The Ford government will enact a province-wide, month-long stay-at-home order to battle the third wave of coronavirus.
Sources confirm Ontario will soon announce a province-wide stay-at-home order lasting for up to a month. This is not the first measure aiming to curb the third wave of coronavirus. But it is without a doubt the harshes up to this point. All retail businesses apart from grocery stores and pharmacies will close. The order also restricts other retailers, such as drive-ins and malls, to curbside pickup.
Ontario had previously entered lockdown after Christmas, following a steep rise of cases. As the third wave has once again brought the province to its knees, the cabinet decided to act. Premier Doug Ford had already referred to the situation brought by the third wave as an ‘inferno.’ Today, the Cabinet is supposed to have final approval of the new stay-at-home order, which will take effect from 12:01 am Thursday and last at least until May 6.
This third wave has seen the highly transmissible and deadly variant B.1.1.7, also known as the British variant, drive infections. Up to two-thirds of cases of COVID-19 in Ontario involve the B1.1.7 variant according to health officials. Moreover, authorities have reason to believe that the new variant could be 60 percent more deadly than other wild strains of SARS-CoV-2.
Prime Minister Ford, Health Minister Elliott, Solicitor General Jones, and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Williams will speak at 2 PM. It’s highly probable that the Ontario government, which is looking at over 26,000 active cases in the province, aims to stop the third wave right here, right now. Only once before did the active cases count go above 30,000, and that was in early January. After the holidays’ steep rise in cases, lockdown had been unavoidable. Now Ontarian businesses brace for impact again as they look to yet another month of province-wide restrictions.