He added that lives of essential workers, the segment of the population driving transmission now, won't change much with the new measures.
"They spread faster and do more harm than the virus we were fighting previous year", Ontario Premier Doug Ford said during a news conference in Toronto on Thursday. "This is a new pandemic; we're fighting a new enemy".
Just last week, The Ford government announced a series of modifications to its COVID-19 framework that was expected to allow the reopening of personal care services such as hair and nail salons.
Indoor organized public events and social gatherings are not permitted, and outdoor gatherings are limited to no more than five people.
In a letter to the Ford government, 153 ICU physicians said that the province is at a "critical point in the pandemic" and that new public health measures need to be implemented immediately.
Premier Doug Ford announced the move this afternoon resulting from a surge in COVID-19 cases and intensive care admissions across the province. This does not include social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions, which are not permitted indoors and are limited to five people outdoors.
"We are now seeing almost 14 per cent increase in hospitalizations, with COVID-19 patients in ICU increasing dramatically", Ford said.
The shutdown is for at least four weeks and is effective April 3.
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That will take some time. "Believe me. they will not be able to get the vaccines until the end of this year or early next year". On Monday, Canada suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in people under 55, citing new concerning data from Europe.
Although the first dose of the vaccine has been demonstrated to offer significant protection, there is still some risk of contracting COVID-19.
This comes as Education Minister Stephen Lecce confirmed schools would stay open and be taking the delayed March break as planned on April 12.
While the provincial government is not introducing an official stay-at-home order as experts have recommended this time around, Ontarians are once again being asked to leave the house only for necessities and to refrain from gathering with people outside their household.
Weddings, funerals and religious services, rites or ceremonies can be held indoors at 15 per cent capacity or outdoors as long as two metres physical distancing is possible. The processes we now have in place to protect staff and members of the public are in compliance with the new measures announced by the Province, and will ensure ongoing business continuity as we continue to deliver the essential municipal services on which our community relies.
He says it would help for jurisdictions to spell out lower-risk activities that people can take part in, such as small outdoor gatherings safely spaced apart, rather than hammering home what they can't do.
Legault has said the increase in infections in the affected regions isn't due to inadequate health measures but rather to people violating those rules. Employers in all industries should make every effort to allow employees to work from home. In order to support working families, child care will remain open during the shutdown.
While we have fortunately not seen the same rate of infection in Northumberland as in harder hit areas of the province, we nevertheless continue to observe a concerning uptick in recent positive cases.