Ontario Premier Doug Ford to announce new COVID-19 restrictions

Posted Jan 12, 2021 by Karen Graham
Ontario is considering “next steps” to limit the spread of COVID-19, Premier Doug Ford said on Twitter on Monday, amid calls to put Canada’s most populous province under more stringent lockdown as the pandemic overwhelms its hospitals.
Derek Thompson  a personal support worker  is inoculated with the Pfizer/BioNTEch coronavirus vaccin...
Derek Thompson, a personal support worker, is inoculated with the Pfizer/BioNTEch coronavirus vaccine at The Michener Institute, in Toronto, Ontario
Premier Doug Ford said the details of new COVID-19 modeling projections being released today will make people "fall off [their] chairs," reports CBC Canada.
The new projections are being discussed this afternoon in a Cabinet meeting, just one day after the total death toll in the province related to the disease surpassed 5,000. The extent of the new restrictions is still being discussed, but they vary from a curfew to tighter lockdown provisions, per Reuters.
Ontario has been on a province-wide lockdown since December 26, with tighter restrictions on gatherings and the closing of non-essential businesses. Elementary and secondary school students in northern Ontario returned to in-school learning on Monday, while students in southern Ontario will continue attending classes remotely until at least January 25.
Public health officials have made a number of recommendations on new restrictions that can be added. They include:
1. Gathering limits reduced to as few as five people.
2. Shorter hours for essential businesses, which would involve earlier closures and later openings.
3. Limits on construction activity, but those limits would still allow essential construction to continue. Essential construction would be defined as work on health-care and critical infrastructure, as well as residential buildings.
4. A requirement that no employees would be allowed in offices unless they are deemed essential.
A government source says that existing rules for health-care services, dental offices, physiotherapy and chiropractors would remain the same, according to CTV News Canada.
Ford is being joined today by Health Minister Christine Elliott, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams, and co-chair of the province’s COVID-19 science table Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown.