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Ford plans to extend Ontario's state of emergency to July 15
Premier Doug Ford makes an announcement in Toronto on Monday, June 1, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Steve Russell - POOL
Published Wednesday, June 17, 2020 7:29AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 17, 2020 9:08PM EDT
The Ford government has tabled a motion Wednesday night to extend Ontario's state of emergency until July 15.
"Thanks to the collective efforts of every Ontarian, the COVID-19 trends in our province are moving in the right direction and the Premier is hopeful that this will the final extension," the premier's office said in a statement.
The motion will be debated in the legislature next week.
Earlier, the province announced that emergency orders put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario would be in effect until June 30.
"Extending these emergency orders gives our frontline health care providers the necessary flexibility to rapidly respond to urgent needs and protect our most vulnerable," Premier Doug Ford said in a news release.
"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 province first declared a provincial state of emergency on March 17 in response to the pandemic.
Ontario has seen three consecutive days where the number of new cases dipped below 200 and there has been a steep decline in the number of virus-related hospitalizations in recent weeks.
The majority of businesses that were forced to close due to the pandemic have now been permitted to open in most parts of Ontario under Stage 2 of the province's reopening plan.
Due to a higher number of new and active COVID-19 cases , Toronto, Peel Region, and Windsor-Essex remain in Stage 1, meaning that many businesses, including restaurant patios and hair salons, cannot yet reopen in those three areas.
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.
"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," the province said in a news release issued Wednesday.