Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency in the province Tuesday morning. This will be in place until the end of March.
The declaration was made just before Ontario reported its first COVID-19 related the death. The provincial government says the patient was a man in his 70s.
A state of emergency allows the government to mandate the closure of venues like bars and restaurants. Monday, the province’s top doctor was asking those establishments to voluntarily close. Restaurants will be allowed to serve takeout and delivery options.
Premier Ford says the decision was not made lightly but says we are in unprecedented times.
The move bans the following:
- Public events with over 50 people
- Services in places of worship.
This will also see immediate closures of multiple venues including all private schools, all indoor recreation areas and all licensed childcare centres.
This is not a shutdown
The Premier stressed this not a provincial lockdown, saying the majority of business will go on unaffected.
Essential services like grocery stores, pharmacies and public transit will continue to operate.
In an email to constituents, Councillor Mathieu Fleury said City Hall and client services centres are still open.
Ontario has the most COVID-19 cases in the country. 177 cases were reported as of Monday.