Ontario's third shutdown frustrates separated families

An essential worker gathers shopping carts in a grocery store parking lot in Toronto on Wednesday

In-person dining (indoor and outdoor) is prohibited.

Under this shutdown, schools and daycares will remain open, however time-limited public health and workplace safety measures will be imposed on other activities to combat this aggressive virus and save lives.

Capacity is limited in retail stores - to 50 per cent for those deemed essential, and 25 per cent for non-essential retailers - while restaurants are restricted to takeout, delivery and drive-through service.

Highly contagious COVID-19 variants have forced the province into a third wave of the pandemic and are now putting Ontarians at higher risk of serious illness and death including younger people, new provincial modelling shows. The total number of new confirmed cases in Ontario has exceeded 2,000 every day for over a week, including another 2,557 cases confirmed this morning-the single highest count since mid-January.

The only other difference is that the shutdown is provincewide and will impact all 34 of Ontario's public health units.

For full details on the shutdown and other measures involved in the "emergency brake", visit the Ontario government's COVID-19 shutdown page.

Personal care services such as hair salons are closed.

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However, the CBC's Mike Crawley reports the province has also created a new category of restrictions on its website called "shutdown". "Knowing that non-essential stores need to open kind of makes me anxious". The peak of 800 is expected, even if the province implements a stay-at-home order and continues vaccinations.

Stay-at-home orders and stricter measures were gradually lifted across Ontario in February and March, only for cases to spike in the following weeks. However, residents are encouraged not to leave their home except for essential reasons, inlcuding trips for buying food, medication, medical appointments, supporting vulnerable individuals and exercising outdoors with members of their household.

It is illegal to gather indoors with anyone you do not live with.

And she notes that she's not able to work behind a plexiglass barrier or maintain the recommended two-metres of physical distance from customers and staff.

Can I host a wedding or hold a funeral?

Ontario declared a four-week state of emergency after hitting a record for the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care, driven by virus strains that are more contagious and risky.

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

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