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Orangeville, along with rest of province enters third lockdown

April 8, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Paula Brown

The Town of Orangeville alongside all other municipalities in Ontario has moved into a four-week stay-at-home order, as the province declares its third state of emergency.

The Ontario government announced the state of emergency and stay-at-home-order in a press conference Wednesday (April 7) afternoon, as the number of cases of COVID-19 and hospitalization in the province continues to rise. The order went into effect Thursday (April 8) at 12:01 a.m., and will last at least four weeks.

“There is no doubt that this third wave has been different from anything we’ve faced so far. The risks are greater, and the stakes are higher,” said Premier Doug Ford, in a press conference on Wednesday.

“I can’t stress this enough, things are extremely, extremely serious right now and I’m extremely concerned,” said Ford. “The situation is evolving rapidly, hour by hour and as things change, as we learn more about these deadly new variants, as we see new problem arise, we need to adapt. We need to move quickly and decisively and right now above all else, our plan is to get needles into arms and protect our hospitals. That why, today on the advice of the chief medical officer of health I’m declaring a state of emergency.”

The state of emergency and stay-at-home order will see non-essential retail stores close for in-person shopping allowing for curbside pickup and delivery only between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Select stores are permitted for in-person retail by appointment only at 25 per cent capacity including safety supply stores, optical stores that sell prescription eyewear, businesses that rent and lease automobiles or machinery, telecommunication providers

Big box stores have been permitted to stay open to sell essential goods.

The Ontario government previously pulled the “emergency brake” of the COVID-19 response framework, enacting a province wide lockdown on April 3.

Following the lockdown announcement, 153 intensive care unit (ICU) doctors penned a letter to the Premier calling for different and new measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 variants. Three top medical officers of health – Dr. Eileen da Villa, Dr. Lawrence Loh, and Dr. Vera Etches – signed the letter to Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer, on Monday (April 5) urging for tougher restrictions and a stay-at-home order.

“A stay-at-home order issued by the province through an Emergency Order is necessary to prevent and mitigate large scale morbidity and mortality and irreparable strain on the health care system,” said the letter.

The letter also urged imposing travel restrictions between regions of Ontario and moving schools to online learning.

Schools in the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health region had closed for in-person learning following and Section 22 Order from Dr. Nicola Mercer, chief medical officer for WDGPH.

Headwater Health Care Centre (HHCC), at the time of print, has two positive cases at the hospital who presented as positive in the hospital Emergency Department and were admitted, and no COVID-19 positive patients in the intensive care unit (ICU).

In an email to the Free Press, HHCC President and CEO Kim Delahunt said the hospital’s ER volumes are continuing to increase as is the level of care required.

“There is no doubt that Wave 3 and the new variants are a real concern. Hospitals across the province are seeing younger and sicker patients with COVID-19,” said Delahunt.

As of April 7, WDG Public Health reports 364 active cases of COVID-19 in the region, with Orangeville and Shelburne recording the highest cases number in Dufferin County, with 36 and 14 cases.

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