TORONTO — Ontario extended its state of emergency for another four weeks on Tuesday, as Premier Doug Ford pledged to move more resources to the province’s hard-hit long-term care homes.
Ford said the fight against COVID-19 is not over and it’s too soon to lift restrictions imposed during the pandemic, saying Ontario still faces a “clear and present danger.”
“As long as COVID-19 continues to spread; as long as our seniors and those most vulnerable are at risk — Ontario must remain in the position to take any and all actions necessary to fight this virus,” the premier said.
To that end, Ford said his government would issue a new order Tuesday night deploying more staff to long-term care homes. There are currently more than 90 outbreaks in such facilities across the province.
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The order will also make it mandatory that those workers only report to one facility each, Ford said — something several health-care worker unions have been requesting for weeks.
The legislature extended the state of emergency in the province Tuesday afternoon during a brief session at Queen’s Park.
The continued order will see non-essential businesses and child-care centres closed for another 28 days.
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Ford also acknowledged the province’s schools won’t re-open in early May as planned, promising a more detailed update from the education minister in the coming days.