ONTARIO – On Tuesday, Jan. 12 Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that the province would enter a State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the second State of Emergency declared since the start of the pandemic in March of 2020.
“Effective immediately, Ontario is declaring a State of Emergency,” Ford said. “We expect this to remain in effect for 28 days. Furthermore, I am issuing a Stay at Home Order effective Thursday at 12:01 a.m. Under this order everyone must stay home and only go out for essential trips to pick-up groceries or for essential appointments.”
Ford said that there were difficult days ahead, but that the province will get through this.
“Folks, there will be soon some very dark days ahead. Some turbulent waters, but we will get through this,” he said. “Now more than ever I need you to do your part. Stay home, save lives, protect our healthcare system.”
Ford had a dire warning about the province’s healthcare system.
“Our healthcare system is at the brink of collapse,” Ford said. “We are at levels we have never seen before.”
Ford said that the more contagious UK strain of COVID-19 is spreading quickly in the province.
He said that despite these dire warnings, still one-third of Ontarians are ignoring public health guidelines.
This State of Emergency will extend the provincial shutdown that began on Dec. 26, 2020.
“My friends, I know that the Stay at Home order is a drastic measure, one that we do not take lightly. Stay at home, save lives. I couldn’t be more clear,” Ford said.
Provincial, local, and by-law inspectors will be able to enforce the stay-at-home order with fines for those who do not comply.
Ford emphasized that the end of the pandemic was in sight with the vaccine on its way, but he said that the healthcare system needed support and space to get there.