Canada's chief public health officer said the jump in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks and the rising proportion of cases involving more contagious variants were resulting in more hospitalizations. "While the implementation of additional province-wide public health measures is welcome, stronger measures will be required to reverse the surge our health units (among others) now face".
Tory said the province needs to go further by working with the federal government to expand paid sick leave programs to help workers stay home and self-isolate.
"A stay-at-home order issued by the province through an emergency order is necessary to prevent and mitigate large scale morbidity and mortality and irreparable strain on the healthcare system", the officials write in a letter they've shared publicly.
They also want schools closed, businesses shuttered and travel restrictions imposed on various regions of the province.
The medical officer of health for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health said the measure was necessary due to a "troubling rise" in cases of COVID-19 among children.
Move schools to online or hybrid learning in situations where school outbreaks in local jurisdictions are significant and the capacity to manage is stretched.
ICU doctors have said numerous patients they're treating these days are essential workers who got infected in the workplace.
Health columnist André Picard answers reader questions about COVID-19 variants, how effective the various vaccines are and the impact of on-again, off-again lockdowns. Given the urgency of the situation, we will make ourselves available to discuss this letter, " the letter continues.
A man walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic, in Montreal, on February 12, 2021.
Is my area going back into COVID-19 lockdown? The risk of intensive care unit admission is two times higher and the risk of death is 1.5 times higher for those with the B.1.1.7 variant.
Stay-at-home orders will "turn the curve" and protect the ability of residents to access health care.
But Tory says the rising case counts show that it is time to reconsider that approach.
Another stay-at-home order is on the table for parts of Ontario as the province navigates its first few days in yet anotherfull shutdown of all public health regions.
When the shutdown was announced on Thursday, the province refrained from issuing a stay at home order, citing mental health concerns. Such restrictions include the closure of non-essential retail stores and shifting schools to remote learning.
Measures that apply to all of Ontario should be considered, given the national lockdowns that were implemented to manage variants of concern in other countries.