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Ontario extends all COVID-19 emergency orders past Victoria Day
TORONTO -- The Ontario government has extended all emergency orders in the province until May 19.
The emergency order, first introduced on March 17, includes the closure of non-essential businesses and prohibits public gatherings of more than five people.
The province said on Wednesday it extended the emergency orders following advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Ontario's overall declaration of a state of emergency was extended last month to May 12.
Last Friday, Premier Doug Ford announced that a small number of businesses could reopen in the province if they could follow strict safety guidelines. These businesses mainly included those who can operate in an outdoor environment.
What's included in the Ontario emergency orders? Full list from the government can be found here.
Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health laid out last week what his team needs to see before he can begin lifting restrictions imposed as a result of the virus.
Dr. David Williams said that stopping community transmission is the key to keeping the virus at bay. He wants to see the number of new cases by way of community transmission to drop "well below" 200 per day, something the province hasn't recorded since early March.
"Our public health measures said we would like to see a steady decline over a two week period," Williams said.
Williams said that threshold represents a crucial tipping point between when transmission of the virus can be effectively monitored and when it becomes impossible to track.
Meanwhile, the government also said that it will extend lower electricity rates for residential consumers, farms and small businesses to May 31.
An initial order from March for off-peak rates to be charged all day had been set to expire this week.