Ontario extends COVID-19 emergency orders through June 30

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The Government of Ontario announced Wednesday (June 17) that all current emergency orders, enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, will extend through June 30, 2020.

While the majority of the province is moving on to Stage 2 of the re-opening plan, emergency orders cover closures of bars and restaurants (although patios will be allowed to open in Hamilton and Halton on June 19), theatres, outdoor amenities such as playgrounds, and child care centres.

Extending these emergency orders gives our frontline health care providers the necessary flexibility to rapidly respond to urgent needs and protect our most vulnerable,” said Premier Doug Ford.

Even though we’re seeing decreasing infection rates with increased testing levels, we can’t let our guard down just yet. We need to keep these emergency measures in place to support our frontline heroes and we must all continue following the public health advice, so we can reopen more of the province safely and gradually.”

The government said it will continue to review each measure on an ongoing, case-by-case basis to determine when and if they can safely be adjusted or lifted, as part of the province’s framework to “safely reopen the province”.

Families in Ontario were told last Friday (June 12) they can now expand the number of people they have close contact with to 10.

Premier Ford unveiled the new advice on "social circles" from the province's chief medical officer of health on the same day new rules expanding group gatherings and reopening business in some parts of the province came into effect.

The Ontario Government announced Monday (June 15) it will allow more regions to enter Stage 2 of the COVID-19 reopening strategy; among them, Halton and Hamilton.

Beginning Friday (June 19), services such as restaurant patios, hair salons, and swimming pools will be allowed to resume operations under the direction of local health officials.

The Ontario government said its decision is based on positive trends of key public health indicators at the local level, including lower transmission of COVID-19, sufficient hospital health system capacity, local public health capacity to assist with rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing provincially.

The public health unit regions allowed to move into Stage 2 are:

  • Durham Region Health Department
  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
  • Halton Region Health Department
  • Hamilton Public Health Services
  • Lambton Health Unit
  • Niagara Region Public Health Department
  • York Region Public Health Services

The public health regions that will remain in Stage 1 are:

  • Peel Public Health
  • Toronto Public Health
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit

Before opening, business owners will need to review the workplace safety guidelines and public health advice.

Ontario reported 184 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday (June 16) and 11 more deaths.

Roughly two-thirds of the new cases come from Toronto, Peel Region, and Windsor-Essex--the only three areas that won’t be in Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan.

The new cases bring the province to a total of 32,554, which is an increase of 0.6 per cent over the previous day.

It includes 2,538 deaths and 27,431 resolved cases--218 more than the previous day, continuing a trend of resolved cases growing more quickly than active ones.

The number of people in hospital and in intensive care with COVID-19 both dropped; however, the number of people on ventilators rose slightly.

Meanwhile, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health is now recommending that hospitals start allowing family and caregiver visits in acute care settings.

With files from The Canadian Press

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