June 24, 2020
Province Focuses on Safe, Gradual Reopening of Regions
TORONTO ― In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government has extended the provincial Declaration of Emergency under s.7.0.7 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to July 15, 2020. This extension, approved by the Ontario Legislature earlier today, provides Ontario with the additional time, flexibility, and the necessary tools to safely and gradually allow more places to reopen, while continuing to support frontline health care providers in the fight against COVID-19.
“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,” said Premier Doug Ford. “We are hopeful that another extension of the Declaration of Emergency will not be needed as we see improvements in the public health trends and as people and businesses continue to act responsibly and adapt to the new environment.”
The provincial Declaration of Emergency enables the government to make, and as needed amend, emergency orders that protect the health and safety of all Ontarians. Emergency orders in force under the Declaration of Emergency include those allowing frontline care providers 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 redeploy or hire staff to support the province’s enhanced case management and contact tracing strategy. These measures continue to be needed to protect seniors and other vulnerable populations from the threat of COVID-19. The extension of the Declaration of Emergency will allow the province to make or amend emergency orders as needed as it continues to ease restrictions in support of its phased reopening.
In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the government will continue to monitor public health trends related to COVID-19 and assess on an ongoing basis whether the provincial Declaration of Emergency needs to be extended further. The government will also continue to review emergency orders currently in place to determine when and if it is safe to amend or lift them as more places in the province are allowed to reopen in a safe and measured way.
As of June 24, 33 public health unit regions have entered Stage 2 of the Framework for Reopening our Province, allowing more businesses and services to open and getting more people back to work. The Windsor-Essex County public health unit region remains in Stage 1 and the situation in the region will continue to be assessed on an ongoing basis.
Most of the Province’s existing Emergency Orders will remain in place until at least June 30, 2020. This includes the maximum number of people who can congregate remains at 5, unless they reside in the same household. The number of COVID-19 cases is not going down enough for the province to initiate Phase Two of the Recovery.
A couple of changes though. Chiropractors (yeah Sean!) and massage therapists can reopen. Sadly, very sadly, hair stylists have not been given the green light. COVID-19 hair styles will continue to be the rage for the next while.
Emergency Orders Extended to June 9th
The Ontario government is extending all emergency orders in force under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Current emergency orders include the closure of outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, public swimming pools and outdoor water facilities, as well as bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery. Additionally, there continues to be restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and staff redeployment rules remain in place for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women’s shelters.
Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, emergency orders can only be extended for up to 14 days by the Lieutenant Governor in Council (Cabinet) or the Legislative Assembly, on the recommendation of the Premier may, by resolution, extend the period of an emergency for additional periods of no more than 28 days.