Schools will remain open as Ontario battens down against COVID-19: Lecce

At a shopping mall in Toronto Ontario people wear masks as they shop on March 17

The source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the announcement, said schools will remain open after the Easter weekend.

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, except for gatherings with members of the same household (the people you live with) or gatherings of members of one household and one other person from another household who lives alone. "One thousand percent, it's the right decision", said Ford.

"We are facing a serious situation and drastic measures are required to contain the rapid spread of the virus, especially the new variants of concern", said Ford in a news release.

Premier Doug Ford's Conservative cabinet met with the province's top doctor last night to discuss tightening restrictions.

The Canadian Press has learned that Ontario is expected to announce Thursday a 28-day provincewide "shutdown" to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The capacity limit for weddings, funerals and other religious services indoors is 15 per cent, while outside can be the number of people that can maintain two metres physical distance.

She said stay-at-home-orders were not considered because the provincial government has already seen how "detrimental" those measures can be for both children and adults.

Another Ontario-wide lockdown has been confirmed.

The government is also asking employers in all industries to allow employees to work from home whenever possible. "No one wanted this to happen, but we can't ignore the warnings from public health officials", he said.

Variants now account for about 67 per cent of all new infections in Ontario, the science table says, and seem to be causing more serious forms of COVID-19 in a younger cohort of people than seen during the first or second waves.

Ontario has also reported more than 2,000 new infections for the past seven consecutive days.

He says the province's vaccine rollout is not reaching the highest risk communities, which is delaying its impact as an effective strategy to fight the pandemic.

Personal care services are prohibited.

The changes allowed eateries in the province's second-strictest red category to increase capacity to 50 people indoors, up from the previous limit of 10, while restaurants in orange zones could have 100 people indoors, twice the previous cap of 50.

Ford's comments come after a report shows there are now more COVID-19 patients in Ontario intensive care units than at any other point in the pandemic.

Essential workers still make up the highest number of people who are being infected with COVID-19.

Business that deliver or support community services are allowed, including policing, fire and emergency services, coroner, paramedics, sewage treatment and disposal and more.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. If no further public health measures are implemented, daily case counts could rise to 6,000 by the end of April.