Multiple sources say the Ontario government is currently planning to implement a province-wide lockdown beginning Christmas Eve.
The announcement is expected to come this afternoon at Queen’s Park from Premier Doug Ford.
CTV reports that according to sources briefed on the plans the government was expecting to implement a 28-day lockdown for most of the province, while the north would be subject to a two-week lockdown. One report says north is considered anything north of Sudbury meaning Leeds, Grenville and Lanark would fall into the areas shutdown for 28 days.
The reports say the lockdown will look similar to the province-wide shutdown back in March, with only essential businesses being allowed to remain open.
As part of the plans, elementary-age school children would not return to classes as scheduled after the holidays but would spend the first week of school in the New Year at home doing virtual learning and then return on Jan. 11. High School students will be out for the entire 28 day Lockdown.
It is unclear if all of the restrictions currently listed as part of the framework’s grey-lockdown level would apply.
Exactly what the next 28 days look like should be outlined this afternoon.
CTV also reports that the decision to implement a province-wide lockdown was made based off current COVID-19 modelling data. Those numbers show that under any scenario forecast, the province will see 300 people in intensive care by the end of December. At the current rate of transmission, that number would grow to 700 patients by the end of January.
Once the number of COVID-19 patients in Ontario’s intensive care units surpasses 300 supporting other medical needs such as elective surgeries becomes nearly impossible.
We will carry Premier Ford’s announcement live this afternoon when he makes it.