Easter Season Observed Online

Third wave of pandemic shuts down province

Posted April 6, 2021

The Ontario government declared a third state of emergency, days after pulling pandemic emergency brake and placing the entire province in a 28-day shutdown. 

These measures are being taken in response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 transmission, the threat on the province's hospital system capacity, and the increasing risks posed by COVID-19 variants.

In doing so, the province has created a new White-Shutdown category within its pandemic colour-coded framework of public health measures. A stay-at-home order has also been issued, requiring everyone to remain at home with limited exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), attending permitted religious gatherings, or for essential work that cannot be done remotely.

As the third wave of the pandemic continues to surge in the communities of the diocese, in-person public worship remains suspended for all parishes through the season of Easter.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, urges all Canadians to aim for the fewest interactions, with the fewest number of people, for the shortest time, at the greatest distance possible while wearing the best-fitting mask.  

This news comes as the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table says the province is in more danger than ever before. New data indicates that the B.1.1.7 variant of concern carries with it a risk of ICU admission that is 2 times higher, a risk of death that is 1.5 times higher than the earlier form of the virus, impacting much younger people and sweeping through entire households in a way that wasn’t seen in in previous waves. There is also a 2.5 times greater risk of asymptomatic transmission, underscoring importance of strictly adhering to pandemic protocols. 

Bishop Susan Bell urges people to follow pandemic protocols, to sign up for their vaccination at the earliest opportunity, and to check on isolated and vulnerable people.

Niagara Anglicans are invited to visit the diocesan Facebook Page and/or YouTube channel for Sunday worship, if online parish services are not locally available. 

*article updated on April 8