ontario emergency

Ontario will remain in a state of emergency for at least another 28 days

Premier Doug Ford has some disappointing news for anyone in Ontario who was hoping COVID-19-induced lockdown measures may be letting up sooner than expected given the fact that Canada seems to be faring better than other nations as far as numbers of cases and deaths.

In his daily news briefing Monday, Ford said the province's current state of emergency, including the mandatory closure of non-essential businesses, will be in place for at least another four weeks.

The extension will be made at a legislative meeting at Queen's Park tomorrow.

The premier said that potentially re-opening things across the province is something that will have to be done "in trickles," and not until we see more favourable statistics from predictive modelling.

"I just want to make sure we do it properly, cautiously... and not just open the floodgates. I think [that] would be irresponsible," Ford said.

"People are special in Ontario, they're workers. They want to get out there and keep moving forward. But we're going to be extremely cautious."

He went on to say that he will be heeding the advice of provincial and federal medical officials, as well as listening to feedback from industries and communities about what they're comfortable with when the time does come to start resuming some of the province's normal operations.

Though he did say he's cautiously optimistic about how things are going in Ontario right now, he added that there will always be a risk.

"When economy turns on a little bit, there are still going to be people with COVID-19, and there are still going to be deaths. Even if we turn it on a trickle, there's going to be a risk."

Ford did not comment definitively on whether the extended emergency act means students across the province will not be returning to school on May 4 as planned.

A number of European countries are now starting to loosen restrictions as they enter the slow and careful reopening phase of their novel coronavirus situations.

But many experts attribute the fact that Canada hasn't ended up in as bad of a state as Italy or the U.S. to the swift and strict measures various levels of government implemented — and have said that these measures need to stay in place, as we're nowhere near being in the clear.

Toronto's medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, echoed this sentiment earlier this month when she said that current social distancing measures will likely have to remain in place in Toronto for up to 12 more weeks.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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