Ontario government to announce new lockdown measures today


Premier Doug Ford is expected to announce additional COVID-19 restrictions today.

CTV news is reporting that Ford is considering whether to declare a second provincial state of emergency, amid a surge in COVID-19 cases that threatens to overwhelm the province's health care system.

Invoking a state of emergency would give the government the power to enact new measures beyond the current province-wide lockdown.

Measures being considered by cabinet include lowering the limit for outdoor gatherings from 10 people to five, reducing essential service shopping hours to between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., limiting office spaces to either no workers or only essential workers and further restrictions on the construction industry. 

The existing rules for health care services, dental offices, physiotherapy and chiropractors would remain the same, sources with direct knowledge of the recommendations say.

A province-wide curfew is apparently no longer being considered among the options. 

Ford is slated to hold a news conference at 1 p.m. today. 

The new modelling data is expected to be released by Ontario's top health officials at 11:30 a.m.