Essex schools will remain closed into February under new order

Henrietta Strickland
January 13, 2021

In an all-too-typical feat of black comedy, after days on end of teasing the new modelling and new restrictions, Ford's government was not prepared on Tuesday to provide the actual legal text of the new rules.

The province is expecting to receive 12 million Panbio tests from the federal government over the next several months and continues to pursue opportunities to purchase additional rapid tests.

The grants have already been available to a wide array of small- and medium-sized businesses and charities.

Premier Doug Ford is scheduled to announce the government's new public-health measures at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

Based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, schools in Windsor-Essex, Peel, Toronto, York and Hamilton will not return to in-person instruction until February 10, 2021.

The province also said it will implement new health and safety measures in Ontario child care settings, such as enhanced screening to align with school requirements, voluntary participation in targeted testing and additional infection prevention and control measures to align with schools.

The number of recovered Ontario COVID-19 cases Tuesday was 3,353, higher than the tally of new cases.

The premier said the province intends to take action against those who do not comply.

"Places where people may be congregating during a break time", said Yaffe. But COVID-19 will not win.

Toronto Mayor John Tory expressed support for the stay at home order and other measures following the provincial government's news conference.

"The message from the province is very clear today, Ontario's COVID numbers are going in the wrong direction - like many other jurisdictions around the world - and could very quickly get much worse meaning even more people becoming infected, even more people being hospitalized, and even more people tragically dying in our communities". "They are at the verge of not being able to help you".

She says there is now an average of more than 8,100 new cases reported daily.

Local reaction to the new state of emergency and stay at home order is mixed among residents.

"I'm filled with mix emotions", one resident told CTV News.

"We have made great strides in vaccinating tens of thousands of Ontarians, and we can't let these efforts go to waste".

What does a "stay at home" order mean?

Another said the lockdown measures should have been stricter earlier on.

The province says 191 people are in hospital, with 29 people in intensive care.

Ontario's associate medical officer of health Dr. Barbara Yaffe echoed the Premier, affirming on Monday that an overnight curfew was not among the many health and safety measures considered by the provincial government.

"For example, when a group of more than five people from different households are gathering outdoors, they can be asked to leave", Jones said.

He said he wasn't blaming anyone, except the virus itself.

"This would really put COVID-19 into competition for being the single greatest cause of mortality on a daily basis at that point, potentially larger than both cancer and heart disease", Brown said. We shall see what reality brings us on Wednesday; the rules go into effect 12:01 a.m. Thursday. "We need to stick together", said Ford. I think what it shows is that the shutdown was not enough.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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