Chris Glover MPP, Spadina–Fort York

Government of Ontario

State of Emergency in Ontario

Published on March 18, 2020

The Ontario government has declared a state of emergency and announced the first phase of the government’s response plan for COVID-19. This is an effort to reduce the spread of infection of COVID-19 and to allow our healthcare system a chance to respond to new cases.

State of Emergency in Ontario

The Ontario government has declared a state of emergency and announced the first phase of the government’s response plan for COVID-19. This is an effort to reduce the spread of infection of COVID-19 and to allow our healthcare system a chance to respond to new cases.

The state of emergency gives the government emergency powers for a period of 14 days. At this time, they are using these powers to do the following:

A prohibition on any gathering of 50 people or more as well as immediate closure of the following:

  • All facilities providing indoor recreational programs;
  • All public libraries;
  • All private schools as defined in the Education Act;
  • All licensed child care centres;
  • All bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery;
  • All theatres including those offering live performances of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies; and
  • Concert venues.

On March 12, the Minister of Education announced that all publicly-funded schools will be close for two weeks following March Break, meaning schools will remained closed until April 5. A full list of closures in Toronto (including schools, post-secondary institutions, public spaces, tourist attractions, retail stores and more) is available here.

What is NOT happening:

  • Public transit will not be shut down
  • Office buildings and manufacturing will not be closed
  • Grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacy’s will not be closed


Action from the Provincial Government:

The first phase of the response package just announced includes the following:

  • $300 million relief package
  • 75 more critical beds coming online
  • 500 post-acute care beds coming online
  • 25 more assessment centres
  • Purchasing more personal protective equipment
  • Funding to backfill 1000 nurses, 1000 Personal Support Workers
  • Funding for 50 physicians for northern, remote and First Nations communities


The funding is broken down as follows: 

  • $100 million for increased capacity in hospitals to assist with the effective treatment of COVID-19 patients both in critical care and medicine beds.
  • $50 million for more testing and screening through public health, including additional funding to support extraordinary costs incurred to monitor, detect and contain COVID-19 in the province. This includes contact tracing, increased laboratory testing capacity and home testing.
  • $50 million to further protect frontline workers, first responders and patients by increasing the supply of personal protective equipment and other critical supplies and equipment to protect them.
  • $25 million to support frontline workers working in COVID-19 assessment centres, including the creation of a new fund to provide respite care, child care services and other supports as they are needed.
  • $50 million for long-term care homes to support 24/7 screening, additional staffing to support infection control and additional supplies.
  • $20 million for residential facilities in developmental services, gender-based services and protective care for children and youth to support additional staffing, respite for caregivers impacted by school closures, personal protective equipment and supplies and transportation costs to minimize client exposure and to support social distancing, as well as additional cleaning costs.
  • $5 million to protect seniors in retirement homes through increased infection control and active screening procedures.
  • $4 million for Indigenous communities to support transportation costs for health care professionals and the distribution of critical supplies.


Additional news:

  • The Solicitor General announced last night that no new eviction orders will be issued until further notice in Ontario due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Sheriff’s offices have been asked to postpone any scheduled enforcement of eviction orders currently set for this week.
  • The Provincial government have reversed their mandatory ‘doctor’s note’ provision for taking sick leave.


Proposed Emergency Legislation:

The Ontario NDP is asking that the emergency legislation being discussed Thursday include the following measures:

    • Protect people from losing a paycheque, or being expected to get by on inadequate Employment Insurance or Ontario Works payments alone, as a result of taking COVID-19 precautions or because of the illness
    • Guarantee that no one can be punished in any way for missing a rent or mortgage payment
    • Financial support for Ontarians not covered by Employment Insurance — especially those working in the gig economy
    • Immediate financial support for small and medium-sized businesses so they can continue to pay employees without becoming insolvent
    • Specific supports for vulnerable people, including seniors and those receiving OW and ODSP support, so they can access the groceries and medications they need to self-isolate if need be

For medical advice:

Telehealth Ontario

If you feel you are experience symptoms, contact Telehealth Ontario for free, confidential service at 1-866-797-0000. A Registered Nurse will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Information is available in multiple languages. 

Toronto Public Health Hotline

Monday to Friday:  8:30 am – 8 pm Saturday and Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm  Translation is available in many languages.

Telephone: 416-338-7600  TTY: 416-392-0658   Email: [email protected]


If you have recently travelled: 

If you are arriving from any international location outside of Canada within the last 14 days or have had close contact with a person ill with COVID-19, please self-isolate and contact Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 within 24 hours of arriving in Toronto. Information about self-isolation is available here and here. Please monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cough or difficulty breathing) for 14 days after you arrive back in Canada. If you develop symptoms, contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

Canadians are advised to avoid all non-essential travel, as Canada is closing its borders to non-citizens and non-residents, restricting international arrivals to four airports and requiring airlines to bar passengers who present with symptoms of the coronavirus from boarding. There are several exceptions to the travel ban, including immediate family members of Canadian citizens, foreign diplomats, airline crews and U.S. citizens. The restrictions will not apply to commerce or trade. Check for updated information on Canada’s travel advisories here.

International arrivals will be restricted to Canada’s four busiest airports; Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport, Calgary International and Vancouver International Airport. Domestic flights and those coming from the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon will not be affected. If you are in need of assistance, there is an emergency loan program for Canadians abroad to obtain travel home.

Daily updates available:

Information from Toronto Public Health on local cases, how to protect yourself and where to seek further medical support.

Information from Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long Term Care

Find out how to protect yourself, what to do if you’re sick and how to recognize possible symptoms. Updated twice daily in 30 languages.

Information from the Government of Ontario and the Public Health Agency of Canada

Updates on the national response, travel advice and preparedness.

Important travel advisories and restrictions related to COVID-19, from the Government of Canada.

Our Community

The precautions people are taking because of COVID-19 are leading to greater needs among the vulnerable in our communities. Our office is reaching out to food banks, community centres, shelters and respite centres to find out what their needs are. We will then reach out to community members and ask people to help our most vulnerable neighbours.

My Office

As per the latest recommendations from Ontario Public Service, my staff will be working from home until April 3, 2020.

We are continuing to serve the community and can be reached by phone or email:

Phone: 416-603-9664  Email: [email protected] 


Other helpful links: