Ford government extends emergency orders until June 30

Ontario first declared a provincial emergency on March 17 in response to the pandemic

Ontario has extended emergency orders to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the province until June 30.

The government announced the decision in a news release on Wednesday.

“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 cautious approach comes as the number of new cases has been below 200 for three straight days. The number of people hospitalized as a result of the virus is also dropping.

Most of Ontario including Simcoe Muskoka is under Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan which has allowed most businesses that were forced to close to reopen again including barber shops, hair salons and restaurant patios.

Due to a higher number of COVID-19 cases, Windsor-Essex, Peel and Toronto remain at Stage 1.

In the statement, the Ford government said “while current emergency orders will remain in place until the end of the month, the government will continue to review each one 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.”

Social gatherings of up to 10 people are now allowed across Ontario and child-care centres have also been given the green light to reopen province-wide.