Ontario Extends Emergency Orders as Majority of Province Reopens
To further stop the spread of COVID-19, Premier Doug Ford, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended all emergency orders currently in place for another ten days.
This extension will be in effect until June 30, 2020, to ensure the government continues to have the necessary tools to safely and gradually reopen the province while continuing to support frontline health care workers and protect vulnerable populations from COVID-19.
This announcement follows Premier Ford announced 31 public health unit regions across the province could begin Stage 2 of the provincial government’s Framework for Reopening the Province, which permits additional businesses and services to reopen and more people to return to work.
At this time, all but three public health units could enter into Stage 2, with Peel Public Health, Toronto Public Health, and Windsor-Essex County Health Unit remaining in Stage 1.
“Even though we’re seeing decreasing infection rates with increased testing levels, we can’t let our guard down just yet. We need to keep these emergency measures in place to support our frontline heroes and we must all continue following the public health advice, so we can reopen more of the province safely and gradually,” said Premier Ford.
While current emergency orders will remain in place until the end of the month, the government says it will continue to review each one on an ongoing, case-by-case basis to determine when and if they can safely be adjusted or lifted, as part of the province’s framework to safely reopen the province.
Additionally, larger social gatherings of up to 10 people are now allowed in all parts of the province, and people are encouraged to create or join a social circle.
Social circles are different from social gatherings and include people from outside your household and are limited to 10 people. A social circle is voluntary, but if adopted should include all household members, and can include family and friends outside the household up to a maximum of 10 people in the social circle, who can interact and come into close contact with one another without physical distancing.
As always, people should continue to follow public health guidelines, including practising physical distancing, wearing a face-covering where physical distancing is a challenge and washing their hands thoroughly and frequently.
Anyone who is worried they may have COVID-19, or who may have been exposed to the virus, is encouraged to go for testing.