As you know, this week Premier Ford announced a province-wide shutdown beginning December 26th at 12:01a.m. The goal of the shutdown is to limit travel across the province to help prevent potential spread of COVID-19 while protecting health care capacity across Ontario.

Right now the best way to preserve hospital capacity -- and thank the selfless and devoted front-line workers for their sacrifice during this nearly year-long fight against COVID-19, is to stay close to home.

Though COVID-19 has changed how we will celebrate the holidays this year, let us reflect on the magic of Christmas and the hope and promise of a new year.

Ontario will go into a strict province-wide shutdown that will look similar to the shutdown back in March, with only essential businesses allowed to remain open. The lockdown will begin at 12:01 a.m. on December 26th and will last until January 23rd for all regions in southern Ontario. Note that child care centres will remain open.

The best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is to stay close to home (except for essential trips), and limit contact with others. The goal of the province-wide shutdown is to limit travel in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 while protecting the health care capacity of our hospitals across the province.


The Province-wide Shutdown will put in place time-limited public health and workplace safety measures similar to those in other jurisdictions. Below is a list of what will remain open and what will be closed, during Ontario’s second-wave lockdown which begins Boxing Day at 12:01 a.m.


Do you need urgent financial help due to COVID-19? If you're in an emergency situation you may be eligible for emergency assistance. If you need help paying for food or housing and are not already on Ontario Works or ODSP you can apply for emergency assistance.


The Ontario Community Support Association (OSCA) receives funding from the Ontario government to help isolated, low-income seniors and people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions across Ontario get meals, groceries, medicine and other essentials to stay safe at home.


Starting in January all students (aged 13 through to Grade 12), will be eligible for funding under the expanded Support for Learners Program. Parents or guardians will receive a one-time $200 payment per eligible student attending a public or private school or are homeschooled.

Applications open January 11th, 2021. 


Though our schools remain safe with rates of transmission low, Ontario is taking preventative action to protect our 2 million students in 5,000 publicly-funded schools. Starting January 4th, 2021 all elementary and secondary schools (public and private), will temporarily move to teacher-led remote learning.

Mental health is just as important as physical health. That's why the Ontario government is making it easier to access mental health supports during COVID-19. We've added resources to improve access to telephone, online and virtual supports. During these unprecedented times, you are not alone - help is available.

The Roadmap to Wellness: A Plan to Build Ontario's Mental Health and Addictions System provides a clear path forward, offering Ontarians easier access to standardized, high-quality care and supports in communities across the province. As we implement this plan, we will continue listening and collaborating with our partners to ensure it works for all Ontarians.

COVID-19 Testing
To Book a COVID test, appointments are required.
There is No walk in service available.

Testing is recommended for people who are experiencing symptoms or who meet provincial criteria.

COVID-19 Testing Locations

Mackenzie Health Assessment Centre
You can either visit the Richmond Hill or Vaughan Location
10 Trench Street, Richmond Hill

905 883-1212 ext 2004
10 Trench Street. Richmond Hill


905 832-4554 ext 2004
9401 Jane Street, Vaughan

Alternatively you can make an appointment at:

Humber River Hospital Assessment Centre located at 2111 Finch Avenue West

416 747-5474

Southlake Regional Health Centre located at 474 Davis Dr, Newmarket, Ontario

(289) 803-22199

At a participating pharmacy:

You can get a COVID-19 test at a participating pharmacy if you do not have symptoms and if any of the following apply to you:

  • Long-term care and other congregate settings
  • a visitor or worker in a long-term care home
  • a worker in a retirement home
  • a resident or worker in a homeless shelter or other congregate setting (for example, group homes, community supported living, disability-specific communities or congregate settings, short-term rehab, hospices and other shelters)
  • Other reasons
  • a farm worker
  • a person who identifies as Indigenous
  • an international student that has passed their 14-day quarantine period