Ontario will remain under a state of emergency and stay-at-home order for an additional 14 days, according to government officials.
In an announcement on Monday, the government said that the current state of emergency, which was initially declared on Jan. 12 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), will be extended for an additional two weeks.
In Ontario, a state of emergency lasts 14 days and then expires unless it is extended by the government.
On Jan. 12, the Premier of Ontario said the stay-at-home order would last a minimum of 28 days, which means that it will be in effect until at least Feb. 11.
The government initially announced the state of emergency and stay-at-home order in January due to a surge in COVID-19 cases over the Christmas break.
The decision was made after COVID-19 models released by the government on Jan. 12 suggested that there was a “steady upward trend in hospitalizations,” and that deaths related to the virus were on the rise.
Enforcing the stay-at-home order is a top priority for the government of Ontario, as COVID-19 models suggest an upward spike in cumulative deaths by the end of the month due to the virus.
As a result, Ontario residents who are caught violating the stay-at-home order may face fines. The Ontario government announced “a fine of $750 for failure to comply with an order made under the EMCPA” will be enforced.
Failure to comply with the emergency order could also carry a punishment of up to one-year in prison, “a fine of up to $100,000 for an individual, $500,000 for a director of a corporation, or $10,000,000 for a corporation itself if a provincial offences officer charges the individual by issuing a summons,” according to an announcement on the government of Ontario’s official website.
While it was normal to see friends and gather in groups in the past, the reality of today is completely different. In fact, it was one year ago that the first presumptive case of COVID-19 arrived in Canada.
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre released a statement on January 25 of 2020 that an adult male had checked in to the hospital after showing respiratory symptoms and a fever. The man was screened for his symptoms and confirmed he had travelled to Wuhan, China, where the virus originated.
Fast forward a year later and Ontario is now seeing thousands of cases per day.
While the current lockdown is set to expire on Feb. 11, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams announced last week that the province would have to record below 1,000 cases per day before discussions of lifting the lockdown could be considered.
Ontario recorded 1,740 new cases and 63 deaths on Wednesday.
Featured Image: Courtesy of CTV News
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