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Ontario extends emergency declaration to July 15

TORONTO ― The Ontario government has extended the current state of emergency to July 15 – and officials hope it will be the final extension.

“As we gradually and safely reopen our economy, our frontline care providers can continue to rely on these emergency orders to better protect our seniors and most vulnerable citizens and provide the flexibility to put resources where they’re needed most,” said Premier Doug Ford in a June 24 press release.

“We are hopeful that another extension of the declaration of emergency will not be needed as we see improvements in the public health trends and as people and businesses continue to act responsibly and adapt to the new environment.”

Ford originally declared a state of emergency in Ontario due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 17. It has now been extended four times.

Officials say the latest extension, approved by the Ontario Legislature on June 24, “provides Ontario with the additional time, flexibility, and the necessary tools to safely and gradually allow more places to reopen, while continuing to support frontline health care providers in the fight against COVID-19.”

As of June 24, 33 public health unit regions have entered stage two of the province’s reopening plan, which includes the reopening of restaurants and bars with outdoor dine-in services, barber shops and hair salons, shopping malls, splash pads and pools, and private campgrounds, among other businesses and amenities.

The Windsor-Essex County public health unit region remains in stage one and officials say the situation there “will continue to be assessed on an ongoing basis.”

A full list of emergency orders currently in place across Ontario can be found an be found at Ontario.ca/alert.