Ontario's emergency COVID-19 measures extended until July 22
People line up outside a COVID-19 assessment centre in Toronto in this undated file image.
Published Thursday, July 9, 2020 7:33AM EDT
The Ford government has extended Ontario’s emergency coronavirus measures until July 22, giving them time until a major omnibus bill it says will help handle the ups and downs to prevent a possible second wave of infection is expected to pass later in the month.
For every two weeks since March 17, Premier Doug Ford and his cabinet have renewed a variety of emergency powers under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, giving them the ability to hire and redeploy medical staff in hospitals and long-term care homes, enforce rules about public gatherings, keep schools closed and embolden public health units to isolate and trace infections.
"Our government is getting Ontario back on track and more people back to work, but at the same time taking steps to ensure we don't undo the tremendous progress we have made together," said Premier Doug Ford said in a statement on Thursday morning. "By keeping these emergency measures in place, we will continue to support our frontline care providers, protect our most vulnerable, and ensure we can rapidly respond to potential outbreaks or surges."
The province’s emergency orders include rules prohibiting price gouging, the consolidation of time-of-use hydro rates into one flat rate of 12.8 cents per kilowatt hour, a provision to allow hospitals to build temporary COVID-19 treatment wards and a rule prohibiting long-term care workers from working at more than one location to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The order also mandates bonus pay for about 375,000 workers in Ontario's hospitals, long-term care system and other congregate living settings.