As a health and safety precaution, Ontario declares a state of emergency. At 8:30 am, on Tuesday March 17, 2020, Ontario Premier Doug Ford officially declares a state of emergency as the province of Ontario tries to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Ford made the announcement alongside Health Minister Christine Elliott, Finance Minister Rod Phillips and Ontario Solicitor General Sylvia Jones at Queen’s Park Tuesday morning.
Effective immediately, the province of Ontario orders the closure of all facilities. This includes indoor recreation programs, all public libraries, all private schools, all licensed childcare centres. In addition, all theatres, cinemas and concert venues are closed. Likewise, bars and restaurants are closed except to provide takeout food and delivery.
Ford says the order bans public events of over 50 people. Examples include parades, events and services within places of worship until March 31.
Likewise, as we learned on March 13, as gatherings of large groups of people are called off, movie theatres are closed around the world. The release of new films throughout March and April postponed until further notice. Films include No Time to Die, Mulan, F9 and A Quiet Place Part 2.
Similarly, concerts and festivities such as the Canadian Academy and the Junos cancelled their events due to COVID-19. On the Canadian Academy website the Canadian Academy wrote “the Canadian Academy is sad to announce the cancellation of all Canadian Screen Week activities in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.” The 2020 Juno Awards similarly scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 15, in Saskatoon was cancelled.
In addition, the NBA, MLB, NCAA NHL, and others postponed, cancelled or suspended sporting events until further notice.
In short, please be safe out there.
Here are a few safety tips from the World Health Organization regarding COVID-19.
A few basic protective measures against the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
Tips below provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) website.
- Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub.
Wash them with soap and water.
- Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- *Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth
Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses.
Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
- Practice respiratory hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene.
Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
Dispose of used tissue immediately.
- If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
Stay home if you feel unwell.
If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance.
Follow the directions of your local health authority.
- Stay informed and follow the advice given by your healthcare provider
Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow the advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.”