CP24 - Toronto News | Breaking News Headlines | Weather, Traffic, Sports
Ontario extends all emergency orders until June 9
Published Wednesday, May 27, 2020 7:23AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 27, 2020 9:10AM EDT
The provincial government is extending all emergency orders in Ontario for another two weeks.
In a news release issued Wednesday, the province said current emergency orders, including a ban on social gatherings of more than five people, will be in place until June 9.
The directive also means that playgrounds and public swimming pools will remain closed and bars and restaurants in the province still cannot offer dine-in service.
"We are extending these emergency orders to protect the health and safety of all individuals and families as we begin to gradually and safely reopen our province," Premier Doug Ford said in a written statement.
"To build on the progress we have made to contain COVID-19, people should continue to follow these simple public health guidelines, practise physical distancing, wear a mask when it is a challenge to physical distance, and wash their hands regularly. If you think you have COVID-19 or may have been exposed to the virus, go to an assessment centre and get tested. Please stay safe."
A state of emergency was declared in the province on March 17 and several orders were put in place, including the closure of schools and all non-essential businesses, in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.
The province saw a substantial dip in the number of new COVID-19 cases on Monday after new cases exceeded 400 for five consecutive days.
Ontario's chief medical officer of health has said the province will need to see a steady decline in case growth in order to reopen more businesses and expand the size of allowable gatherings.
Experts have also indicated that Ontario will need to see an increase in testing and contact tracing before we can safely ease public health restrictions.
It should be noted that the province has failed to meet testing targets over the past week and processed fewer than 10,000 tests on Monday.
Officials have previously indicated that Ontario has the ability to turn around about 20,000 per day.
Premier Doug Ford has promised to ramp up testing in the province and said a “detailed testing strategy” will be released at some point this week.