On March 17, 2020, our government took unprecedented action to combat the threat of COVID-19.

Under the guidance and steady-handed leadership of Premier Doug Ford, a state of emergency was declared in Ontario.

Acting on the advice of Ontario’s chief medical officer and the health officials on the COVID-19 Command Table, I know the declaration of emergency was not an easy decision, because of what it would mean for the people of our province. Our way of life, as we know it, would change.

However, I am proud to say that we have found strength in our resiliency.

I want to thank everyone in our community for doing your part. Whether it is practicing physical distancing, limiting travel for essential needs or staying home, each and every one of you has played an important role.

We will continue to need you for the times ahead.

While we continue our fight against COVID-19, Ontario must remain in a position to take any and all actions necessary to fight this virus.

That is why the state of emergency must remain in place. Doing so will allow the Government of Ontario to quickly implement and enforce emergency orders in the public interest.

This does not stop the reopening of Ontario. Rather, the state of emergency keeps emergency orders in place and allows the government to take quick action if necessary. In other words, by extending the state of emergency, we will continue to protect the health and safety of people in our province as we begin to carefully and gradually implement our framework to reopen Ontario.

If everyone across the province keeps doing their part, we will win the battle against COVID-19, and emerge stronger than ever before.

With the state of emergency remaining in place, and the tremendous work of our communities, public health professionals and front-line heroes, we will continue to make progress in the containment and ultimate defeat of COVID-19.

Thank you, Milton. Stay safe. Stay well.