TORONTO — The Ontario government has declared a provincial emergency to fight the rise of COVID-19 cases that includes a shutdown of non-essential construction.
Premier Doug Ford made the announcement at a media conference this afternoon accompanied by Minister of Health Christine Elliott.
There was no definition of essential construction offered during the announcement, with a release indicating “non-essential construction is further restricted, including below-grade construction, exempting survey.”
Yesterday, Public Health recommended limits be placed for construction activity, but those limits would still allow for “essential construction” to continue. This would include health care as well as critical infrastructure and residential buildings.
“Despite our best efforts, COVID-19 is continuing to spread in our communities, our hospitals, our long-term care homes, and our workplaces. We are continuing to see concerning trends across the province, including a tragic number of deaths,” said Elliott. “We have made great strides in vaccinating tens of thousands of Ontarians, and we can’t let these efforts go to waste. Urgent action is required to break this deadly trend of transmission, ensure people stay home, and save lives.”
The measures came “in response to a doubling in COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, the real and looming threat of the collapse of the province’s hospital system and alarming risks posed to long-term care homes as a result of high COVID-19 transmission rates,” stated the release.
The shutdown comes into effect between Tuesday, Jan. 12 and Thursday, Jan. 14, including the provincial declaration of emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, orders under that Act, and amendments to regulations under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.
Watch the Daily Commercial News for further information on the construction shutdown.