State of emergency extended for Ontario

Premier Doug Ford speaks to the media May 14, 2020.

The Ontario government has once again extended a state of emergency as the COVID-19 crisis continues across the province.

A motion was passed at Queen’s Park on Tuesday to extend the state of emergency another 28 days until June 30. The previous state of emergency was set to expire the same day.

Several emergency orders will now remain in effect throughout June, including a ban on gatherings of more than five people and prohibiting restaurants and bars from opening, provide takeout or delivery.

“We are not out of the woods yet, so it is critical that we exercise caution to keep everyone safe, including protecting our most vulnerable citizens in long-term care homes, retirement homes and group homes,” said Premier Doug Ford in a news release.

Despite the state of emergency, Ontario is continuing the first stage of the province’s reopening, which began on May 19. The first stage has allowed numerous businesses to reopen if strict safety guidelines were followed.

“Extending the provincial Declaration of Emergency will allow us to safely and gradually reopen the province, while we continue to use every resource at our disposal to battle this deadly virus,” said¬† Ford.

The emergency orders will also allow frontline health care providers to hire and redeploy staff where they are needed most to support case management and contact tracing. The orders also prevent the unfair pricing of necessary goods.

As of Tuesday evening, there have been 28,709 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario, with 22,484 cases now resolved. A total of 2,293 people in the province have died as a result of contracting the virus.

For a full list of emergency orders in effect in Ontario, click here.