Doug Ford declares State-of-Emergency in Ontario

“This does not mean we are shutting down the province.”

Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state-of-emergency Tuesday morning. Ford placed a prohibition on gatherings of more than 50 people until March 31st.

State of Emergency Declared in Ontario

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has just declared a state-of-emergency

Posted by Barrie 360 on Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Premier said there’s “growing evidence of community spread.” Ford made the decision based on advice from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams. When it comes to ‘community spread,’ Dr. Williams says the majority of cases are from travel. When pressed on how many were ‘community spread’ Dr. Williams said he didn’t have those numbers.

The following establishments are legally required to close immediately

  • All facilities providing indoor recreational programs;
  • All public libraries;
  • All private schools as defined in the Education Act;
  • All licensed child care centres;
  • All bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery;
  • All theatres including those offering live performances of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies; and
  • Concert venues.

Ford says the “prohibition” includes

Recreational programs and libraries, private schools, daycares, churches and other faith settings, as well as bars and restaurants, except those that may only offer takeout or delivery. These closures would be in line with the updated guidance to avoid large gatherings of over 50 people.

This move in Ontario follows the border shut-down to non-citizens (U.S. Citizens exempt) by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday.

The Statement from Premier Ford’s office

“Since we first learned of COVID-19, Ontario has actively monitored the developing situation and has acted decisively to contain the spread of this new virus to protect the health and well-being of all Ontarians.

Given the latest developments both internationally and here at home, including growing evidence of community spread, the province is taking further action to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Based on advice from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, Ontario is responding to the evolving situation by moving forward with new measures to help contain the virus, including the recommended closure of all recreational programs and libraries, private schools, daycares, churches and other faith settings, as well as bars and restaurants, except those that may only offer takeout or delivery. These closures would be in line with the updated guidance to avoid large gatherings of over 50 people. We recognize that these measures will significantly impact the lives of many Ontarians. However, as the number of cases in Ontario continues to grow, we must heed the advice of our public health experts and take decisive action to protect the health and safety of the public, our government’s top priority. As this situation continues to evolve, we are prepared to continue to respond quickly and effectively to any scenario to keep Ontarians safe.”