Canada surpasses 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases since start of pandemic

Ontario to go into month-long COVID-19 shut-down starting April 3

All regions across the province of Ontario will be entering a sweeping shutdown as of April 3 to curb the spread of unsafe variants of concern, and that means new indoor and outdoor gathering limits will also come into effect.

"My friends, we're facing a very, very serious situation", said Ford. "This is a new pandemic; we're fighting a new enemy". 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.

The Spring break will also go ahead as planned the week of April 12 and Child Care will also remain open during shutdown.

On Thursday, officials reported more than 2,500 new cases of COVID-19, a almost 14% increase in hospitalizations and ICU admissions increasing dramatically.

Thursday's lockdown will require the closure of hair salons, gyms, and indoor dining in regions not now under such restrictions.

Gyms and personal care services will be closed.

Requiring day camps to close. Ontario is expected to announce new public health restrictions to address surging COVID-19 case rates. At least two-thirds of the province's public health units have already been under lockdown (grey zone) or control (red zone) restrictions. The number of people allowed to gather outdoors has also decreased from 10 to five.

The per cent positivity of COVID-19 tests in Windsor-Essex increased to 3.6 per cent for last week, compared to 2.8 per cent the previous week.

"Consistency (in messaging) is helpful but as part of the restrictions. we need to take care of people and let them do things safely", he said.

Iran and USA 'to hold indirect nuclear talks in Vienna next week'
As part of its ongoing violations of the JCPOA, Iran last month began restricting global inspections of its nuclear facilities. The ultimate goal of the deal is to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, something it insists it doesn't want to do.

The latest round of measures, branded a shutdown by both Ford and Elliott when they were unveiled on Thursday, stop short of the similar "stay-at-home" order imposed during another wave of infections in January.

As of yesterday, there are now 421 patients in ICU across the province, a record during the pandemic.

"They're all dealing with the effects of a third wave and a unsafe new variant", Ford says, adding the decision for the shutdown was "not made lightly".

Restricting in-person shopping in all retail settings, including a 50% capacity limit for grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers' markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies, and 25 per cent for all other retail including big box stores, along with other public health and workplace safety measures.

Employers should make "every effort" to have employees work from home.

For the past week, Ontario has reported an average of about 2,300 new cases of COVID-19 per day, including 2,333 cases and 15 deaths on Wednesday when the province hit its record high for the number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs.

Another Ontario-wide shutdown has been confirmed.

Unlike back in December, the province is not issuing a stay-at-home order for Ontarians. The HKPR District Health Unit is emphasizing the importance of continuing with the preventive measures known to reduce spread in order to keep our community safe until widespread vaccination has the opportunity to take hold.

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