Playgrounds posted, some police say they won’t make random checks as new Stay-at-Home rules take effect

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Petrolia posts notices at local playgrounds, says complaints will be followed up

OPP says it will enforce new rules

There is wide spread anger and confusion as the provincial government’s new orders take affect today.

Premier Doug Ford said yesterday the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has the province “on its knees” and release new restrictions saying “we’re running out of options.”

One of the options was to empower police forces to stop people without reason and ask why they aren’t at home. “We need to enforce the Stay-at-Home order – that’s what we need,” says Ford.

More than 14 different police departments in the province, including in Toronto, Peel, London and Hamilton – communities with the highest number of daily COVID-19 rates – have all said they won’t be randomly stopping people. London Police voiced concern the move is against Ontarian’s constitutional rights.

Ford also ordered all outdoor recreation facilities, including golf courses and playgrounds, to close. Laurissa Ellsworth, director of marketing, arts and communication for the Town of Petrolia, says signs have already been posted at local parks.

“We are asking residents to please do their part and to self-police,” she says. “If complaints are received by bylaw (enforcement) or the OPP, they will be followed up on.”

Ellsworth says so far, they have been choosing education over enforcement.

The OPP in a social media post says it will enforce the new orders. It is also responsible for new border checkpoints with Manitoba and Quebec announced by Ford Friday.

On Twitter, medical professionals questioned why recreation facilities were being closed when medical evidence shows COVID-19 is spread in the air, not on surfaces, and is far less likely to spread outdoors.

“Am I missing something,” said Bluewater Health Chief of Staff Dr. Michael Haddad on Twitter.

Meantime, Ontario has registered another 4,362 people testing COVID-19 positive, including 12 new cases in Lambton. In Lambton there are now 111 people ill with COVID-19. Thirty four people in the province died of COVID-19 – that’s the most people dying in a single day during the pandemic.

There are 2.065 people in hospital, 726 are in intensive care – that’s up 25 per cent – and 501 are on ventilators, up 21 per cent.