Ford Declares State Of Emergency And New Stay-At-Home Order Effective Tonight
Premier Doug Ford announced a state of emergency and stay-at-home order this afternoon. Ford says the order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday and will last for four weeks, until May 6th.
Ford says the province is implementing these changes in response to “the rapid increase in COVID-19 transmission, the threat on the province’s hospital system capacity, and the increasing risks posed to the public by COVID-19 variants.”
Everyone must stay at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services for exercise close to home and with the people you live with, or for work that cannot be done remotely.
In addition to the provincewide stay-at-home order, the province is closing non-essential retail and implementing new restrictions for big box stores.
Discount and big box stores are limited strictly to in-person retail for sales of groceries, household cleaning supplies, pharmacy items only.
In an effort to curb rising COVID-19 cases and ICU admissions, non-essential retail stores, such as malls, will be restricted to curbside pickup only.
The majority of non-essential retailers will only be allowed to operate for curbside pick-up and delivery only.
The government says schools and child care will remain open for in-person care and learning in public health regions where it is permitted, with strict safety measures in place.