Ontario announces stay-at-home order, closes most retail stores

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April 7 (Reuters) – The Canadian province of Ontario will begin a four week-long stay-at-home order and close in-store shopping for non-essential retailers as of Thursday, Premier Doug Ford said on Wednesday, as the province battles a surge of COVID-19 cases.

The move follows last week’s shuttering of all indoor and outdoor dining across Canada’s most populous province.

Hospitals in the province are becoming increasingly stretched, with the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units at the highest point since the pandemic began, according to provincial data. (Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver Editing by Chris Reese)