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Ford Expected To Announce New Restrictions Today - Curfew Is Not Being Recommended

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Ontario declares second provincial emergency on Covid-19 spike

Effectively immediately, the province of Ontario has declared a second state of emergency due to unsafe levels of rising cases of COVID-19.

In addition to limiting outings to essential trips, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.

"Now more then ever we need - I need - you to do your part".

Schools in Windsor, Peel, Toronto, York, and Hamilton's public health regions will not be open for in-person learning until February 10, Premier Doug Ford said in a press conference today.

"The system is on the brink of collapse", he said.

Case numbers not only continue to climb, but the data shows that the number of new cases is accelerating, not slowing down.

The provincial government has extended current COVID-19-related public health orders until at least January 29, due to current transmission rates.

Public Health Ontario has reported more than 3,000 new cases of the virus almost every day this year so far.

It comes as the province is keeping non-essential retail stores open for curbside pickup, and still allowing outdoor gatherings of up to five people.

Quebec implemented an 8 p.m.to 5 a.m. curfew last weekend, but reopened elementary schools for students on Monday. Schools in hot spots, including Toronto, won't return to in-person instruction until February 10.

Non-essential construction is further restricted, including below-grade construction, exempting survey.

"It's not going to be an easy few weeks but what these trends demonstrate is that further actions are necessary and we must all continue to follow the public health measures in place in order to get transmission of COVID-19 under control", she said.

One-quarter of Ontario hospitals have no ICU beds available while another quarter has only one to two beds free.

Ontario has reported 14 cases of new variants in the province, but officials said what's more troubling is the discovery of three cases this week not linked to travel, which could indicate the variant is already in the community and spreading.

Ontario's cabinet is to consider new measures tonight to fight skyrocketing rates of COVID-19, but a curfew is not one of them.

Quebec, which has reported a Canada-high 8,737 deaths, reported 1,869 new infections and 56 more COVID-related hospitalizations. The streets are empty.

"At this point, I understand it's not going forward but there are other serious measures being considered", Dr. Yaffe said. As soon as you tell the people of Ontario you've lost trust and we're gonna have police chasing you down the street when you're driving, that's it.

By January 20, the provincial Chief Medical Officer Health will make recommendations for schools in the remaining regions.

About 4,336 people were being treated in Canadian hospitals each day last week, with an average of 811 in intensive care, Dr. Theresa Tam said in a statement. "We're all exhausted, we're all fed up, we want this thing to go away".

-With assistance from Derek Decloet.

The news was more positive on the economic front, as the leaders of Canada's top banks expressed confidence that an economic rebound is on the horizon, especially given the arrival of promising vaccines.

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