It was a whirlwind weekend for Doug Ford after an announcement of controversial new COVID-19 lockdown measures led to a rollback of several aspects of the announcement less than 24 hours later. On Monday Ontario's Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, said that limiting mobility was the guiding principle for last week's announcement. "The changes we made were based on the medical advice that we received from Dr. [David] Williams and the public heath measures table...and we were advised that we need to limit mobility to stop the transmission of the COVID variants in Ontario," Elliott said.
Along with allowing playgrounds to now remain open, Ontario is walking back the increased powers it gave to police after intense backlash.
New Ontario COVID-19 restrictions are giving police the power to stop and question people who are outside of their homes and ask for their address. The option to increase police powers is a bit alarming and dishevelling to Chris Rudnicki, a partner and legal counsel at Rusonik, O'Connor, Robbins, Ross, Gorham and Angelini, who admitted he's concerned there could be some overstepping by police and are constitutionally concerning.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford announce Friday that the provincial government will be extending the stay-at-home order for an additional two weeks, six weeks in total. "The reality is, there are few options left," Ford said. "The difficult truth is, every public health measure we have left comes with a massive cost to people and their lives."
New modelling of the COVID-19 situation in Ontario shows that extending the stay-at-home order to six weeks, with 100,000 vaccines doses being administered each day, is the "only way to flatten the curve." "What the models are suggesting now...is that the case growth is going to be much less substantial and if the public measures extend for six weeks instead of four weeks, we really blunt the second round of growth as part of this wave," Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, explained on Friday.
Prime Minister Trudeau stressed to Canadians on Friday that Canada is facing "an incredibly serious situation" in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. He called out Toronto, in particular, which is seeing record-breaking COVID-19 cases and shrinking ICU capacity. "There’s no doubt that Canada’s largest city is struggling under the weight of this third wave so we are going to do whatever it takes to help," the prime minister said.
While British Columbia's latest COVID-19 modelling shows a "levelling off" in some key data points, Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, stressed that with variants of concern spreading, people need to continue to diligently follows the public health measures in place.
All eyes are on daily COVID-19 case data, test positivity and the number of vaccine being administered as Canadians push through this third wave of the pandemic, but actually understanding what the data means is another important aspect of navigating COVID-19. On Tuesday, Ontario's test positivity exceeded a record 10 per cent for the first time, with 42,167 tests completed, going back down to 8.6 per cent on Wednesday, with 54,211 tests completed in the past 24 hours, and eight per cent on Thursday, with 65,559 test completed in the last day. New confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday totalled, up from 4,156 the day before. The seven-day average for cases in Ontario is currently 4,208.
While COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Canada continue to rise, Ontario in particular is being called out in international warnings. Japan has designated Ontario, specifically, as a region with community transmission of variants of concern, which requires anyone travelling to the country from the province, in addition to a 14-day quarantine, to isolate for three days at a designated facility, with a COVID-19 test on the third day.
Following the first reported case of a blood clot with low platelets after an individual in Quebec received the the COVISHIELD Serum Institute of India version of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Health Canada still maintains that the vaccine is safe, even for all age groups. "We know that the risks of getting these side effects from the vaccine are very rare and we know that the risk of getting infected with COVID-19 and potentially experiencing serious health consequences, hospitalization or even death from the disease, are very real," Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief medical adviser with Health Canada said at a press conference on Wednesday. "Health Canada wants to reassure people that the AstraZeneca vaccines continue to be safe and effective at protecting them against COVID-19 and that the benefits of immunization outweigh the risks."
The Public Health Agency of Canada has confirmed the first reported case of an adverse event involving blood clots after someone in Canada received the COVISHIELD Serum Institute of India version of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
The Ontario government has announced that all elementary and secondary schools in the province will move to remote learning after the spring break.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, warned Canadians on Friday that "the race" between COVID-19 vaccines and variant cases is at a "critical point."
COVID-19 cases continue to rise domestically and now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning people in the U.S. about international travel to Canada.
On the first day of Ontario's COVID-19 stay-at-home order, set to be in place for four weeks, people in the province took to social media to express concerns about what "essential" products really are.
On Wednesday, the Ontario government announced that it will be expanding its COVID-19 vaccine distribution to people 18 and older in hotspots areas of the province, as mobile testing units and pop-up clinics are organized.
After the Ontario government formally announced the implementation of a stay-at-home order, set to begin at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, April 8, people across the province took to social media to react to the news.
The Ontario government has announced a four-week shut down across the province, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, April 8.
People in Ontario react to the provincial government implementing a four week "emergency brake" lockdown in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The Ontario government announced Thursday that a province-wide, four-week "emergency brake" lockdown will go into effect Saturday, April 3.
New COVID-19 modelling data for Ontario paints a grim picture for future spread of the virus in the province, with a lockdown and more effective vaccine distribution needed to turn the tide with variants of concern.
The premier of Ontario announced that he would announce something soon to curtail to the recent wave of COVID-19
Ontario infectious disease specialist Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti told Yahoo Canada that he believes a lot of the focus on COVID-19 spread tends to be concentrated on things that people can see, such as indoor dining and people gathering in parks, but it's really essential workplaces that are driving transmission.
Following the announcement of changes to the guidelines for the administration of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau maintains that "the right vaccine for you to take is the very first vaccine that you are offered."
Get a glimpse into the moment the Diamond Princess cruise ship turned into a COVID-19 nightmare in a new HBO documentary The Last Cruise, debuting on Crave on Tuesday, March 30 at 9:00 p.m. ET).