Premier Doug Ford announced an updated list of essential businesses that can remain open. The restrictions are aimed at further reducing contact between individuals and combating the spread of COVID-19. Businesses that are not identified on the list must close their physical locations by Saturday April 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. For the full list of essential workplaces, see here. The Premier also introduced a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, effective immediately. The new order will allow public health units to significantly expand their capacity to implement critical public health functions such as case and contact management through the use of volunteers, including thousands of retired nurses and medical students who signed up through the province’s website.
Ontario health experts Matthew Anderson, head of Ontario Health, Adalsteinn Brown, Dean of the University of Toronto’s public health department, and Dr. Peter Donnelly, head of Public Health Ontario provided a detailed update on the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario. The experts anticipate COVID-19 could kill 3,000 to 15,000 individuals in the province over the course of the pandemic, with ramifications lasting up to two years. For the COVID-19 technical briefing presentation, see here.