Top doctors in Toronto and Peel call for provincial Stay-at-Home order

Ontario Premier Doug Ford discusses the COVID-19 vaccine rollout adjustments at Queens Park Toronto

"We understand this may not be the news families had hoped for, especially given the province's recent announcement, but recognize the critical need to take steps as directed by TPH to limit the spread of COVID-19 and variants of concern", said Shazia Vlahos, spokesperson for the Toronto Catholic District School Board, in a statement to CBC Toronto.

Henry said the variants are worrying but of the 3,766 total variant cases, only 266 are active, representing about three per cent of the active cases in B.C. About 22 per cent of schools now have at least one reported case, while 83 schools, or 1.7 per cent of Ontario 4,828 publicly funded schools, are closed due to COVID-19. A further 94,806 people who tested positive have recovered.

The three public health leads also called on Williams to review and trim the essential businesses list, impose travel restrictions between other regions within Ontario, introduce emergency paid sick leave and move schools to online or hybrid learning in areas where school outbreaks are significant. "That has meant increased numbers of people in hospital and we know that much of this transmission is happening in young people". The province has four active reported cases.

Of the people in hospital, 42 have the variant first detected in the United Kingdom, 20 the strain that emerged in Brazil, and one has the variant that was first identified in South Africa, Henry said.

Child-care centres attached to schools will be allowed to open but won't be able to accommodate students whose classes were closed under the order, TPH said. People may be sticking to small groups, but are meeting repeatedly with different small groups, Henry said.

"You go by Yorkdale, you couldn't get a parking space, it was absolutely jammed packed, said Ford". "The virus is adapting and is taking advantage wherever it can and it isn't fair".

Health officials say hospitalizations rose by one, to 503, and 123 people were in intensive care, a drop of five.

The system requires people to register first to get a confirmation code, then book an appointment for a shot when they are contacted by email, text or phone.

More details on the distribution of the AstraZeneca vaccines in pharmacies will soon be available through Island Health, the health minister said.

Ontario reports 3,065 new cases of COVID-19 and eight more deaths linked to the virus. The province's daily counts topped 1,000 both for the time periods between Thursday to Friday, and Friday to Saturday.

It's important to note that all of Ontario is now under the strictest level of lockdown possible under the government's current COVID-19 response framework.