Ford Pulls Emergency Brake For Whole Province
The Ontario government, is imposing a provincewide emergency brake as a result of an alarming surge in case numbers and COVID-19 hospitalizations in the province. The emergency brake will be effective Saturday, April 3rd at 12:01 a.m., and the government intends to keep this in place for at least four weeks.
Premier Ford says "We are facing a serious situation and drastic measures are required to contain the rapid spread of the virus, especially the new variants of concern."
Ford says provincial case rates have increased by 7.7 per cent to 101.1 cases per 100,000 people. Current COVID-19 related ICU admissions are already over the peak of wave two and hospitals in regional hotspots will need to further ramp down scheduled surgeries. COVID-19 related ICU admissions are projected to exceed 650 beds in a few weeks. These increases are being driven by COVID-19 variants, which are transmitted easily and result in a higher risk of death and hospitalization, including in younger populations.
The emergency brake measures include:
- Prohibiting indoor organized public events and social gatherings and limiting the capacity for outdoor organized public events or social gatherings to a 5-person maximum,
- Restricting in-person shopping in all retail settings, including a 50 per cent capacity limit for supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies and 25 per cent for all other retail.
- Prohibiting personal care services;
- Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take-out, drive-through, and delivery only;
- Prohibiting the use of facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness (e.g., gyms)
- Requiring day camps to close; and,
- Limiting capacity at weddings, funerals, and religious services.