Sat, 19 Jun 2021

OTTAWA, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Ontario, Canada's most populous province, announced on Thursday to extend the provincewide stay-home-order against COVID-19 for two more weeks till early June.

"The situation is slowly trending in the right direction. Make no mistake, we're not out of the woods yet," Ontario Premier Doug Ford said at a press conference on Thursday, adding that the extension is for Ontario to have "the most normal July and August as possible."

"As much as we're seeing a decline, which is good, everyone is moving forward, we're getting the vaccines into people's arms, but we just can't risk it. Just hang in there, we aren't asking a lot, just a couple more weeks," he said.

The order, which was set to expire next Thursday, will now expire on June 2.

The extension means thousands of businesses and outdoor recreational facilities in Ontario with a population of 14 million will remain closed.

Under the stay-at-home order, all non-essential businesses must remain closed and residents are required to remain indoors unless leaving their residence for an essential purpose.

Ontario reported 2,759 new cases of COVID-19 and additional 31 deaths on Thursday, the fourth day in which case numbers have fallen below the 3,000 mark.

Thursday's report brought the province's cumulative cases to past 500,000 level to 502,171.

Ontario has completed 47,638 tests and logged a provincewide positivity rate of 5.7 percent, the lowest in almost six weeks. Test positivity has been trending downward for several weeks.

Earlier this week, the province said that it would need to see daily COVID-19 case counts below the 1,000 mark before the stay-at-home order is lifted.

Up to Thursday, 6.6 million Ontario residents have received at least one dose and 407,600 have received both their first and second and are considered fully vaccinated.

As of Thursday afternoon, Canada reported a cumulative total of 1,310,015 COVID-19 cases, including 24,804 deaths, according to CTV.

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