Ontario closing more businesses effective Saturday to limit spread of COVID-19
Measure includes all industrial construction, except essential projects like hospitals
TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford says more businesses will be closing in the province in the wake of grim projections about the spread of COVID-19.
Ford says the new closures will take effect at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday and will include all industrial construction except for essential projects such as hospitals.
This closure will be in effect for 14 days, with the possibility of an extension as the situation evolves.
Teleworking, online commerce and other innovative ways of working remotely are permitted at all times and are strongly encouraged for all businesses. All supply chains necessary for the production of vital food and healthcare supplies are being protected and remain intact.
As a temporary measure the Ontario government has revised the list of essential businesses.
The updated list will direct additional businesses to close and restricts specified businesses to providing services by alternate methods such as curbside pick up and delivery, except in exceptional circumstances. This includes stores that sell hardware products, vehicle parts and supplies, pet and animal supplies, office supplies and computer products and repairs and safety supplies.
“We are facing a critical moment in the fight against COVID-19 and we must do everything in our power to keep everyone safe and healthy and prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed,” said Ford.
“Everyone must do their part to stop the spread and flatten the curve. If you are not an essential business, you need to close your doors, work from home if possible and play a role to help contain this outbreak. This is a matter of life and death.”
The announcement comes after public health officials released figures showing between 3,000 and 15,000 could die in Ontario over the full course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The same projections showed the death toll could have reached 100,000 if no action had been taken.
Ford says the figures show that physical distancing saves lives and the Progressive Conservative government is prepared to do whatever it takes to protect Ontarians.
The province has recorded more than 3,200 cases of COVID-19 as of today, including 67 deaths.
This story has been updated.