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Province prohibits gatherings of five people or more with strict exceptions

To further stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus the Ontario government is prohibiting organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people, effective immediately.

The new emergency order is based on the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Ontario reported 151 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing the provincial active case total to 1,117. There are six lab confirmed cases in Hastings Prince Edward counties – four related to travel, two related to close contact.

This order would not apply to private households with five people or more. It would also not apply to operating child care centres supporting frontline health care workers and first responders provided the number of persons at each centre does not exceed 50 people.

Funerals would be permitted to proceed with up to 10 people at one time.

“If we are going to stop the spread of COVID-19 now and keep our communities safe, we need to take extraordinary measures to ensure physical distancing,” said Premier Doug Ford in a media release Saturday night. “I strongly encourage everyone to do the responsible thing and stay home unless absolutely necessary. I can assure everyone that we will do everything in our power to stop this virus in its tracks.”

Organized public events include parades, events including weddings, social gatherings and communal services within places of worship. This order replaces a previous emergency order which prohibits organized public events of over 50 people.

Ontario declared a provincial state of emergency on March 17, 2020 and has issued orders to close non-essential workplaces, recreational programs, libraries, publicly funded schools, private schools, daycares, provincial parks, churches and other faith settings, as well as bars and restaurants, except those that may only offer takeout or delivery. Essential services, such as grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, public transit, manufacturing facilities, and supply chain companies remain open and operational.

Everyone in Ontario should be practicing physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people. Avoid close contact (within 2 metres) with people outside of your immediate families.

On March 25, the federal government announced an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19. They should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Dennis Fox says:

    With this limited number of people allowed in one place, wouldn’t that limit the number of Air B&Bs from opening at all? By allowing motels and B&Bs of any kind that could accommodate 5 people or more (including the operators) to be open, couldn’t the guests be bringing in COVID19 into the County – non stop?

    Given that the mayor has asked rental operators to take in emergency workers, other guests could place them into danger. Maybe this is something government needs to take a closer look at and address?

  2. Dennis Fox says:

    While never being a Ford fan, and never will be – even I have to admit that he has handled this situation very well. It is good to see a politician respect those who know the science. Now let’s hope that Doug does the same thing soon with the environment and the carbon tax.

  3. doug says:

    I give the government alot of credit for enforcing these new rules and all businesses that are allowed to stay open should have to practice a set of standards to ensure the protection of the public…stay safe.

  4. Mark says:

    Premier Ford has been a very good leader in this crisis. He leaves medical questions to the appropriate experts and has acted decisively to protect the health & safety of the residents in Ontario.

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