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Ontario government announces new measures to ‘blunt’ latest wave of virus cases

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

NORTH DURHAM/KAWARTHA: With COVID-19 case numbers rising to record highs in Ontario, the provincial government has introduced more measures.

As of Wednesday, January 5th, the government is not allowing indoor dining at restaurants and bars. However, outdoor dining will be allowed, as well as takeout, drive-through and delivery. Gathering limits are being reduced to five people indoors and 10 people outdoors.

Indoor weddings, funerals, and religious services will be limited to 50 percent capacity of the room they use. Indoor concert venues, theatres, cinemas, museums and galleries will be closed.

“The immediate goal of these measures will be to blunt the latest wave [of COVID-19], so we can ease the pressure on our hospitals,” Premier Doug Ford said at a press conference.

The Ontario government also announced a change to the school reopening schedule.

“We need to prioritize the continued health and safety of our kids and our school staff. As a result, we’ll be delaying the return to in-class learning for the next two weeks and continue with virtual learning for the duration of the time away,” Premier Ford explained.

Originally, the government planned to allow in-person learning on Wednesday, January 5th. But now, students will not return to school until at least January 17th.

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