Ontario extends its state of emergency until mid-July

Jun 24 2020, 8:01 am

Ontario is extending the state of emergency until July 15.

The extension was passed by the legislature on Wednesday morning.

The decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and extended with the provincial Declaration of Emergency under s.7.0.7 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. 

According to the province, the extension provides Ontario with the additional time, flexibility, and the necessary tools to “safely and gradually” allow more places to reopen, while continuing to support frontline healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we gradually and safely reopen our economy, our frontline care providers can continue to rely on these emergency orders to better protect our seniors and most vulnerable citizens and provide the flexibility to put resources where they’re needed most,” Premier Doug Ford said.

“We are hopeful that another extension of the Declaration of Emergency will not be needed as we see improvements in the public health trends and as people and businesses continue to act responsibly and adapt to the new environment.”

Many of the emergency orders made under the state of emergency are expected to continue even after July 15, including bans on large gatherings.

The provincial Declaration of Emergency enables the government to make, and amend, emergency orders that protect the health and safety of all residents.

Emergency orders in force under the Declaration of Emergency include those allowing frontline care providers to redeploy staff to areas most in need, limiting long-term care and retirement home employees to working at one home, and enabling public health units to redeploy or hire staff to support the province’s enhanced case management and contact tracing strategy.

In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the government will continue to monitor public health trends related to the virus and assess on an ongoing basis whether the provincial emergency measures need to be extended further.

The government will also continue to review emergency orders currently in place to determine when and if it is safe to amend or lift them as more places in the province are allowed to reopen in a safe and measured way.

The extension comes after Ontario announced that Toronto, along with Peel, can enter Stage 2 of its reopening this week.

Windsor-Essex remains the only region in the province in Stage 1.