Ontario extends COVID-19 orders until January 2021

Dec 10 2020, 7:28 am

The Government of Ontario is extending the orders intended to combat COVID-19 for another month.

All orders currently enforced under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (ROA) will be extended until January 20, 2021.

The government said this extension would support the safe delivery of health care and other critical services until coronavirus vaccines are widely available.

On Wednesday, Health Canada announced that it had approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Officials said Canadians might start being vaccinated as early as December 15.

“Safeguarding the health and well-being of Ontarians remains our top priority at every stage of our COVID-19 response,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.

“As we prepare to implement a safe and effective immunization program, extending these orders will ensure tools remain in place to address urgent public health situations until all Ontarians can be vaccinated.”

The government said it continues to respond to the pandemic by taking the actions needed to support and keep Ontarians safe.

On November 23, Toronto and Peel Region were both placed into a lockdown in order to curb the spread of the virus. Several other public health units across the province are in the Red – Control zone of Ontario’s COVID-19 framework.

Under the ROA, the government also made amendments to O. Reg 82/20 (Rules for Areas in Stage 1), which applies to public health unit regions in the Stage 1 lockdown.

These amendments, which came into effect on December 4, permit indoor farmer’s markets that sell groceries to remain open.

They also increase the limit on the number of people allowed in post-secondary instructional spaces at one time from 10 people to 50. The increase only applies to certain programs that are critical to supporting the health care workforce as set out in the order.

The ROA came into effect on July 24 after the provincial declared emergency ended. The ROA ensures important measures to combat coronavirus remains in place and can extend orders for up to 30 days at a time.

The list of orders under the ROA that have been extended can be found online on the Government of Ontario’s website.

To date, Ontario has seen 132,800 coronavirus cases and 3,836 deaths.