TORONTO — “As the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic grips our province, we all need to do our part to protect ourselves and our loved ones and keep our communities safe,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “Extending these orders will continue to ensure we have the tools to address urgent public health situations and support the delivery of health care and other critical services, while keeping measures in place to protect vulnerable populations.”
The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended all orders currently in force under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (ROA) until December 21, 2020.
The extension of orders under the ROA is part of Ontario’s multi-faceted response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On November 13, the government updated its Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework to lower the thresholds for each level in the framework. The framework takes a gradual approach that includes introducing preventative measures and allows for additional public health and workplace safety measures to be introduced or removed incrementally. It provides for five levels of public health measures that could be applied to public health unit regions: Green-Prevent, Yellow-Protect, Orange-Restrict, Red-Control, and Lockdown being a measure of last and urgent resort.
The ROA came into force on July 24, 2020 to ensure important measures remained in place after the provincial declared emergency came to an end. Under the ROA, orders can be extended for up to 30 days at a time and the government must report on all order extensions to the Select Committee on Emergency Management Oversight.