Chatham-Kent along with the rest of Ontario will head into lockdown this weekend.
The Ontario government is imposing a province-wide emergency break “as a result of an alarming surge in case numbers and COVID-19 hospitalizations across the province,” it announced on Thursday.
The lockdown will come into effect Saturday at 12:01 a.m. and the government intends to keep this in place for at least four weeks.
“We are facing a serious situation and drastic measures are required to contain the rapid spread of the virus, especially the new variants of concern,” stated Premier Doug Ford.
“I know pulling the emergency brake will be difficult on many people across the province, but we must try and prevent more people from getting infected and overwhelming our hospitals. Our vaccine rollout is steadily increasing, and I encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. That is our best protection against this deadly virus.”
Between March 26 to 28, provincial case rates have increased by 7.7 per cent to 101.1 cases per 100,000 people.
According to provincial data, COVID-19 related Intensive Care Unit admissions are more than the peak of wave two and hospitals in hotspots will need to decrease its scheduled surgeries.
COVID-19 related ICU admissions are projected to exceed 650 beds in a few weeks.
Indoor organized public events, social gatherings and outdoor organized public events are limited to five people except for gatherings with members of the same household. A person who lives alone may gather with one other household.
Essential retail stores will operate at a 50 per cent capacity limit. This includes supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers’ markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies.
All other retail can operate at 25 per cent capacity including big box stores.
Personal care services, indoor and outdoor dining, the use of sports facilities, gyms, and day camps will be prohibited.
Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take-out, drive-through, and delivery only.
Weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies can move ahead at 15 per cent occupancy per room indoors and individuals must maintain two metres of physical distance outdoors. This does not include social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions, which are not permitted indoors and are limited to five people outdoors.
“All Ontarians are asked to limit trips outside the home to necessities such as food, medication, medical appointments, supporting vulnerable community members, or exercising outdoors with members of their household. Employers in all industries should make every effort to allow employees to work from home,” stated the provincial press release.