Multiple reports suggest Queen’s Park will impose a province-wide lockdown, to begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday and last for a month.
Premier Doug Ford is expected to explain the strategy at a news conference on Thursday.
In the shutdown zone, non-essential retailers would be allowed to stay open with capacity restrictions capped at 25 per cent. Supermarkets and pharmacies would be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity. There would be no indoor or patio dining at restaurants. Hair and nail salons and gyms would have to close.
Indoor gatherings would only be allowed with members of the same household while outdoor gatherings would be limited to five people while maintaining physical distancing.
There are also reports Ontario schools will remain open after the Easter holiday until the April break, which begins the week of Apr. 12. A decision on whether kids return to the classroom after the break will be made following consultation with public health officials.
Premier Doug Ford on Wednesday told us to “stay tuned” for an announcement regarding a response to rising COVID numbers. The Ontario Hospital Association confirmed the demand for ICU beds surpassed 420 patients on Wednesday, the highest demand on the healthcare system reported to date.
On Wednesday, Public Health Ontario reported 2,333 new cases of COVID-19, while the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit added 46 new cases to its tally.