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Ontario extends declaration of emergency to July 15

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 @ 11:45 AM | By John Chunn

In consultation with the chief medical officer of health, the Ontario government announced that it has extended the provincial declaration of emergency under s. 7.0.7 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to July 15.

According to the government’s press release, this extension, approved by the Ontario legislature on June 24, 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 front-line 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 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 front-line 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. 

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.