Ontario extends state of emergency until June 30th
The province has officially extended the state of emergency, after the Ontario legislature voted in favour of the extension, until June 30th, as the government continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision was made in consultation with Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health.
"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 Premier Doug Ford. "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."
The Declaration will help to support the ongoing enforcement of emergency orders that enable hospitals and long-term care homes the flexibility they require to respond to the virus and protect vulnerable populations and the public as a whole, as the province reopens.
The government also says emergency orders in place now allow frontline healthcare providers to redeploy staff to areas they're needed most.
The orders also enable public health units to reassign or hire staff to support case management and contact tracing, as well as limiting retirement home and long-term care staff to work at one home.
It also prevents unfair pricing of required goods.
It's possible that the state of emergency could be extended again, with approval of the legislature, beyond June 30th.
It initially took effect on March 17th. At that time there were only 190 cases of COVID-19 in Ontario. The latest provincial total has soared to more than 28 thousand 500 cases.
With files from the Province of Ontario