Ontario officially extends state of emergency and stay-at-home order by 14 days
TORONTO -- Ontario has officially extended the province's state of emergency and all orders associated with it, including the stay-at-home order, for an additional 14 days.
The state of emergency, that was declared under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) on Jan. 12, and the stay-at-home order will expire on Feb. 9, the government said.
The announcement of the extension was expected after Premier Doug Ford said on Jan. 12 the state of emergency would be in effect for 28 days.
A state of emergency in Ontario must be legally extended by the government 14 days after it comes into effect.
If the order wasn't extended, the state of emergency and stay-at-home order would have automatically expired on Tuesday at 12:01 a.m.
Ford indicated on Jan. 12 that the stay-at-home order would be in place for 28 days, which is until Feb. 11, meaning the order will be have to be extended at least once more.
The government declared a state of emergency after a surge in COVID-19 cases in the new year threatened to overwhelm the province's healthcare system.
Ontarians caught violating the stay-at-home order could face a fine and prosecution under the Reopening Ontario Act and the EMPCA.
Outdoor organized public gatherings and social gatherings are further restricted to a limit of five people under the stay-at-home order.
A year ago today, Ontario confirmed its first case of COVID-19 after a 56-year-old man arrived at Sunnybrook hospital in Toronto with what appeared to be a mild case of pneumonia.
Doctors made the decision to admit him due to an unusual X-ray and his recent travel to China. Ontario health officials would confirm its first case of the "Wuhan Novel Coronavirus" on Jan. 25, 2020.
A number of public health measures took effect in the months that followed, namely mask wearing, social distancing and some form of lockdown in the province.
On Dec. 26, Ontario Premier Doug Ford issued a second province-wide lockdown that shuttered all non-essential businesses and prohibited in-person dining at bars and restaurants as the second wave of COVID-19 threatened to overwhelm the healthcare system.
Last week, Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said the province would need to see daily COVID-19 cases fall to the 1,000 mark before the lockdown orders can be lifted.
On Monday, Ontario reported fewer than 1,958 new COVID-19 cases, which is a decrease from Sunday when 2,417 infections were logged.
With 35,968 tests for the disease processed in the last 24-hour period, Ontario's COVID-19 positivity rate stands at 5.5 per cent.