Month-long stay-at-home officially in place, what it means for the London region

As of 12:01 a.m. Thursday is once again under a province-wide stay-at-home order that shutters most non-essential retailers.

Another state of emergency, the third in the province, has also been declared.

The stay-at-home order is similar to the one enacted in January and will last for four weeks.

It requires everyone to remain at home except for trips to the grocery store or pharmacy, medical appointments including vaccinations, exercise close to home or work that cannot be done remotely.

Residential evictions are also again suspended.

The new order and state of emergency are in addition to the province-wide shutdown enacted on Saturday.

What does the order mean for the London region:

Non-essential retailers can only offer curbside pickup and delivery.

Big box stores will only be allowed to sell essential goods like groceries, household cleaning supplies, pharmacy items, health and personal care items and pet supplies.

Malls such as Masonville Mall and White Oaks Mall will once again be restricted to curbside pickup by appointment at designated locations.

In-person retail is allowed at 25 per cent capacity at locations like safety supply stores, medical device service/suppliers, vehicle and equipment rental services, optical stores, car and watercraft dealerships, vehicle/equipment repair shops and telecommunication service stores.

Outdoor garden centres and plant nurseries and indoor greenhouses can operate at 25 per cent capacity and with limited hours.

*Top answers to questions about
Ontario's new stay-at-home order*

Local schools and child care centres remain open, and the Middlesex-London Health Unit has not indicated any intention to close them as other health units around the Toronto region have done.

The province says education workers in high-risk neighbourhoods in Toronto and Peel will will be eligible for vaccination starting next week, and other hotspots will follow ahead of a province-wide rollout when supply allows.

State of COVID-19 in Middlesex-London

After two days of counts in the 70s, the London region returned to case totals over 100, the same as those seen over the Easter weekend, with 126 cases reported Wednesday.

As of Wednesday the total number of cases in the region stood at 7,825, with 948 active, 6,687 resolved and 190 deaths. There were nine confirmed B.1.1.7 variant cases and 466 have screened positive for a variant of concern.

The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) says it is handling nine staff and 27 inpatients positive for COVID-19, with 12 in intensive care.

Dr. Adam Dukelow, chief medical officer at LHSC, says seven of the intensive care patients are from outside of London, transferred from the Toronto and Thunder Bay areas.

London has also not been included in a recent list of regions that will get more vaccine priority due to being in hot spots.

The areas are listed by postal code where COVID-19 has disproportionately affected certain neighbourhoods.

A list was released by the province based on postal code, so far the only local postal code include is N5H in Elgin County.

Ontario’s daily COVID-19 case growth more than tripled through the month of March, leading to record-high hospital ICU occupancy of more than 500 by early April.

- With files from CTV Toronto and CTV News London's Justin Zadorsky