The shutdown comes as Ontario's COVID-19 Science Table released new modelling data showing that without a new order, the province will be unable to curb the spread of COVID-19 variants.
"We need to take action now", says Ford, noting the situation is not unique to Ontario, as provinces across the country as well as some states are facing similar challenges".
I know that, over a year into this pandemic, news of a shutdown is frustrating to hear.
"We're now fighting a new enemy".
Indoor and outdoor sports and recreation facilities will be closed with very limited exceptions.
Schools are slated to reopen after the end of this week's postponed spring break, which concludes on April 9.
Ford said that hospitalizations due to COVID-19 was up by 14 per cent, and that there were more Ontarians in Intensive Care Units (ICU) s was higher than it has ever been.
Thursday's lockdown will require the closure of hair salons, gyms, and indoor dining in regions not now under such restrictions.
Gyms and personal care services must also cease operations.
Requiring day camps to close.
The medical officer of health for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Dr. Wajid Ahmed said Thursday he wasn't part of any of the provincial conversations about restrictions. There will also be further restrictions on people gathering.
Today, there are 954 new cases in Toronto, 434 in Peel, 348 in York Region, 205 in Ottawa, 146 in Hamilton, and 91 in Halton.
Limiting capacity at weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies to 15 per cent occupancy per room indoors, and to the number of individuals that can maintain two metres of physical distance outdoors.
However, unlike in January, the province isn't imposing a stay-at-home order that would close non-essential businesses, said Health Minister Christine Elliott, citing the order's "tremendous ill effect" on the mental health of children and adults.
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".
The latest figures come as a provincewide shutdown takes effect across Ontario.
Shana MacDonald, a communications expert with the University of Waterloo, worries that some of Canada's pandemic messaging - and Ontario's specifically - is becoming "more ineffective by the day".
In-person shopping is restricted to 50 per cent capacity for supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers' markets, stores that primarily sell food, and pharmacies.
The peak of 800 is expected, even if the province implements a stay-at-home order and continues vaccinations.
While the measures are not as tight as the province-wide lockdown that was imposed in December, they will affect virtually everyone, and the government is asking everyone to limit trips outside the home to necessities such as food, medication and other essential services.
The government says it will evaluate the impacts of the measures throughout the next four weeks to determine if it is safe to lift any restrictions or if they need to be extended.