It was during the update where Waterloo Region's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hisu-Li Wang recognized the stricter measures will be hard and present hardships for many in the community but mentioned the province-wide shutdown will help control the impact and extent of the third wave.
In a letter to the Ford government, 153 ICU physicians said that the province is at a "critical point in the pandemic" and that new public health measures need to be implemented immediately. The processes we now have in place to protect staff and members of the public are in compliance with the new measures announced by the Province, and will ensure ongoing business continuity as we continue to deliver the essential municipal services on which our community relies.
During the emergency shutdown, schools will remain open for in-person learning with strict safety measures in place.
Indoor organized public events and social gatherings are prohibited.
The source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the announcement, says schools will remain open after the Easter weekend.
Premier Doug Ford said he is pulling the emergency brake, just as restrictions across the province were easing.
The province's colour-coded COVID-19 response framework will be paused for all of Ontario's 34 public health units when the shutdown comes into effect.
The province confirmed 2,557 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday.
Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining.
In-person shopping for retail establishments such as supermarkets and other stores that primarily sell groceries, convenience stores and pharmacies is reduced to 50 per cent capacity, while the capacity limit for all other retail, including discount and big box retailers, liquor stores, cannabis stores, hardware stores and garden centres is reduced to 25 per cent.
Indoor gatherings are only allowed with members of the same household while outdoor gatherings are limited to five people and physical distancing must be maintained.
Two-thirds of the province's public health units are now under what the government calls lockdown (grey zone) or control (red zone) restrictions.
"The risk of death is 1.5 times higher". "Even if we had unlimited ICU capacity, allowing these (variants of concern) to spread exponentially is unethical".
COVID-19 cases could fall to between 1,000 to 1,500 a day by the end of April if the province activates a shutdown for four weeks, the table said. Today, 2.557 new cases were reported by Public Health Ontario.
Up to date, more than 317,000 people in Ontario have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and are now considered immunized against the virus.
Six public health regions, including Toronto's and Hamilton's, are now in the grey "lockdown" zone of the province's colour-coded system. Brown said. "These measures are the key to the control of the pandemic now and the time that we need to vaccinate more Ontarians".
Last week, Ford announced that personal care services could reopen in lockdown regions on April. 12, but with the new shutdown in place tomorrow that will no longer be the case. "I know the toll these restrictions continue to take on people's mental health and well-being".