Ontario’s State of Emergency to Continue

Ontario’s State of Emergency to Continue

Ontario will be extending the provincial state of emergency until May 12, with the Legislature scheduled to sit at 1:00 pm tomorrow, April 14, for an expedited session. Two main items are on the agenda:

  • Extending the provincial state of emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act for 28 days, which includes associated emergency orders, such as the closure of outdoor amenities, non-essential workplaces, and restrictions on social gatherings.
  • Introducing and passing a bill consisting of two items related to municipal housing and three related to childcare

With current emergency orders in place for nearly a month, Premier Ford indicated a cautious approach to future loosening of restrictions. Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe suggested today that predictive models indicate that Ontario’s peak of active COVID-19 cases may come this week if all public health measures continue. Until that happens, it will be difficult for Ontario to chart a course for a “return to normal.”

PPE Remains a Priority

The province also provided an update on Ontario’s inventory of personal protective equipment (PPE). In the last five days, over 13 million surgical masks, 200,000 N95 masks, and 38 ventilators have been delivered to Ontario’s pandemic stockpile warehouses.

Alberta also recently committed to send Ontario 250,000 N95 masks, 2.5 million surgical masks, 15 million surgical gloves, 87,000 safety goggles, and 50 ventilators.

With PPE remaining the priority issue for healthcare organizations and frontline workers across the province, the government announced it is now providing same-day delivery of supplies and equipment, expediting shipments to those most in need.

Premier Ford also reiterated that a long-term provincial stockpile of supplies and equipment remains a priority for the government and him personally.  He declared the solution to this problem is “homegrown” manufacturing of PPE.

While 14,000 submissions have been made to the Ontario Together portal, Premier Ford has continued his appeal to manufacturers, entrepreneurs, and innovators to submit proposals to provide essential supplies and equipment to support frontline workers in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Until the challenge of getting more masks, gowns and protective equipment is addressed, the government may have limited bandwidth to consider other issues.