It will soon be known if automotive repair shops and auto parts stores will be allowed to remain open in the two provinces hardest hit by the global pandemic of coronavirus.
As cases of Covid-19 mounted yesterday, surpassing 2,000 nationwide, Quebec with 628 cases and Ontario with 503 cases ordered all non-essential businesses to close. Official lists of the types of businesses that may remain open in both provinces are expected to be posted tomorrow.
Quebec Premier François Legault said he would put the province on “pause” for at least three weeks to try to thwart the spread of the disease.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the time for half measures was over, and he vowed that the province would not lose the battle against the virus.
“We will get ahead of this,” he said.
It remains to be seen if automotive repair shops will be on the list of essential services. In the United States, where some states and jurisdictions have enacted “shelter in place” orders, auto part stores and auto repair shops have been exempted from the close order.
As of 5 p.m. EST on March 23:
British Columbia has 472 cases
Alberta has 259 cases
Saskatchewan has 66 cases
Nova Scotia has 41 cases
Newfoundland has 24 cases
Manitoba has 20 cases
New Brunswick has 17 cases
P.E.I. has 3 cases
Yukon has 2 cases
NWT has 1 case