Ontario Extends COVID-19 Orders for an Additional 30 Days

October 20, 2020 Updated: October 20, 2020

Ontario says it has extended most of its COVID-19 orders until mid-November to “ensure the government continues to have the necessary tools to contain the spread of COVID-19.”

The provincial government announced Tuesday that it will extend all orders under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA) until Nov. 21, with a few exceptions.

“With the cold and flu season upon us and the continuing high number of COVID-19 cases in certain parts of the province, it’s critical we continue to take the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of Ontarians,” Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said in a press release.

“We have renewed the majority of orders to ensure we have the tools in place to address any urgent public health situations and support the continued delivery of critical services.”

Orders under the ROA provide the provincial government the authority to regulate public gatherings, management of health-care facilities during outbreaks, and closures of business, schools, or offices, and so on.

In the four regions where infections have been rising which are under modified Stage 2—Toronto, Ottawa, York, and Peel—will see changes made to the emergency order to allow dance lessons to resume provided they meet specific criteria.

“Dance styles such as ballet, hip hop, and ballroom can still be taught and practised safely when certain public health measures are followed similar to other permitted activities, such as cheerleading and gymnastics. Dance classes that do not meet the specified criteria (e. g. a Zumba class) would not be permitted,” the release said.

The government is also amending the regulations in both Stage 2 and Stage 3 regions to allow in-person teaching and instruction for fire departments, saying these trainings are “critical for public safety and the safety of fire department personnel.”

Gyms and other fitness centres in the Stage 2 regions will remain closed.

Exceptions to the new orders include those who need to deal with electricity prices and access electronic personal health information:

  • Electricity price for Regulated Price Plan consumers has only been extended until Oct. 31, 2020. Beginning Nov. 1, 2020, time-of-use customers will have the option of choosing between time-of-use electricity rates or tiered pricing.
  • Access to Personal Health Information by means of the Electronic Health Record will expire on Oct. 22, 2020, as changes to the Personal Health Information Protection Act that recently came into force make the order unnecessary.

Implemented on July 24, the ROA allows for existing COVID-19 related orders to be amended, but not the creation of new ones. Orders under the ROA must be extended every 30 days to remain in effect.