COVID-19 Update for April 1 2021 – 2:30PM
Premier Doug Ford said the government is pulling a province-wide “emergency brake” as a result of a surge in COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations.
Ontario pulling “emergency brake”
The emergency brake is a shutdown for all 34 health units in Ontario, to take effect on Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. and will last for four weeks.
The shutdown is not as extreme as public health officials recommended earlier Thursday — during an update on modelling and recommendations for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic this morning, they called for a full stay-at-home order to be initiated. However, Minister of Health Christine Elliott said that the province is not issuing a full stay-at-home order, but is encouraging people to limit trips outside of their homes to essential purposes only.
The shutdown measures include, but are not limited to:
- Prohibiting indoor organized public events and social gatherings and limiting the capacity for outdoor organized public events or social gatherings to a five-person maximum;
- Restricting in-person shopping in all retail settings, including a 50 per cent capacity limit for supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers’ markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies, and 25 per cent for all other retail including big box stores, along with other public health and workplace safety measures;
- Prohibiting personal care services;
- Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining;
- 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, 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.
The Ontario government is adding more than 350 pharmacies and more primary care settings across the province to the vaccine rollout. All of these locations will be offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to individuals aged 55 and over, with some locations to begin offering the vaccine Saturday, April 3, 2021.