Province issues "stay at home" order

·2 min read

Retail store owners, restaurants, and personal care people will once again be forced to close after the Province issued a new stay-at-home order that will last for at least four weeks.

All non-essential retail stores must be closed for all but curbside pickup.

This time the order includes big box retail stores who will be restricted to selling only essential items.

This includes grocery, pharmacy, cleaning supplies, and personal care items.

They can operate from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Garden centres will be allowed to stay open.

During the order, residential evictions will be restricted.

The stay-at-home order went into effect on Thursday, April 8.

Earlier in the week, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said, “I'm sorry, but going to the malls is not essential.”

This was after government measures left malls open over the Easter weekend.

“I think we made massive moves last week by basically shutting down the entire province,” Ford said during a news conference. “That was huge, shutting down thousands and thousands of businesses, that I hate doing, but we're going to have further restrictions moving forward, very very quickly.”

The new order was announced by Premier Ford on Wednesday, April 7.

“There's no doubt that this third wave has been different from anything we've faced so far,” Premier Ford said. “ The risks are greater and the stakes are higher.”

The order was issued only days after an 'emergency brake' that was put into place was criticized by medical professionals as not doing enough to stop social interaction.

The province reported there were 3000 new cases per day in the week leading up to the order 510 people in ICU units in hospitals.

Ontario has reported on average, more than 2,800 new cases of COVID-19 daily during the first week of April.

Close to home, Dr. Charles Gardner, Medical Officer of Health for the Simcoe-Muskoka Health District gave an update on the situation on Wednesday, April 7.

He reported the number of cases in the previous week in New Tecumseth to be 164 with that number split evenly between male and female persons who had contracted the virus.

Of the new cases reported, almost 90 per cent have been the new variant of the virus, with most being the one called the 'UK variant.'

The average age of those contracting the virus has gone down with the average age now being 37.

The school situation is being 'monitored closely' Gardner said, adding 'the situation can change, and rapidly.'

Business that don't follow the new rules can expect a visit from authorities starting with an 'educational visit.'

If they don't comply, that will be followed up with enforcement action if necessary.

Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times