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As we ring into the new year, it appears Canada will remain consistent–for all the wrong reasons on COVID-19.
In another act of Canada craziness, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced new COVID-19 mandates Monday, due to a rise in cases of the Omicron variant. Perhaps the most notable change being that children will move to remote learning, beginning on Jan. 5.
“As part of the province’s response to the Omicron variant, starting January 5, students will pivot to remote learning with free emergency child care planned for school-aged children of health care and other eligible frontline workers,” the government said in a statement, via the Toronto Sun.
Yes it’s true, classrooms around Ontario will be barren once more, while it’s back to the laptops and Zoom for students. The mandate will run through at least Jan. 17.
Don’t think they forgot about the adults, however, as the Ford administration announced that indoor dining and gyms will be closed. As the Sun reports, here are a few more mandates that will take into effect.
- Social gathering limits of five people indoors and 10 people outdoors
- Capacity at organized public events limited to five people indoors
- Businesses and organizations must ensure employees work remotely unless the nature of their work requires them to be on-site
- Capacity limits at indoor weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites and ceremonies of 50% capacity of the particular room, outdoor services are limited to the number of people that can maintain 2 metres of physical distance
- Retail settings, including shopping malls, permitted at 50% capacity. For shopping malls physical distancing will be required in line-ups, loitering will not be permitted and food courts will be required to close
The Omicron variant is surging throughout North America–through both the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Ontario, despite being nearly 77% fully vaccinated, has reported 119,231 COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days.