TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford is declaring a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He says this is an unprecedented time in our history and this decision was not made lightly.

Ford says the order bans public events of over 50 people, including parades, events and services within places of worship until March 31.

Effective immediately, the province has ordered the closure of all facilities providing indoor recreation programs, all public libraries, all private schools, all licensed childcare centres, all theatres, cinemas and concert venues, and all bars and restaurants except to provide takeout food and delivery.

Ford says this is not a provincial shut down and the majority businesses won’t be affected by the order.

Essential services such as grocery stores will continue to operate.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 16, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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