Ontario Premier Doug Ford said at a press conference in Toronto on Thursday: “The new variants are much more dangerous than before. They are spreading faster and more harmful than the virus we used last year.” A new epidemic. We are fighting a new enemy.”
Although retail stores and mail can remain open with limited capacity, there will be no indoor or outdoor dining in Ontario, and all personal care and fitness facilities will be closed. Indoor social gatherings are prohibited, and outdoor gatherings are limited to five people.
The school will continue to be open for face-to-face learning, although some Ontario students have actually been learning since September.
The Ontario government said in a statement issued on Thursday that after consulting with the Chief Medical Officer of the Ministry of Health and other health experts, the province will implement a province-wide emergency due to the surge in the number of cases and the surge in COVID-1
The Ford government expressed concern about the mental health of Ontario residents, so the province did not implement a “full-time home order.”
Ford said that Ontario, with more than 14 million residents, will remain one of the most restrictive lockdowns in North America next month.
But public health professionals say they are concerned that Toronto and its nearby suburb, Peel, have been locked down since the end of November and will not be able to stop the spread of the virus.
Ontario officials released a new model on Thursday, showing that the variants are growing at an alarming rate, and even if it is closed, it will still take several weeks to reduce the number of new daily cases and the number of hospitalizations.
The provincial model predicts that unless the number of new cases per day slows down significantly, ICU admission time may double from historical levels within a few weeks.
“In the past, it was usually a family member, usually a parent or grandparent, who would be under intensive care, while other family members might get a much milder illness. However, with new variants, they are more contagious. Sexually and even more dangerously, we see the entire family being in intensive care at the same time,” said Dr. Adastan Brown, the head of Ontario’s scientific advisory department, who released details of the new model.
Ford said there has never been so many intensive care patients in Ontario. Although the new facility and at least two on-site hospitals have been opened, Ford announced that it will provide dozens of beds at the Toronto conference facility in the next few days.
Dr. Tamsa Tam said that in the past week alone, the number of new variant cases discovered in Canada has increased by 64%. She said that the vast majority are B.1.1.7 variants, which were first discovered in the UK, and she described the current spread of variants as “the tip of the iceberg.”