June 2, 2020, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that the province has extended its state of emergency until June 30. Premier Ford and Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Vic Fedeli, also provided an update on local manufacturers receiving financial support through the Ontario Together Fund in order to increase the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the province.
Premier Ford and Minister Fedeli were joined by Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott.
Following this afternoon’s announcement, Premier Ford and Minister Elliott took questions from media regarding confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Toronto area that were not flagged to public health officials, as well as plans to further reopen Ontario’s economy.
Earlier today, the Ministry of Long-Term Care issued a Mandatory Management Order appointing St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener to temporarily manage Forest Heights long-term care home.
Extended State of Emergency
This afternoon, Premier Doug Ford announced that the Ontario government has extended the provincial state of emergency resulting from COVID-19 until June 30, 2020. He clarified that the extension of the provincial state of emergency does not mean that efforts to reopen Ontario are on hold and reassured Ontarians that the government is working around the clock to move ahead with the next stage of economic reopening. He added that provincial health officials are working to develop a regional model which would more effectively recognize differing realities across the province.
Update on Ontario Together
Premier Ford and Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Vic Fedeli also provided an update on businesses receiving funding through the Ontario Together Fund.
The $50 million Ontario Together Fund, first announced on April 1, 2020, is intended to provide financial support to Ontario businesses in order to re-tool their processes and increase their capacity to make personal protective equipment (PPE).
This afternoon, Minister Fedeli announced three new companies receiving support from the Ontario Together Fund:
- Southmedic – A Barrie-based medical device manufacturer planning to significantly increase its output of masks, and eye and face shields;
- Sterling Industries – A Concord-based manufacturer and assembler of medical devices planning to increase its output of face shields from 200,000 to over one million per week;
- SRB Technologies – A Pembroke-based producer of emergency lighting planning to convert a portion of its production to manufacturing medical-grade face shields to be supplied to hospitals and long-term care facilities.
Minister Fedeli added that ensuring Ontario continues to have a strong supply of PPE will be critical to continued efforts to reopen the province.
Questions from Media
In response to news stories that approximately 700 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) were not reported to public health units due to misunderstandings between the hospitals, assessment centres, and laboratories involved, Minister Elliott assured reporters that the misunderstanding has been rectified. She added that notices denoting reporting responsibilities have been sent and that the province is working to trace contacts of confirmed cases. All public health units are now aware of the process, according to Minister Elliott, who was confident that this mistake would not be repeated.
When asked about rising case numbers in Ontario, Premier Ford insisted that the higher case numbers were a result of increased testing efforts. He added that Ontario “is doing well” as a province and is beginning to see a downward trend.
In response to questions about an anti-lockdown rally that occurred at Queen’s Park today, Premier Ford said this behaviour is “irresponsible.” He was also critical of Independent MPP Randy Hillier for taking part, saying that “he should know better.”
Management Order at Kitchener Long-Term Care Home
Earlier today, the Ministry of Long-Term Care issued a Mandatory Management Order appointing St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener to temporarily manage Forest Heights long-term care home for 90 days. The order may be extended beyond 90 days, if necessary.