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article imageOntario to go into month-long COVID-19 shut-down starting April 3

By Karen Graham     Apr 1, 2021 in World
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is expected to announce today the government will shut down the province for at least a month in response to rising COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations.
Multiple sources with direct knowledge of the decision said Wednesday the shutdown is expected to begin on April 3 and will last at least a month. During a news conference on Wednesday, Premier Doug Ford hinted restrictions were coming.
“Stay tuned. You’ll hear an announcement tomorrow but I’m very, very concerned to see the cases go up,” he said, reports Global News. “I’m very concerned to see the ICU capacity and we all have to be vigilant and throughout the holidays over the next few days, I’m just asking people don’t gather in large groups.”
The provincial government's scientific advisors are expected to release new modeling this morning showing the expected impact of the pandemic's third wave over the next few weeks, according to CBC Canada.
The announcement of the new shut-down will be made by Premier Doug Ford at 1:30 p.m., following the scientific advisors' report. The new restrictions are virtually identical to those currently in place in areas already in lockdown.
The shutdown will force some non-essential services, including in-person dining, personal care services, and gyms, to close. Essential stores will remain open at 50 percent capacity and non-essential retail, including shopping malls, can operate at 25 percent capacity, reports CTV News Toronto.
At least two-thirds of the province's public health units have already been under lockdown (grey zone) or control (red zone) restrictions. Toronto, for example, has been under a lockdown since last November.
The province hit a new high on ICU patients on Wednesday. Critical Care Services Ontario counted 421 hospital patients with COVID-19-related critical illness as of midnight. That number is up from 409 ICU patients on March 30.
This is the highest number of COVID patients in ICU beds since the pandemic began, according to a daily tally issued Wednesday by Critical Care Services Ontario. Additionally, there were 2,333 new COVID-19 cases reported by the Ontario government on Wednesday and 15 COVID-related deaths,.
More about Ontario canada, premier Doug Ford, monthlong shutdown, "Emergency brake", coronavirus pandemic
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