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Ford government declares COVID-19 emergency in Ontario

All public gathering spaces to shut down, more than $300 million to back up province's efforts to contain the virus.


TORONTO — The Ford has declared a state of emergency to control the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario and is investing more than $300 million to boost its response.

As a result of this declaration, the government has designated the following establishments legally required to close immediately:

• All facilities providing indoor recreational programs;

• All public libraries;

• All private schools as defined in the Education Act;

• All licensed child care centres;

• All bars and restaurants, except those providing takeout food and delivery; and

• All theatres and concert venues.

All organized public events of over 50 people are also prohibited, including parades and events and communal services within places of worship.

Canada has 424 cases of the virus, Ontario 177, and there have been four deaths.

Ontario is also investing up to $304 million to boost the province’s response to COVID-19 by providing the following:

• $100 million for increased capacity in hospitals to assist with the effective treatment of COVID-19 patients both in critical care and medicine beds.

• $50 million for more testing and screening through public health, including additional funding to support extraordinary costs incurred to monitor, detect and contain COVID-19 in the province. This includes contact tracing, increased laboratory testing capacity and home testing.

• $50 million to further protect frontline workers, first responders and patients by increasing the supply of personal protective equipment and other critical supplies and equipment to protect them.

• $25 million to support frontline workers working in COVID-19 assessment centres, including the creation of a new fund to provide respite care, child care services and other supports as they are needed.

• $50 million for long-term care homes to support 24/7 screening, additional staffing to support infection control and additional supplies.

• $20 million for residential facilities in developmental services, gender-based services and protective care for children and youth to support additional staffing, respite for caregivers impacted by school closures, personal protective equipment and supplies and transportation costs to minimize client exposure and to support social distancing, as well as additional cleaning costs.

• $5 million to protect seniors in retirement homes through increased infection control and active screening procedures.

• $4 million for Indigenous communities to support transportation costs for health care professionals and the distribution of critical supplies.

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