After releasing computer projections showing the possible number of deaths that could occur from the novel coronavirus, Ontario has moved to enact further business closures in an effort to further reduce person-to-person infections
The previous list of 74 business types deemed ‘essential’ have now been reduced to 44.
Among the businesses now added to the ‘non-essential’ list are cannabis outlets, although the government’s online sales portal remains open.. Beer and liquour outlets which are also regulated by the provincial government will remain open.
The decision to further reduce the types of businesses open to in-store business came after health modelling showed up to 100,000 Ontarians could die if no measures had been taken.
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The models showed that because of current measures thousands of lives have potentially been saved. Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the new measures could further reduce the potential death toll.
The new list also shuts down commercial, institutional, and industrial construction sites although public sector worksites and limited residential construction can continue.
Closed in Ontario include
- -all community centres, public libraries, and facilities providing recreational programmes
- -all schools
- -all bars, nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, concerts, attractions/venues, casinos
- -restaurants except those able to provide take-away or delivery, no in-store service
- -all gyms, barber shops, nail salons, etc
- -clothing stores, shopping malls
- -provincial parks, including Toronto park amenities,
- -sports fields, beaches, outdoor recreational faciliites
- -cannabis stores
- -construction sites (with exceptions)
- -hardware stores (some maintaining curbside pickup)
Quebec has declared a health emergency and closed almost all non-essential businesses similar to Ontario, although their cannabis outlets remain operating as do the beer and liquor outlets. Alberta and British Columbia have also declared health emergencies with many ‘non-essential’ closures.
Virtually all public and private schools, colleges and universities across the country have been closed, with many courses now being conducted online.
Closures are expected to continue at least for the rest of the month, with possibilities of extensions. Many summer festivals and other events have already been cancelled or postponed.
additional information- sources
- Gov’t Ontario- official statement on new closures
- CBC: J. Trinh: Apr.4/20: Big lines at pot shops, hardware stores ahead of closure
- Canadian Press (via PostMedia) McQuigge/Jeffords: Apr 4/30: Ontario cannabis stores, construction, and more to close
- BlogTO: J Skrobacky: Apr 6/20: This is what’s still open in Toronto now