Provincewide shutdown will help save lives and protect our healthcare system
Based on the latest modelling data, cases are expected to continue to grow, with multiple models predicting rates of at least 1,500 cases per day for several weeks under current restrictions. Under all modeling scenarios, ICU occupancy will be above 300 beds within 10 days. Worst case scenarios show occupancy above 1,500 beds by mid-January.
That’s why our government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a Provincewide Shutdown as of Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. These restrictions will require Ontarians to stay at home as much as possible to minimize transmission of the virus and prevent hospitals from being overcrowded. The impacts of these time-limited continue to be evaluated throughout the 14 days in Northern Ontario and 28 days in Southern Ontario to determine if it is safe to life any restrictions of if they need to be extended.
“The number of daily cases continue to rise putting our hospitals and long-term care homes at risk,” said Doug Ford, MPP for Etobicoke North and Premier of Ontario. “We need to stop the spread of this deadly virus. That’s why, on the advice of Dr. Williams and other health experts, we are taking the difficult but necessary decision to shutdown the province and ask people to stay home. Nothing is more important right now than the health and safety of all Ontarians.”
The Provincewide Shutdown would put in place time-limited public health and workplace safety measures similar to those used in other jurisdictions to preserve health system capacity, safeguard vulnerable populations and those who care for them, and save lives. This shutdown will limit travel across the province and prevent the risk of spread within the province to help prevent the potential spread of infection and protect health care capacity throughout Ontario.
While transmission in schools remains low, all publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools are to move to teacher-led remote learning when students return from the winter break on January 4, 2021. Schools located in the following Public Health Unit regions can resume in-person instruction on January 11, 2021 for both elementary and secondary students:
- The District of Algoma Health Unit
- North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
- Northwestern Health Unit
- Porcupine Health Unit
- Sudbury and District Health Unit
- Thunder Bay District Health Unit
- Timiskaming Health Unit
For schools in all other Public Health Unit regions, elementary school students are planned to be able to return to in-person learning on January 11, 2021, and secondary school students will continue learning remotely until January 25, 2021, at which point they may resume in-person learning.