Premier Doug Ford is making an announcement from Queen's Park in Toronto on Wednesday afternoon where he's expected to put the province under a second Stay-at-Home order. Big-box stores will be allowed to sell essential items only like food, pharmacy items, household cleaning supplies, personal care supplies, and pet care supplies.
"By all of us staying at home, while still taking some time to enjoy the outdoors with the people we live with in our local neighbourhoods and maintaining two metres physical distance from others, we can reduce our mobility, minimize transmission, protect our loved ones and our communities, safeguard health system capacity, and save lives".
Industry groups had criticized Ford for allowing big box stores to remain open during past lockdowns while shutting small businesses.
The decision to close schools and shift to virtual classes has been taken after it was reported that the younger population was the most affected in the country during the third wave.
Other changes under the state of emergency and stay-at-home order include non-essential businesses only being able to offer curbside pick-up and delivery between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m, while delivery to patrons can happen between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
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DeSantis said the company operating the site, HRK Holdings, should be held accountable. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared the state of emergency on Saturday.
In addition, the province is also strengthening public health and workplace safety measures for non-essential retail under the provincewide emergency brake.
Hospitals in Ontario are becoming more stretched.
Provincial data showed more COVID-19 patients in intensive care units (ICU) than at any point since the pandemic began.
The move came the same day that Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto's medical officer of health, invoked an order banning in-person learning at city schools.
On the education side, schools will remain open while Ford says beginning next week, education workers who provide direct support to students with special education needs across the province, and all education workers in select hot spot areas, will be eligible to register for vaccination.