Ontario extends emergency orders until April 23, as province sees 411 new COVID-19 cases

The Government of Ontario is extending its COVID-19 emergency orders until April 23 and adding new measures as there are 411 new COVID-19 cases recorded today bringing the provincial total to 6,648 cases as of April 11, 2020.

There are now 253 deaths caused by the virus reported by the government in Ontario with 2,858 recovered cases or approximately 43% of the total number of cases in Ontario.

New additional Emergency Measures to be Implemented  

Ontario announced on Saturday new emergency measures in addition to previous measures including: 

  • Forbidding camping on Crown (or government-owned) land
  • Making it easier to repurpose buildings and put up makeshift structures, such as tents, to reduce health care pressures and help shelters find more sleeping space
  • Letting hospital use retirement home beds to increase their capacity, without certain labour relations implications 
  • Emergency action to “improve cash flow” in the construction industry

These new measures will be implemented in addition to previous emergency measures such as the closing of non-essential workplaces and restrictions of group gatherings. The newly announced emergency measures were based upon the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical officer of health, said the provincial government to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Companies step up to appeal for help produce Personal Protective Equipment

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the government has received more than 14,000 submissions from local businesses offering to retool to make essential supplies and equipment to help fight the virus after the province appealed.

“Thousands of businesses put up their hand to make critical medical supplies and equipment,” Ford said. “Ontario businesses have stepped up.”

The response has led to 7,500 emergency supply submissions and $90 million in medical equipment purchases, premier Ford said adding that more help is needed. 

When asked about extending school closures, Premier Ford said they are expecting a spike in cases in the next two weeks and will be speaking to the province chief medical officer to make the decision. 

Toronto Mayor John Tory is calling for more fines for not following physical distancing rules

In Toronto, Mayor John Tory is saying “the time has come” and is calling for stricter enforcement and more tickets for people who continue to not follow physical distancing guidelines. 

“We have reports of everything from bonfires on the beach to hanging out in groups in parking lots to playing pickup sports in closed areas,” the Toronto Mayor said in an open letter to Toronto’s police chief and the executive director of Municipal Licensing and Standards.

Presently, the Police can issue $1,000 tickets if people who don’t live together are closer than two meters apart. It was reported that fines can go much higher, up to $5,000 in fact, if found guilty and convicted in courts. 

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