Apr 07, 2021

By Christine Ross

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Beginning Thursday, April 8th, everyone in Ontario is required to stay home except for essential services.

“I’m going to be as blunt as I can, you’re life is in jeopardy if you don’t start getting a vaccine,” warned Premier Doug Ford.

His government is imposing a new four-week stay-at-home order, the third of the pandemic. Stores providing essential goods will remain open but can only sell grocery and pharmacy items with strict capacity and reduced hours.

Meanwhile the premier says vaccines are being fast tracked for some education workers.

“So beginning next week, workers who support students with special education needs across the province, as well as all education workers in high risk neighbourhoods in Toronto and Peel, will be eligible for vaccines.”

The province is also planning to take mobile vaccine clinics to high risk workplaces that remain open in hot spot regions and eventually to anyone 18 and older in these neighbourhoods.

In addition these units will deliver vaccines in congregate settings, residential buildings, faith-based centres and large employers hit hard by the virus. Ford is anticipating 40% of all adults in Ontario will be vaccinated over the next four weeks.

When it comes to enforcement, the Premier says he’s relying on the people of Ontario do to the right thing.

“We don’t have enough police officers to run around and chase people down and knock on 15 million people’s homes, we’re asking for cooperation.”

Most schools will return to in class learning after the April break except those in Peel and Toronto and a few other regions that have switched to virtual learning.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says his government is introducing new protocol to ensure school is safe for students and staff after the April break.

“This includes the expansion of asymptomatic testing to include testing during the April break in all pharmacy and assessment centres,” explained Lecce.

Opposition leader Andrea Horwath calls this a ‘devastating day’ adding it’s wrong that Ford is still refusing paid sick days. But Ford shot back saying it’s “totally irresponsible” for his critics to advocate for a paid sick leave when the 1.1B federal Recovery Sickness Benefit exists.

For more details, visit the government website here

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