Ontario will go into a four-week, provincewide shutdown on Saturday as the government pulls its "emergency brake" in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 variants.
They're already under similar restrictions to the ones announced for the rest of the province on Thursday, but Ford is calling the new measures a "shutdown".
"We are in a third wave of COVID-19". There have been 1,266 confirmed or screened-positive cases of variants of concern in the region, with 221 of those now active.
Retail stores are allowed to operate with strict capacity limits.
All other personal care services, such as barbers and hair salons will be closed, along with casinos and bingo halls, cinemas, and performing arts facilities. Essential stores such as supermarkets, pharmacies and other stores that primarily sell food can open at 50 per cent capacity, while all other retailers, including big box stores, are restricted at 25 per cent capacity.
Day camps, however, will be closed.
Outdoor gatherings are limited to five people.
However, residents are encouraged not to leave their home except for essential reasons, inlcuding trips for buying food, medication, medical appointments, supporting vulnerable individuals and exercising outdoors with members of their household.
"We saw that last time that it had tremendous ill-effect on both children and adults".
Ford's shutdown, one step above the grey-lockdown level of the province's pandemic response framework, comes into effect first thing Saturday and will last for at least four weeks.
All 34 public-health regions went into the grey zone on December 26, followed by a provincewide stay-at-home order on January 14 that suspended the colour-coded system.
Hot spots like Toronto have already largely been on lock down since November but patios recently opened in the city, the country's largest city.
Crawley writes that "the only difference between this and the current lockdown provisions now seen in some areas of the province appears to be the closure of patio dining and golf courses, alongside a limit of five people instead of 10 for outdoor gatherings". With these new variants, the risk of ICU admissions is two times higher. They spread faster and they do more harm than the virus we were fighting past year.
The premier made reference to the effectiveness of the last provincewide lockdown that went into effect on December 26, 2020.
The province logged 3,009 new cases of COVID-19 today and 3,089 cases yesterday, a day on which data sharing was paused for the Good Friday holiday.
Is there a stay-at-home order?
"Don't get me started", Morris said. "If it didn't, it would be worse by far, with a doubling the numbers every seven to 10 days, which we have not seen".
Highly contagious COVID-19 variants have forced the province into a third wave of the pandemic and are now putting Ontarians at higher risk of serious illness and death including younger people, new provincial modelling shows.
That came as more than 150 critical care doctors published a letter urging Ontario to act.
Premier Doug Ford announced that he would be "pulling the emergency break" as a result of rising COVID-19 cases and intensive care admissions.