Ontario extends emergency orders until June 9 despite declining hospitalizations

On Wednesday morning, the Ontario government announced it was extending all current emergency orders until June 9.

The announcement to extend the order, which was first declared on March 17 in response to the COVID-19 virus, comes in the wake of 292 additional cases of COVID-19 reported on Wednesday. A 1.1 per cent increase in the total number of cases reported to date, but only five more cases compared to Tuesday’s numbers (the lowest daily increase reported by the province in nearly two months).

Current emergency orders include the closure of most outdoor facilities, including outdoor playgrounds, public swimming pools, and outdoor water facilities. Struggling bars and restaurants will still be unable to open (with an exception for takeout and delivery).

Social gatherings of more than five people will continue to be restricted, and staff redeployment rules will remain for long-term care homes, retirement homes, and women’s shelters.

“We are extending these emergency orders to protect the health and safety of all individuals and families as we begin to gradually and safely reopen our province,” Premier Doug Ford said in a statement.

“To build on the progress we have made to contain COVID-19, people should continue to follow these simple public health guidelines, practise physical distancing, wear a mask when it is a challenge to physical distance, and wash their hands regularly. If you think you have COVID-19 or may have been exposed to the virus, go to an assessment centre and get tested. Please stay safe.”

Reaction has been somewhat mixed, with some wondering if the extensions will be indefinite, and others seemingly getting used to the new normal.

 

 

 

 

To date, there are 26,483 positive cases of COVID-19 in the province (10, 373 from the Toronto area), with 20,372 resolved cases and 2,155 deaths (1,352 of these deaths were reported for residents in long-term care homes).

Click here for the most up-to-date COVID-19 numbers in Ontario.

Article exclusive to TRNTO