A joint letter by the medical officers of health for three major public health units in Ontario, including Ottawa's, is calling on the Ford government to issue an immediate stay-at-home order for the province amid rising COVID-19 case counts and ICU admissions. Details will be disclosed on Wednesday, he said.
The province logged 2,938 new cases of the novel coronavirus today (April 5) and 3,041 cases on Sunday (April 4), as data sharing was paused for the Easter Sunday holiday.
"We're going to have further restrictions moving forward very, very quickly".
Such measures could target employers such as Amazon.com Inc., which was previously ordered to close a warehouse near Toronto for two weeks because the infection rate was increasing significantly.
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.
The Children's Health Coalition, which includes experts from a number of Ontario children's hospitals, put out an open letter saying schools should be the last thing to close during the pandemic and shuttering them will harm at-risk kids. "And again we have to focus on where we see the problem", he said.
There were 942 people hospitalized with the virus during the same period, though the Ministry of Health noted that 10 per cent of Ontario's hospitals do not submit data on weekends.
"This is the largest mass vaccination campaign in our province's history, and we expect to distribute 9 million more doses by the end of June", Ford said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is sticking with his end-of summer timeline when it comes to vaccine eligibility for all Canadians, even as the USA announces its plan to expand eligibility to all adult Americans this month.
Ten deaths were linked to the virus on today's report and 12 on Sunday's update from the province. The main variant spreading in Ontario - known as B.1.1.7 - is 50 per cent more lethal than previous strains.
Ontario's active caseload is only a few thousand cases below its January peak, and only a few hundred patients away from its maximum COVID-19 hospitalization burden.