Apr 16, 2021

By Jane Brown

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The Ford PCs at Queen’s Park are considering a number of new public health restrictions ahead of the release of new modelling numbers Friday.

Reports suggest they include imposing a province wide curfew, tighter restrictions around non-essential retail sales and cutting back on curbside pick up.

Other measures may include allowing only critical construction, putting limits on non-essential manufacturing and warehousing, and giving out fines to business owners who make staff come in if they are able to get their work done from home.

Enforcement of the current stay at home order could also be stepped up and additional restrictions on religious services are also said to be a consideration.

But even with new restrictions, the results wont be immediate.

“Putting a restriction in today, we won’t see the impact of that for two to three weeks at least,” Ontario Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe explained Thursday.

Dr. Yaffe went on to say “hospitalizations and ICU occupancy are at the highest levels since the start of the pandemic. Today (Thursday), we have 1,932 people in hospital with COVID-19 including 659 were are in intensive care.”

Later Friday, provincial health experts are expected to project between 12,000 and 18,000 new COVID cases each day by the end of next month and as many as 1800 in hospital ICUs by the end of May.

Mayor John Tory said on Friday morning, clearly this means changes need to be made.

“I think there are still employers who are not discouraging employees from coming to work and in some cases maybe more than that and I’m not talking here about essential workers, I’m talking about people who really don’t have to be at work in order for the functioning of their job to continue while working at home. I think we’re still talking about too much activity on the part of people who are going out and not getting the essentials, but getting things that are clearly not essential,” Tory explained to CP24.

Thursday’s COVID case count in Ontario was a new high of 4,736 with 29 COVID related deaths.

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