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Ontario declares state of emergency amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford speaks at a Tuesday morning news conference.

The premier of Ontario has declared a province-wide state of emergency because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s the latest attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. At a news conference in Toronto Tuesday morning, Premier Doug Ford made the announcement, saying this is an unprecedented time in Ontario’s history.

Ford said the decision to declare a state of emergency was not made lightly, but the disease constitutes a danger of major proportions.
 
“We’re taking this measure because we must offer our full support in every power possible to help our health care sector fight the spread of COVID-19,” Ford said.
         
Effective immediately, all public events of more than 50 people are banned, including parades and places of worship. All facilities providing indoor recreation, public libraries, private schools, daycares, theaters, cinemas, and bars and restaurants, except those that offer takeout and delivery, are to be closed.   

Ford says most businesses won’t be affected and grocery stores will continue to remain open.

Thirty-two new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Ontario as of Monday morning, bringing the provincial total to more than 170.

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