New COVID restrictions good, but vaccines would be better: Sarnia Mayor

Captain John’s Fish and Chips in Mitton Village was one of dozens of restaurants that closed down last March due to COVID-19 lockdowns. Troy Shantz

Journal Staff
Sarnia’s Mayor applauds Ontario’s stay-at-home-order, but says a vaccine is the only way back to normalcy.

Premier Doug Ford declared a 28-day state of emergency for the province today and on Thursday a stay-at-home order begins. 

This means outdoor groups can’t exceed five people, and additional restrictions are in effect for non-essential retail stores and construction sites, Ford said during a news conference today.

New restrictions are meant to keep Ontario’s hospitals from collapsing, Ford said. COVID-19 patients could fill 1,000 ICU beds by early February.

“Folks, there will be soon some really dark days ahead. Some turbulent waters. But we will get through this,” Ford said. “The Ontario spirit has lifted us through the worst. The people of Ontario have battled through the worst.”

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley said the restrictions are welcomed, but the only way to improve the situation is wide distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. 

Bradley wishes more was done to reign-in big-box stores, he added. It’s an issue Sarnia City Council agreed last week to bring up to the province. Ford said additional inspections will be ordered to ensure large retailers are selling essential items only.

“They don’t want to lose political popularity by taking tough measures, but they’re losing it by not dealing with the crisis,” Bradley said.

Ford stopped short of following Quebec’s lead in mandating a curfew, something the Premiere said he doesn’t believe in.

“My dad used to give me curfews, that never worked either,” noted Bradley.

 

As of midnight on Jan. 14, Ontario will be placed under a stay-at-home order. Here’s what that means:

– Everyone must remain at home except for essential purposes. This includes getting food or medicine, accessing health care services, exercise or essential work.

– No in-class school will be allowed in Sarnia-Lambton until at least Jan. 20

– All businesses must ensure any employee who can work from home must.

– Masks are still mandatory indoors at open businesses or organizations. Masks are now also recommended outdoors where physical distancing isn’t possible.

– All non-essential retail must close by 8 p.m. and open no earlier than 7 a.m. There are no restrictions on the purchase of non-essential items

– There are more restrictions for non-essential construction