Ontario government declares state of emergency amid coronavirus pandemic

Premier Doug Ford has declared a state of emergency for Ontario due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

“This morning, I have declared a state of emergency in the province of Ontario,” Ford told reporters at Queen’s Park on Tuesday.

“We are facing an unprecedented time in our history.”

However, Ford said this is not a provincial shutdown.

“The vast majority of businesses, including those most vital for day-to-day life, will not be affected by this order,” he said. “Essential services and essential needs will be available to every individual and families.”

Ford said grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, manufacturing facilities, public transit, important public services, construction sites and office buildings will all continue to operate.

“Right now, we need to do everything we can to slow the spread of COVID-19 in order to avoid overwhelming our health-care system,” Ford added.

The province is using the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

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