UPDATED: Ontario declares a state of emergency


Premier Doug Ford has declared a state of emergency in Ontario to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Thirty-two new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID19) were confirmed yesterday bringing provincial total to 177. There are more than 1537 people currently under investigation for the virus.

The state of emergency allows sweeping measures designed to stop the spread of the virus including the immediate closure of

  • All facilities providing indoor recreational programs;
  • All public libraries;
  • All private schools as defined in the Education Act;
  • All licensed child care centres;
  • All bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery;
  • All theatres including those offering live performances of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies; and
  • Concert venues.

“We are facing an unprecedented time in our history,” said Ford this morning during a news conference where reporters called in their questions. “This is a decision that was not made lightly. COVID-19 constitutes a danger of major proportions. We are taking this extraordinary measure because we must offer our full support and every power possible to help our health care sector fight the spread of COVID-19. The health and well being of every Ontarian must be our number one priority.”

The premier acknowledge that small business owners are concerned about losing their livelihoods.

“We won’t forget those people,” he says. “We aren’t going to forget anyone. We’re going to spare no expense to protect people’s health and their businesses with their support and the help of the federal government.”