January 2021
Second Provincial Declaration of Emergency

2021-01-14 10:11:57 AM

CATEGORIES: COVID-19

Post has been updated Thursday, January 14th to add additional instructions from the Province. 

On January 12 2021, the Province declared its second Declaration of Emergency for the COVID-19 Pandemic under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA). The Emergency will be in place for at least 28 days.
 
In addition, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, January 14 2021, a Provincial Stay At Home Order will take effect. This order requires that everyone stay home and only leave their homes for essential trips to the  grocery store, pharmacies, medical appointments and essential work. Moreover, non-essential construction will be restricted, and non-essential retailers including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and curbside pick up may be open no earlier than 7am and no later than 8pm. However, this does not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery. The Province is encouraging all employees who can work from home to do so.
 
Schools
 
Schools in Public Health Units (PHU) of Peel, Windsor-Essex, Toronto, York and Hamilton will be closed for in-person learning untill at least February 10th.
 
The Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams is expected to provide recommendations for the remaining regions by January 20th 2021.
 
Child Care
 
Child care centres for non-school aged children will remain open. On January 22nd, emergency child care for school-aged children will end in approved PHU regions as these elementary schools return to in-person learning.
 
In areas where in-person elementary learning has been suspended, emergency child care will continue for eligible families in regions subject to school closures, as identified by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
 
Why were these measures introduced?
 
These measures have been introduced as a result of new modelling data also released January 12th which suggests that the health care system will be overwhelmed:

  • Hospital admissions have increased ~72% in the last four weeks and 40% of Long Term Care (LTC) homes have active outbreaks
  • Projecting 1000 ICU admissions by February
  • LTC home deaths are projected to be higher than in the first wave
The Province is continuing with existing health measures and adding new ones:
  • Mask and face coverings must be work in indoor businesses or organizations that are open, and wear mask outdoors where physical distancing isn’t possible
  • Social gatherings are reduced to 5 people with limited exceptions consistent with the Spring measures 
Enforcement

The Province will provide authority to all enforcement and provincial offence officers to enforce  the Stay Home Order including: Ontario Provincial police and local police, by-law officers and provincial workplace inspectors. They will be allowed to issue tickets for non-compliance with the stay at home order, those not wearing a mask/face-covering indoors as well as retail operators and companies who do not enforce these.
 
Those who contravene the orders will be subject to fines and/or prosecutions. During the press conference on January 12th, the solicitor general also suggested that these contraveners could face jail time of up to a year.
 
Further, enforcement personnel will have the authority to temporarily close a premise and disperse individuals and disperse people who are gathering including in parks and homes.
 
Details on the order are likely forthcoming. However, for information, some updates to regulations for Stages 1-3 were updated on January 9th.

Edited: Stay At Home Order, regulation under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. 

While we wait for the orders (as official confirmation of scope and provisions), some helpful threads from reporters in the meantime:

https://twitter.com/CityCynthia/status/1349071812626362369  (includes some responses from Solicitor General’s Office on enforcement)
 
https://twitter.com/CBCQueensPark/status/1349061553526632448 (includes information on what is deemed essential construction)
 
https://twitter.com/CBCQueensPark/status/1349077817062002690 (on elderly relatives and social isolation)

https://twitter.com/ColinDMello/status/1349101242639917058/photo/1 (recreational amendities)
 
Recall: Declarations of Emergency
 
An emergency declaration made under s. 7.0.1 is terminated 14 days after being made and but may be extended for an additional 14 days by the Lieutenant Governor in Council (i.e. Cabinet).
 
Further extensions require approval by the Legislature for periods of up to 28 days.
 
Orders made during the declaration of emergency made under s. 7.0.2 (4) will automatically terminate after 14 days unless they are extended for additional periods of up to 14 days.
 
Orders made under  to s. 7.1 can be for a period of up to 90 days and renewed for additional periods of up to 90 days.
 
Ontario News Release
O. Reg 82/20  updated to 06/21 on January 9 2021 Rules for Stage 1
O. Reg. 263.20 updated to 5/21 on January 9 2021 Rules for Stage 2
O. Reg 364/20 updated to 4/21 on January 9 2021 Rules for Stage 3
Emergency Orders
The EMPCA as well  the ROA can be found on https://www.ontario.ca/laws 
 
 


 


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