Ontario Has Officially Prohibited Gatherings of More Than Five People

Cheryl Sanders
March 29, 2020

Funerals are permitted to proceed with up to 10 people at one time. Corporations could face fines of up to $10 million, the premier said.

"I'm coming after them with a vengeance".

There are now 1,355 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Ontario and there remain eight reported recoveries from the virus.

Based on the best advice of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is issuing a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people, effective immediately. Testing does not track down all cases in a community because the mild symptoms most people have aren't distinguishable from common colds, and because public health can't test large numbers of people. Fifty-seven people are in intensive care.

He said individuals found guilty of price gouging could face fines of $100,000, while company directors could face fines of $500,000 as well as a year in jail.

The measures come days after Ford took specific aim at specialty foods store Pusateri's, which had been charging $30 for Lysol disinfecting wipes.

As for the smaller sizes of gatherings, Ford said there would be some exceptions. It would also not apply to operating child care centres supporting frontline health care workers and first responders provided the number of persons at each centre does not exceed 50 people.

Meanwhile, the province's top public health official said they're making steady progress in the number of tests they're able to complete per day.

This makes sense, because the United States now has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, Yaffe said.

Premier Doug Ford says he is looking to limit gatherings to no more than five people.

The new rules went into effect on Saturday.

The province has also been making headway on a backlog of people waiting to be tested.

Ontario continues to make progress on its backlog of tests and reported about 7,100 tests under investigation as of Sunday morning, compared to 8,700 on Saturday evening.

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