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Ontario Extends COVID-19 Orders, amends regulations for dance training in modified Stage 2 regions

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TORONTO, ON., Oct. 20, 2020 — Today, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is extending most orders currently in force under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (ROA). This extension will be in effect until November 21, 2020 to ensure the government continues to have the necessary tools to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“With the cold and flu season upon us and the continuing high number of COVID-19 cases in certain parts of the province, it’s critical we continue to take the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of Ontarians,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “We have renewed the majority of orders to ensure we have the tools in place to address any urgent public health situations and support the continued delivery of critical services.”  

Ontario is also amending emergency orders for modified Stage 2 regions (Toronto, Ottawa, York and Peel Regions) to permit teaching or training in dance techniques provided specified conditions are met.

Orders in effect under the ROA have been extended by 30 days with the following exceptions:

Ontario is also amending emergency orders for regions under modified Stage 2 regulations (Toronto, Ottawa, York and Peel Regions) to clarify that classes delivered for the purpose of teaching or training amateur or professional dancers in dance techniques are permitted to operate provided specified conditions are met. This change to the regulation recognizes that dance styles such as ballet, hip hop, and ballroom, can still be taught and practised safely when certain public health measures are followed, similar to other permitted activities, such as cheerleading and gymnastics. Dance classes that do not meet the specified criteria (e. g. a Zumba class) would not be permitted.

Additionally, regulations Rules for Areas in Stage 2 and Rules for Areas in Stage 3 have been amended to remove restrictions on in-person teaching and instruction for fire departments. The amendments, similar to what is currently in place for police training, are critical for public safety and the safety of fire department personnel. 

The ROA came into force on July 24, 2020 to ensure important measures remained in place after the provincial declared emergency came to an end. Under the ROA, orders can be extended for up to 30 days at a time. The government will review all orders continued under the ROA and report on order extensions to the Select Committee on Emergency Management Oversight.

The list of orders under the ROA that have been extended can be found online on the Government of Ontario’s website.

Read more top stories at TOtimes.ca and MTLtimes.ca.

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