State of Emergency declared; stay-at-home order issued Regional News

Ontario said to plan another stay-at-home order as COVID spreads

Those essential aisles include pharmaceutical, health care and personal care items, groceries, household cleaning supplies and pet care supplies.

Premier Ford says that they expect to have upwards of 40 per-cent of all adults in the province vaccinated by the end of the stay at home order.

Last week, Tory said he'd be in favour of strict, new measures meant to contain this variant-fuelled third wave.

Premier Doug Ford made the announcement earlier this afternoon just days after pulling the emergency brake, resulting in a province-wide shut down for a minimum of 28 days. "Although this is hard, I urge everyone to follow these public health measures and together we will defeat this deadly virus".

As of Thursday, all retailers except grocery stores, pharmacies and sellers of gardening supplies will close for four weeks, although curbside pickup will be allowed.

Schools will remain open during the stay-at-home order, except where local public health units have ordered them to close.

The emergency message on the province's stay-at-home order that took effect today was sent by the Ministry of the Solicitor General through the province's Alert Ready broadcast system.

Additionally, the Ford government says mobile teams are being arranged to administer vaccines in high-risk congregate settings, residential buildings, faith-based locations, and locations occupied by large employers in hot spot neighbourhoods to individuals aged 18-and-up.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, union leaders said online learning should be adopted across the province until the safety of staff and students can be guaranteed. More outdoor learning where it is possible this Spring and Summer.

Outside of Canada's Atlantic provinces, the third wave of the pandemic is straining hospitals throughout most of the country.

The measures expected to be announced would go above and beyond restrictions put in place during the first stay-at-home order, which the province implemented January 14 and subsequently extended February 8.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Lecce said teachers' unions were stoking fear when it comes to school safety and protocols put in place. But such an order was recommended by the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table as being one of the retrictions necessary to control the spread of COVID-19 variants.

Dr. Zain Chagla of St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton said that the province has not yet seen its peak in cases, which presents serious risk for hospitals.