Ontario is extending its emergency orders for another 10 days, including banning people from dining in bars and restaurants, and gathering in groups larger than five.
The orders had been set to expire June 9, but the province announced today that they are being extended until June 19.
They include the closure of child-care centres, though Premier Doug Ford has said that a phased reopening plan for them will be announced early next week.
Extending the emergency orders also means the continued closure of bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery, libraries except for curbside pickup or delivery, and theatres.
Ontarians looking to use playgrounds, or beat the heat at public pools and splash pads are also out of luck as a result of the extended orders.
“Extending these emergency orders will give employers of frontline care providers the necessary flexibility to respond to COVID-19 and protect vulnerable people and the public as the province gradually and safely reopens,” the Ontario government said in a release issued Saturday morning.
Additionally, the province says it is extending the suspension of limitation periods and time periods for legal proceedings until September 11, ensuring people “will not experience legal consequences” if the original time requirements of their case are not met while this order is in effect.
This news comes after Ontario’s state of emergency was extended earlier this week to June 30.
344 new cases reported Friday
Meanwhile, the province reported 344 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, representing a 1.2 per cent increase in total cases.
That increase brings Ontario’s cumulative number of cases to 29,747. Some 23,583 of those cases are considered resolved.
Ontario’s network of about 20 labs processed some 22,730 tests on Thursday, the most on any single day since the outbreak began in late January.
The province’s official COVID-19 death toll grew by 15 and now sits at 2,372. A CBC News count based on data compiled directly from regional public health units puts the real toll at at least 2,430 as of Saturday morning.
Just over 79 per cent of COVID-19-linked deaths were residents in long-term care homes. The province has tracked outbreaks in 310 long-term care facilities, while 85 remain ongoing — the fewest since mid-April.
The number of patients in Ontario hospitals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 dropped by 27, down to 749. That is the fewest since April 12, when 738 patients with novel coronavirus infections were in hospital.
Those being treated in intensive care units fell by three, to 118, while patients requiring a ventilator was unchanged and sits at 94.
The province is set to release its latest data at 10:30 a.m. E.T. Saturday.
Despite steady new case numbers, Ford says he will reveal details next week on Ontario’s second phase of loosening pandemic restrictions.
Although Stage 2 won’t begin immediately after details are revealed, Ford says the province will give notices to businesses that will be given the green light to reopen.
“We encourage businesses to begin preparing to reopen, so when the time comes, they will be able to protect employees, consumers and the general public,” Ford said in the statement Saturday.
Meanwhile, thousands of people took to the streets of downtown Toronto Friday to protest against anti-black racism — you can read more about that here.
— CBC News