Stay-at-home order issued for third lockdown
In response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 transmission, a third state of energy has been declared by the province and a stay-at-home order has been enacted due to the threat on hospital capacity, and the increasing risks posed to the public by COVID-19 variants.
The stay-at-home order requires everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise, or for work that cannot be done remotely.
Most non-essential retailers are limited to curbside pick-up and delivery. Big box stores will be limited to in-person sales of groceries, pet supplies, household cleaning supplies, pharmaceuticals, health and personal care items. Outdoor garden centres and plant nurseries, and indoor greenhouses that engage in sales to the public, to operate with a 25 per cent capacity.
Schools and child care centres will remain open in public health regions where permitted, with strict safety measures in place.
Education workers who provide direct support to students with special education needs across the province, and all education workers in select hot spot areas, will be eligible to register for vaccination. Vaccinations will commence during the April break starting with priority neighbourhoods.
The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the province have increased by 28.2 per cent between the period of March 28 and April 5, 2021. In addition, between March 28 and April 5, 2021, Ontario has seen the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care escalate by 25 per cent.
Locally, Simcoe Muskoka chief medical officer of health, Dr. Charles Gardner said local cases have gone up by 44 per cent, but the region still has a lower rate than the province and the GTA. He said a noted difference is that intensive care is filling up with younger people. The average age of those with new cases is 37, and is trending downward. Now that the vaccines have been administered to many of the region’s elderly, institutional outbreaks are being resolved.