Ty Rillorta // Staff Reporter

Stay-at-home order anouncment covered by CBC News

Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford announced its third state of emergency since the start of COVID-19 and will initiate a stay-at-home order starting April 8 until May 6. The question now is should the rest of Canada also apply a similar order to help prevent the spread. 

Premier Doug Ford during News Conference. From Kitchener Today

With the rise of variants, COVID-19 rates have spiked, with Ontario having the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Canada, at 421,000 and 7,735 deaths as of April 10. “I can’t stress this enough. Things are extremely, extremely serious right now. And I’m extremely concerned,” said Ford in a news conference on April 7. 

The current regulations aren’t enough to stop the virus as evident from the spiking rates in cases from the last few months. Canada needs to implement a better plan to stop COVID-19 from spreading as they are behind many in terms of country-wide vaccinations; stay-at-home orders have been proven to be effective at preventing the spread of the virus by many studies. 

Vaccination data from Our World Data

A report done by James H. Fowler and published by medRxiv, using U.S. statistics, found that the order in was responsible for a reduction of 30.2% of cases, in the first week, and a 48.6% reduction in the third when compared to countries that did not implement a similar order. A similar study performed by CIDRAP of the University of Minnesota found that the order did reduce spreading. “…, the authors said that their results confirm their effectiveness in limiting community transmission and suggested that they may have a significant role in “flattening the curve,” read on the study. 

Graph from medRxiv report

A stay-at-home order will make regulations for COVID-19 clear and understandable as they have been constantly changing in B.C. “It’s clear messaging: stay at home. There is no interpretation. Because that’s what people are doing, looking at the rules and going ‘oh well the mall’s open, so I’m going to go,’” said Dr. Amy Tan, a family physician and clinical associate professor at UBC, in a CTV News interview. Tam has been urging Dr. Bonnie Henry to implement a similar order as Ontario. 

A stay-at-home order for Canada would be greatly beneficial at getting Canada closer to eliminating COVID-19 sooner than later.