Ontario Premier Doug Ford is declaring a province-wide State of Emergency and imposing a Stay-At-Home Order for at least four weeks. The Stay-At-Home Order takes effect on Thursday, April 8 at 12:01 a.m.
“The reality is, despite everything we’ve done so far, the COVID-19 situation in Ontario is getting worse as these new variants continue to spread,” said Ford in a press conference on Wednesday, Apr. 7, 2021. “Our hospitals are reaching capacity, and patients in the GTA must now be sent to other parts of the province for care. In fact we learned yesterday morning, that admissions to ICUs in the past week are increasing faster than the worst-case scenario, predicted by our experts…I can’t stress this enough. Things are extremely, extremely serious right now. And I’m extremely concerned.”
“That’s why, today, on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, I’m declaring a State of Emergency, with a province-wide Stay-At-Home order effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday. This will be in fact, for four weeks,” said Ford.
Ford indicated that, with a few exceptions, the Stay-At-Home Order will be similar to what was put in place earlier this year. “To boil it down as simple as possible – folks, please, unless it’s for an essential reason, please stay home because the situation is extremely serious. And we just need to hunker down right now. We need to limit mobility, non-essential retail stores will go back to curbside pickup with delivery allowed from 6am to 9pm. Big box and discount stores will be allowed to sell essential items only. I’m going to repeat that – essential items only, such as food, medicine, cleaning supplies, and personal care items. During the Stay-At-Home Order, residential evictions will once again be suspended…And these measures are in addition to the emergency brake shutdown we imposed last week.”
“The situation is evolving rapidly, hour by hour, and as things change as we learn more about these deadly new variants, as we see new problems arise, we need to adapt,” continued Ford. “We need to move quickly and decisively. And right now, above all else, our plan is to get needles into arms and protect our hospitals.”
“We know this is tough on businesses,” said Ford, “but I promise we will continue to have your backs. In our 2021 budget, we doubled the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, providing eligible small businesses, up to $40,000 to get through this. But with these additional measures, we will limit mobility, limit the spread, keep people safe and allow more time to deliver vaccines – and be assured, vaccines remain our best hope to beat this virus.”
According to Ford, a record number of vaccines were administered yesterday, with over 104,000, for a total of 2.7 million to date. “We also booked more than 100,000 appointments yesterday. And as of noon today, we have 128,000 appointments already booked for a total of 1.6 million appointments today, and I continue to ask everyone to get a vaccine, as soon as you’re eligible to do so,” said Ford. “My friends, make no mistake. These next four weeks are absolutely critical.”