WRPS received more than 100 calls to 911 with questions about stay-at-home order
KITCHENER -- Waterloo regional police say they received more than 100 calls to 911 on Thursday from people with questions about the province's new stay-at-home order.
The order came into effect on Thursday at 12:01 a.m. People across the province have been asked to only leave their homes for essential purposes, like buying food, getting medication or going to medical appointments.
"We understand people may be confused and have questions and we want to do our best to assist," an email from a WPRS spokesperson said. "However, these calls tie up resources so we ask that they visit government website for a list of all the rules and guidelines."
The OPP also reported an increase in calls from people looking for information about the order. People are reminded to only call 911 in an emergency.
"It was enough to get our attention to realize that there was a gap in public knowledge about the legislation," said Derek Rogers, media relations manager with the OPP West Region.
The OPP is turning people towards 211 Ontario, a website and hotline to find answers.
Officials said that hotline has the resources to answer questions and allow police to respond to emergency calls.
"You would hate to think that there is a call we are getting late, that there is someone in a crisis who needs our presence, the firefighters, paramedics, that sort of thing," Rogers said.
Peel regional police said they were "overwhelmed" with calls from people on Thursday.
WRPS, along with police from across the province, said Thursday they plan to focus on education rather than enforcement when it comes to the stay-at-home order. They added they have no plans to pull people over or knock on doors to make sure people are staying in their homes.
With reporting by CTV News Kitchener's Jeff Pickel