January 12, 2021
Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work. This order and other new and existing public health restrictions are aimed at limiting people’s mobility and reducing the number of daily contacts with those outside an immediate household. In addition to limiting outings to essential trips, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.
In response to the alarming and exceptional circumstances at hand, and to further interrupt the deadly trend of transmission in Ontario communities, hospitals, and long-term care homes, the government will enact the following additional public health measures:
- Outdoor organized public gatherings and social gatherings are further restricted to a limit of five people with limited exceptions. This is consistent with the rules during the lockdown during the first wave of COVID-19 in spring 2020 and will allow individuals and families to enjoy time outdoors safely.
- Individuals are required to wear a mask or face covering in the indoor areas of businesses or organizations that are open. Wearing a mask or face covering is now recommended outdoors when you can’t physically distance more than two metres.
- All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m. The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery.
- Non-essential construction is further restricted, including below-grade construction, exempting survey.
These measures will come into effect between Tuesday, January 12, 2021 and Thursday, January 14, 2021, including the provincial declaration of emergency under the EMCPA, orders under that Act, and amendments to regulations under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.
Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Region will be in Shutdown as of Boxing Day
A provincewide shutdown will go into effect as of Saturday, December 26, 2020, at 12:01am.
The restrictions are in effect for all of Ontario from Saturday, December 26, 2020 to Saturday, January 9, 2021. The restrictions will remain in effect from Saturday, January 9, 2021 to Saturday, January 23, 2021 for all 27 public health unit regions in Southern Ontario. The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit is included in Southern Ontario.
The number of people in Ontario infected with COVID-19 has been increasing, people are moving from high transmission areas to low areas, and hospitals are reaching capacity across the province. The shutdown is designed to reverse this trend by reducing opportunities for the spread of COVID-19 through close contact with infected people.
Key elements of the provincewide shutdowninclude the following.
- Childcare centres will remain open to support working parents; no school aged children between January 4 and 8. Emergency child care possibly available.
- Elementary schools will be closed, and students will participate in remote learning for one week until January 11. For high school students, remote learning will continue until January 24.
- Outdoor recreational amenities are open with physical distancing required and lockers, change rooms closed – no team sports if physical distancing not possible. Ski hills are closed.
- No indoor organized social gatherings beyond the household (single people can join one other household).
- Outdoor events and gatherings are limited to 10 people with physical distancing.
- Wedding, funerals, and other religious services maximum 10 people indoors or outdoors – drive- in or virtual recommended.
- Restaurants and bars take out only.
- Stores selling food and pharmacies are open with 50% public area capacity and physical distancing required.
- Personal care services are closed.
- Select businesses open for curb side pick-up.
Check our COVID-19 and Business section for more detailed information.
“From March on, as a community we have committed to following public health precautions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection. This has made a difference. Let’s continue with this same commitment during the next four weeks as we respond to the added restrictions. We have been here before in March and April, and managed by helping each other. Supporting our local business with on-line service and pick-up will help them survive this challenging time,” encourages Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health.
Being safe and protecting yourself means you are protecting your family, friends and co-workers.
- S – Self-isolate if you have symptoms of COVID-19. Consider getting tested
- M – Mask/face covering on properly when in enclosed public spaces and when physical distancing is a challenge outdoors.
- A – Avoid touching your face.
- R – Remain 2 metres/6 feet apart from people not part of your household – avoid play dates, and other close social contact. Social circles beyond the household are no longer encouraged.
- T – Twenty (20) seconds for regular hand hygiene. Cover your coughs and sneezes.