New COVID-19 Emergency announced by Ontario – starts Jan.14

As of 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, 14 January, Ontario declares its second 28-day COVID-19 Emergency. Here’s what it means to folks in the Valley, and where to find out more about what’s allowed and what’s not during the emergency.

The basics in brief:

  • Stay at home EXCEPT for essential purposes (groceries, pharmacy, health care services, exercise, essential work)
  • Employers must let you work from home if you can
  • Outdoor organized public & social gatherings LIMITED to FIVE (5) people only
  • Mask-wearing required indoors (for individuals required to wear masks) and recommended outdoors where physical distancing is less than 2 metres
  • Restricted hours (7 am. to 8 p.m.) for non-essential retailers (hardware stores, alcohol, curbside pickup & delivery). EXCEPTIONS if you sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, restaurants for takeout/delivery.
  • Non-essential construction further restricted (including below-grade construction)

Enforcement measures:

  • All enforcement and provincial offences officers, including the Ontario Provincial Police, local police forces, bylaw officers, and provincial workplace inspectors will be authorized to issue tickets for non-compliance with stay-at-home or mask-wearing orders, subject to fines and/or prosecution.
  • Enforcement personnel authorized to temporarily close premises and disperse individuals in contravention of an order (including parks, houses)

Schools/Child Care centres

  • Return to in-person instruction delayed to Feb.10 in Windsor-Essex, Peel Region, Toronto, York and Hamilton public health units.
  • In-person learning requirements include:
    • Masking for Grade 1-3 and requirements for outdoor mask-wearing
    • Enhanced screening protocols
    • Expanded targeted testing
  • Child care centres for non-school aged children remain open; emergency child care for school aged children ends Jan.22 (in approved public health units)

Workplace safety

  • Educational materials and inspections will encourage compliance with public health guidance in break rooms, vehicles
  • On-site inspections of long term care homes and retirement homes
  • Employees infected with COVID-19 may be entitled to federally funded paid sick leave of up to $500 for two weeks. Workers can also access Canada’s Recovery Caregiver Benefit of up to $500 per week for up to 26 weeks if unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. Federal government is funding a temporary income support program that allows workers to take up to 10 days of leave related to COVID-19.

Click HERE to read the full text of Ontario’s announcement regarding this 28-day provincial emergency. The article contains live links to details at various government websites.


  1. Leah Kinghorn

    Thank you Frank Mallany!! I agree completely. As a senior with COPD I appreciate seeing people wearing masks. For the short period of time you are in any grocery store, what could be the problem?

  2. Gilbert J Glofcheskie

    This is total stupidity on the part of those participating in this nonsense.
    Their names printed in the news so that they do not jeopardize other peoples health.
    This was not a peaceful rally, they terrorized folks and there fore should be charged .

  3. Pat Scott

    Good heavens what is the matter with people? I sincerely hope that there is follow up on this. There is no point storming or demonstrating anything here, let alone terrorizing the people shopping or working. This was private property and I hope there is action taken by Valu Mart.

  4. Frank Mallany

    Sounds like we needed enforcement personnel Tuesday afternoon at the Valu-Mart in Barry’s Bay. A group of protesters, not wearing masks, stormed into the store chanting slogans, terrorizing staff and patrons. Apparently they weren’t happy with Doug Ford’s new measures to combat the virus. I hope the police follow up, check the security cameras and charge every single one of these selfish demonstrators. Why target the grocery store? The staff are there to provide a very essential service to the community and the poor shoppers in the store at the time were just trying to stay safe and buy some food. If you don’t want to wear a mask, that’s fine. Use a delivery service or get a friend to shop for you. Next time you get all riled up and feel you need to protest I would suggest the 3-way stop or somewhere else outside so you’re not putting the rest of us at risk.

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