‘Emergency brake’ aims to slow the spread of COVID variants

By Mike Renzella

The Haldimand Press

UPDATE—On April 7, after our publication deadline, the Provincial government announced increased measures including a month long stay at home order, effective at 12:01am on Thursday, April 8, 2021. Statistics between March 28 and April 5 showed an alarming increase in COVID statistics, with a jump of 28.7% in hospitalizations, and a 25% increase in ICU patients.

Additional measures included in the Stay At Home Order

  • All residents are required to stay at home except for essential purposes including grocery or pharmacy trips, health care appointments, outdoor exercise, or work that cannot be completed from home
  • Limiting the majority of non essential retailers to curbside pickup only
  • Restricting big box store sales to only groceries, pet care supplies, household cleaning products, pharmaceutical items, health care items, and personal care items only, with a 25% capacity limit on customers
  • Permitting garden centres to operate at a maximum of 25%
  • Schools will remain open where it is safe to do so, and educators who work with special needs children directly in all areas of the province will be eligible to register for a vaccine, which will begin rolling out during the week of April break. Education workers working in hot spots will also be eligible
  • Vaccine distribution will be prioritized to regions with the highest rates of transmission

Click here for the full announcement

HALDIMAND—Due to the surge of both case numbers and hospitalizations across Ontario, the Provincial government has implemented a shutdown that will last a minimum of four weeks beginning Saturday, April 3, 2021.

As of April 6, there were 106 active cases in Haldimand and Norfolk, with a seven day rolling average of 8.4 new cases a day. Currently, there are two ongoing farm outbreaks in the community, as well as two long-term care facilities, Anson Place in Hagersville and Parkview Meadows in Townsend.

“We are facing a serious situation and drastic measures are required to contain the rapid spread of the virus, especially the new variants of concern,” said Premier Doug Ford in a public statement. “I know pulling the emergency brake will be difficult on many people across the province, but we must try and prevent more people from getting infected and overwhelming our hospitals. Our vaccine rollout is steadily increasing, and I encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. That is our best protection against this deadly virus.”

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