Representatives with Ontario police services are urging people to stop calling 911 to ask questions about the Ontario government’s new coronavirus order to stay home.
Peel Regional Police posted a tweet just before 1:30 p.m. Thursday saying communicators were “overloaded” with calls over COVID-19-related issues, including a new home-stay warrant and restrictions imposed on valid at 12:01 p.m.
“Get rid of things that are actually emergency when people seek and seek police assistance in a medical or criminal situation,” Const. Sarah Patten told Global News.
“It simply came to our notice then [emergency] calls quickly because we need to clear up all these questions of COVID breach legislation. “
Patten said the communications team is “extremely busy” on a daily basis and they reiterated that they were being flooded with phone calls from people asking what they could and could not do under the new orders.
“That’s why we post everything on social media, to let everyone know what the difference is between an emergency and a non-emergency for the police,” Patten said.
Coronavirus: The Ontario government order to stay home is now in effect
“We understand that everyone’s assessment in these circumstances may be different and what I perceive as an emergency you can not see as an emergency.
“So we just pulled it off saying, ‘This is what the police consider both emergency and non-emergency’ and if you have any legislation questions about the new COVID-19 restrictions call 311 or click on the link in the post of social media on Twitter and Facebook. ”
South Simcoe police wrote a similar message Thursday afternoon.
“Our 911 communicators are getting a lot of calls with questions about the order to stay at home. “Please do not link the emergency lines with these questions,” the message read.
Emergency home alarm message sent to Ontarians
York Regional Police also told Global News they had received a “number of calls” Thursday seeking clarification on the new restrictions. However, a spokesman said receiving emergency call calls is “nothing new” and their communications team has been conducting these types of calls for months.
Hamilton police also said they are flooded with calls for a home arrest warrant, too. A spokesman told Global News that they typically received about three to five phone calls a day over sub-legal issues, and so far on Thursday, they have received more than 40 only from people seeking clarification on the new order.
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Under the home stay order, Ontario residents are required to leave their homes for essential purposes only, such as food, health care, exercise, or work. The order went into effect two days after the Ford government declared a state of emergency for the second time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Provincial officials said there is no set definition for what is essential because everyone has their own unique circumstances and regional considerations. There is no limit to how many times people can leave their homes per day, or for how long they can be outside.
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© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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