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Ontario extends most emergency orders to Sept. 22

Thursday, August 20, 2020 @ 2:08 PM | By John Schofield

The Ontario government has extended its emergency orders to Sept. 22 with two exceptions, saying the move will help protect vulnerable populations from COVID-19.

The decision, made in consultation with chief medical officer of health Dr. David Williams, will ensure measures remain in place under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (ROA) to protect “seniors, people with developmental disabilities and those with mental health and addiction issues” and other vulnerable people, according to an Aug. 20 news release.

The education sector order under the ROA has been extended to Aug. 31, while the limitation periods order will end and suspended time periods will resume on Sept. 14. Details on the orders that have been extended to Sept. 22 are available in the news release.

Ontario reported 76 new cases of COVID-19 on the morning of Aug. 20, but a technical issue with the province’s Integrated Public Health Information System meant that data was not available from 11 of Ontario’s 34 public health units.

“We’re conducting an ongoing review and assessment of all orders to determine if they are still necessary,” Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said in the news release, “and will relax restrictions or lift orders when it is safe to do so.”

The provincial declaration of emergency was terminated on July 24 when the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, came into force. Under the ROA, emergency orders can be extended for up to 30 days at a time. It also allows for certain orders to be amended, but not for new ones to be created. The government will continue to review all orders and will report on order extensions to the newly created select committee on emergency management oversight, the news release states. The committee will meet for the first time on August 24 to hear the government’s rationale for decisions to extend orders.

As of Aug. 10, all public health regions in Ontario are in stage 3 of reopening.

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