A look inside how the newest COVID restrictions have changed one big Sudbury retailer

Ontario's third stay-at-home order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday after the premier made the announcement less than 10 hours prior and one Sudbury retailer wasted no time getting compliant.

Premier Doug Ford declared a third state of emergency and issued another set of escalated restrictions province-wide on Wednesday afternoon in an effort to slow the disturbing spiral of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

The newest order only allows residents to leave their home for essential purposes, which includes food, health-care services, exercise or work that cannot be done at home.

As of Thursday at 8 a.m., the inside of the Wal-Mart store in New Sudbury will look quite different to shoppers.

While the province is allowing big box stores to stay open for in-store shopping, they are only allowed to sell essential items such as groceries, household cleaning supplies and pharmacy items.

Amanda Harte works as a personal shopper in Sudbury for an online grocery delivery company and went to Walmart on Lasalle Boulevard to pick up items for a client on Thursday morning.

Harte said all of the displays in the centres of the aisles containing non-essential products have been shrink-wrapped so that customers can't buy them.

(Skid of "non-essential" items is shrink-wrapped to prevent access. April 8/21. Amanda Harte)

She also said the clothing and electronic departments have been blocked off with skids of non-perishable food.

(Skids of food block access to clothing department at New Sudbury Walmart. April 8/21 Amanda Harte)

Harte said the cashiers at the store have a list of what is allowed to be purchased.

This while most of the retailers Ontario considers "non-essential" must revert to curbside pick-up and delivery.

These stay-at-home orders are in effect for at least 28 days, but officials said they can be extended if necessary.