The Renfrew County & District Health Unit released the following press release at 6:15 p.m. on April 16. These new measures have already attracted international attention. Click HERE to read The Guardian’s report on the implications and the fallout.
Today, April 16, the Ontario Government announced that it is extending the provincial declaration of emergency and strengthening enforcement of the provincewide stay-at-home order for a total of six weeks, effective immediately.
“We all must follow the restrictions put in place by the province if we want to put COVID-19 behind us. This comes at a critical time as variants-of-concern continue to spread at a rapid rate,” states Dr. Robert Cushman, Acting Medical Officer of Health.
The new restrictions include, but are not limited to:
- No indoor social gatherings with members of other households. Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive close contact with one other household. No indoor organized public events.
- Residents must remain at home at all times, with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work.
- Outdoor gatherings with people outside a person’s household will be prohibited, effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, April 17.
- Capacity at religious gatherings, weddings and funerals will be limited to 10 people indoors or outdoors, effective 12:01 a.m. Monday, April 19. Social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions are prohibited, except for with members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone. Drive-in services are permitted.
- There will be checkpoints at provincial borders with Quebec and Manitoba with exceptions for essential travel, effective 12:01 a.m. Monday April 19.
- Reduce capacity limits to 25 per cent in all retail settings where in-store shopping is permitted. This includes supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers’ markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies.
- Non-essential stores must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m., including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery.
- Closure of schools for in-person learning as of April 19, after Spring break.
- Businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home does so.
- Non-essential construction, including construction at shopping malls, hotels and office towers, is prohibited.
- Closure of outdoor recreational amenities, including playgrounds, basketball courts and golf courses.
Police will now have the authority to ask anyone who is outside of their residence, including in vehicles, to indicate their purpose for leaving their home and their home address, with the potential to issue tickets up to $750 for non-compliance.
Full details can be found at: Ontario Strengthens Enforcement of Stay-at-Home Order.
All other public health and workplace safety measures for non-essential retail under the provincewide emergency brake (i.e., curbside pick-up and delivery only), will continue to apply.
In addition to these new public health measures, it is imperative that everyone do their part to stay home if they are sick, avoid contact with people who are ill, practice physical distancing (2 metres), wear a mask/face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained, wash their hands, use the COVID Alert App, and complete the COVID-19 self-assessment tool or COVID-19 school and childcare screening tool daily if they go to work, school or daycare, to monitor for symptoms and proper guidance.
For more information, visit RCDHU’s website at https://www.rcdhu.com/novel-coronavirus- covid-19-2/ or call 613-732-3629 or 1-800-267-1097.
Renfrew County & District Health Unit(2021,Apr.16) Province Extends Provincial Declaration of Emergency and Provincewide Stay-At-Home Order [media release]