Ontario is once again extending the state of emergency until July 15.
The motion was approved by the provincial legislature on Wednesday morning. Premier Doug Ford said he was hopeful it would be the last extension, as long as the province continues to see improvements in public health trends, with people acting responsibly as they adapt to the new environment.
“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,” Ford said at the legislature.
State of emergency in #Ontario extended (again) to July 15.
What about mandatory masking policies for high-risk settings to help stop #COVID19, so there doesn’t need to be more extensions?🧐 #Masks4Canada
— Dr. Jennifer Kwan (@jkwan_md) June 24, 2020
The Emergency extension enables the government to make and amend emergency orders that protect the health and safety of Ontarians. Such orders include allowing frontline healthcare workers 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 hire staff to support Ontario’s enhanced case management and contact tracing strategy. This will take place as the province continues to ease restrictions in support of its phased reopening.
As of June 24, 33 public health unit regions have entered Stage 2 of Ontario’s three-stage Framework for Reopening the Province to gradually reopen businesses and industries. Toronto and Peel Region entered Stage 2 of the reopening plan as of 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, allowing more closed businesses to reopen, including malls, restaurant patios, and hair and nail salons.
Restaurants are also allowed to open their patios for dine-in service, although indoor serving will not yet be allowed.
Windsor-Essex will remain in Stage 1 as it continues to trace an ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 among migrant farm workers. Although provincial ministers announced on Monday that there would be enhanced onsite testing on farms across that region, as well as on-farm inspections and investigations, reaction to the news has been somewhat controversial.
If you missed it, Here’s what happened inside the Ontario Legislature:
During an exchange over the Windsor Essex lockdown, NDP MPP Taras Natyshak called Premier Doug Ford a “piece of shit” (NDP confirms the term was used.)
— Colin D’Mello CTVNews (@ColinDMello) June 24, 2020
As of June 23, there were a total of 34,016 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario. Compared to the previous day, this represents an increase of 163 confirmed cases, an increase of 12 deaths, and an increase of 229 resolved cases.