily new cases of COVID-19 during the past week, according to CBC News. ICUs have seen the highest number of COVID-19 patients (510 people) since any point in the pandemic.