Doug Ford declares State of Emergency for province
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has declared a state of emergency as the province tries to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Ford made the announcement on Tuesday alongside Health Minister Christine Elliott, Finance Minister Rod Phillips and Ontario Solicitor General Sylvia Jones at Queen’s Park Tuesday morning.
"I've declared a state of emergency in the province of Ontario," Ford said.
"This is a decision not made lightly. COVID-19 constitutes a danger of major proportions. We've taken this measure because we must offer our full support in every power possible to help our health care sector fight the spread of COVID-19."
Ford says the order bans public events of over 50 people, including parades, events and services within places of worship until March 31.
Effective immediately, the province has ordered the closure of all facilities providing indoor recreation programs, all public libraries, all private schools, all licensed childcare centres, all theatres, cinemas and concert venues, and all bars and restaurants except to provide takeout food and delivery.
Ford says this is not a provincial shut down and the majority of businesses won't be affected by the order. Essential services such as grocery stores will continue to operate.
"The vast majority of businesses, including those most vital to day-to-day life, will not be affected by this order. Essential services and needs will be available".
"Right now we need to do eveything possible to slow the spread of COVID-19 in order to avoid overwhemling our heatlh care system. We must think about our children, parents and grandparents. We must think about the eldery, those with health issues and every other person across this province."
"I want to assure the people of Ontario the government is taking every step possible to flatten the curve. I want to urge calm. No expensive will be spared to support Ontarians in need."
Thirty-two new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) were confirmed in Ontario on Monday, bringing the provincial total to 177, including five recoveries.
There are more than 1,537 people currently under investigation for the virus. More than 8,460 people in Ontario have tested negative.
The number is down slightly from Sunday's record of 42 new cases in Ontario.
Majority of new patients are reported to be self-isolating.
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