Stay-at-home order extended, new restrictions on inter-provincial travel

Joanna Estrada
April 19, 2021

The Ontario Hospital Association said 59 patients were admitted to intensive care on Saturday, bringing the number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs to 737. "We are all suffering as a result of a delay in arrival of vaccine".

Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians will be greeted by police checkpoints at all interprovincial crossings into Ottawa on Monday, as Ontario implements new restrictions to stop non-essential travel into the province during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has extended the stay-at-home order by two weeks and has imposed further restrictions on outdoor activities and retail in the hopes of flattening the surge of COVID-19 cases in the province. Twenty-three previously reported cases have also screened positive for a variant of concern this week.

Public health officials said city-run mass immunization clinics don't have the same supply issues, because they are getting vaccines distributed by the city - primarily Pfizer-BioNTech shots - whereas the hospital networks get their product - mostly Moderna - directly from the province.

As of Friday evening, more than 3.7 million doses of vaccine have been administered across the province, with 107,278 shots given out yesterday. "We're now filling up our intensive care units on top of what was still there following the second wave and this is one of the reasons that we are in such jeopardy", he said during the briefing.

"I don't see ourselves going into a position where we're going to be providing fines for people that are constantly trying to come into the province without a good reason", said Marin.

On April 12, Ford announced that all publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools in the province will move to remote learning when students return from the school break on April 19th.

Ford also called on the federal government to step up their efforts on limiting air travel in and out of the country, pointing to the more than 36,000 people who pass through Toronto's Pearson International Airport on a weekly basis.

That number is up almost 1,000 cases from one week ago and it is the highest seven-day average at any point during the pandemic.

The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 11 p.m. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has lowered the minimum age for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

According to the province's top doctors, variants now account for the majority of new cases in Ontario.

Ford took shots at the federal government over the vaccine supply and what he said were lax global border controls for the surge in coronavirus variants now plaguing Canada.

Manitoba is reporting 170 new COVID-19 cases today and one additional death.

During the last round of modelling, the science table said that vaccinations have not successfully reached communities that are at the highest risk which has delayed the impact that they could have at tempering the severity of the third wave.

Chief Peter Sloly of the Ottawa Police Service said his force will continue to encourage people to follow public health restrictions as it reviews the provincial government's new directives.

"We can not yet rely just on vaccination", Dr. Brendan Hanley said.

Right now, there are 40,694 active cases of the novel coronavirus in Ontario.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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