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Ontario declares second provincial emergency, issues Stay-at-Home Order

Ontario declares emergency amid surging COVID-19 cases as Canada buys more vaccines

The government has also restricted hours of operation for non-essential retailers now offering delivery and curbside pickup to between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., and imposed a five-person cap on outdoor social gatherings.

Anxious because of what we saw in the spring, some police and other government officials took their power too far with people getting tickets for doing push-ups alone in a park.

Among those measures is keeping schools closed to in-person learning in certain regions until February 10, however at this point the London region is not among those that will remain closed past January 25.

In a news conference at Queen's Park, Ford said the state of emergency will begin "effective immediately" and a stay-at-home order will be in place as well starting Thursday morning.

A provincewide stay-at-home order will come into effect in Ontario at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. These powers will be extended to all enforcement and provincial offences officers, including the Ontario Provincial Police, local police forces, bylaw officers, and provincial workplace inspectors. It means everyone must stay home and only go out for essential trips, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing healthcare services, for exercise or for essential work.

To reign in the spread of the virus via community contacts, outdoor gatherings are being restricted to no more than five persons. Wearing a mask or face covering is ‎now recommended outdoors when physical distancing is hard or not possible. The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that ‎primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants ‎for takeout or delivery.‎.

Construction: "Non-essential" construction must now stop. Elsewhere, in-person classes will be subject to new rules, including masking for Grades 1 to 3 and the requirement to wear masks outdoors, as well as increased screening protocols.

Emergency child-care programs will be extended until February 10 in the affected regions.

"We will have to confront choices that no doctor ever wants to make and no family ever wants to hear", Dr. Steini Brown, head of Ontario's case modeling, said at a briefing on Tuesday.

Brown said the health-care system is working flat out to cope, but it is being overwhelmed by COVID-19.

Tam said we don't know yet if the vaccines prevent the virus from being transmitted at all, but they do prevent serious illness and long-term care residents are particularly vulnerable. "We aren't telling people they can't get out and walk their dog", the Premier said.

Nearly 40% of long-term care homes have active COVID-19 outbreaks.

The Ford government declared its first state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 17.