Top public health doctors call for stay-at-home orders in Ontario

covid closure

The top doctors of three COVID-19 hot spots in Ontario are urging the province to impose tougher restrictions, including a stay-at-home order, to address a surge in new infections.

The chief medical officers of health for Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa made the recommendations in a letter to Dr. David Williams, the province's top doctor.

``A stay-at-home order issued by the province through an Emergency Order is necessary to prevent and mitigate large scale morbidity and mortality and irreparable strain on the health-care system,'' said the letter signed by Dr. Eileen da Villa, Dr. Lawrence Loh and Dr. Vera Etches.

The letter comes just days after Premier Doug Ford's government imposed a provincewide month-long shutdown that critics argue does not go far enough to address more transmissible variants of concern.

The three doctors also appealed to Williams to move schools to online learning in regions with significant COVID-19 outbreaks, remove businesses from the list of essential services, and implement 50 per cent staffing limits for those businesses deemed essential.

They also asked the government to impose travel restrictions between regions within Ontario and for the province to provide paid sick days to supplement the federal program.