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Ontario extends low hydro rates, emergency orders

BY , May 6, 2020 3:12 PM - REPORT AN ERROR

Ontario Premier Doug Ford answers questions at a COVID-19 briefing at Queen's Park in Toronto on Monday May 4, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Richard Lautens-Pool Image

Ontario is extending a period of lower hydro rates as well as its emergency orders.

The orders, which were set to expire today, include the closure of non-essential businesses, the prohibition of public gatherings of more than five people, and the closure of outdoor amenities such as playgrounds.

They have now been extended for another two weeks, to May 19.

Ontario's overall declaration of a state of emergency was extended last month to May 12.

The government also says that it will extend lower electricity rates for residential consumers, farms and small businesses to May 31.

An initial order from March for off-peak rates to be charged all day had been set to expire this week.

Ontario is reporting 412 new cases of COVID-19 and 68 new deaths.

That brings the province to a total of 18,722 cases, including 1,429 deaths and 13,222 resolved cases.

The province had said it would be doing 16,000 tests a day by now, but fewer than 13,000 tests were completed during the previous day, when Premier Doug Ford was blaming half of Ontario's regional medical officers of health for low testing rates.

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