What is essential – changes coming into effect April 4 at midnight

(COVID-19 cell structure. Photo: Martin Sanchez, Unsplash)

More workplaces are to close effective at 11:59 on April 4 says the Ontario Government to fight the beast we know as Coronavirus. Premier Ford said in his Friday press conference, “we can’t stop now…there are 1,600 people out there who need us to do everything we can in the next 30 days to help save them!”

The provincial models for COVID-19 were released on Friday and should be an eye-opener to all. If the measures currently in place are rigidly followed we can still see 1,600 people die by April 30th.

Ottawa Mayor, Jim Watson said “…people have to get a kick in the pants and pocketbook to understand that this is serious and we’re not fooling around anymore.” For that reason, Ottawa By-law enforcers will be out ticketing those that just don’t listen.

The province has indicated that all industrial construction will stop, with the exception of hospital construction, transportation and homes currently being constructed. No new residential construction can be started. The LRT extensions – west and east bound – currently under construction will continue.

Businesses ordered to close will have to shut down completely or work remotely. One area of business ordered to close — the numerous cannabis shops across Ottawa. These closures will undoubtedly have an impact on residents. One resource that will be available is the online Ontario Cannabis Store.

Businesses allowed to remain open as they provide an essential service are:

  • grocery stores
  • pharmacies
  • restaurants offering take-out or delivery only
  • gas stations
  • LCBO, beer and wine stores
  • convenience stores
  • big box stores that sell groceries
  • veterinarians for urgent care of pets only
  • cheque cashing services
  • funeral homes
  • hotels
  • insurance companies
  • maintenance service companies
  • transportation services
  • telecommunications services

Other retail outlets will only be allowed to remain open if they are able to offer delivery or curbside service. These are:

  • pet and animal supply stores
  • hardware stores
  • office supply stores
  • vehicle parts shops
  • computer shops

If everyone follows the health safety measures put in place to protect you — wash your hands and physical distancing — we will shorten the length of time that these closures remain in place and the time until we can once again hug our family and friends.

For updates on COVID-19 visit Ontario Public Health at  https://www.publichealthontario.ca or Ottawa Public Health at  https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/index.aspx.


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