Ontario has declared its third state of emergency since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and will be implementing a provincewide stay-at-home order as of Thursday. Premier Doug Ford made the announcement Wednesday after hours of discussion with his cabinet. The stay-at home order will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday and will last 28 days. “I can’t stress this enough. Things are extremely, extremely serious right now. And I’m extremely concerned,” Ford told reporters at an afternoon news conference. “The situation is evolving rapidly, hour by hour. And as things change, as we learn more about these deadly new variants, as we see new problems arise, we need to adapt. We need to move quickly and decisively. And right now, above all else, our plan is to get needles in the arms and protect our hospitals. That’s why, today, on the advice of the chief medical officer of health I’m declaring a state of emergency.” During this time, all non-essential retailers will close to in-person shopping, in-person dining will be prohibited and gyms and personal care services will be shuttered.