Province re-opens access to community gardens

Special to WC Online

ONTARIO – The government of Ontario has amended a few of its emergency orders including allowing gardeners back in to their community gardens.

“On the advice of the chief medical officer of health, the Ontario government is introducing new and amending some emergency orders to better support Ontario’s long-term care homes and deafblind community,” the government released in a statement Saturday (April 25) morning. “The orders would allow for the redeployment of staff to ensure they can work where they are needed most during the COVID-19 outbreak.”

The government is also amending an emergency order to help ensure food security for some individuals and families during the pandemic. The orders will allow for the use of community gardens again.

“The new and amended emergency orders being introduced will permit the use of allotment gardens and community gardens across the province,” the government said. “These gardens are an essential source of fresh food for some individuals and families, including those who face food insecurity. Local medical officers of health will provide advice, recommendation and instructions that the gardens must meet in order to operate, such as physical distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting commonly used equipment and surfaces.”

Other amended emergency orders include:

  • Allow health service providers, including hospitals, to temporarily reassign frontline staff to provide services and supports in long-term care homes.This will help to quickly provide much-needed staffing support to long-term care homes while they continue to fight outbreaks.
  • Provide staffing flexibility to service providers and employers in the intervenor services sector, which helps people who have a combined loss of hearing and vision. This will give employers the temporary authority to redirect staff to carry out essential tasks to support and protect people who are deafblind. It will also ensure staffing measures are in place to allow for physical distancing.

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Action Plan: Long-Term Care Homes outlines the steps that the government is taking to protect residents and staff in long-term care homes.

Emergency information and orders

For public inquiries, call ServiceOntario at 1-866-532-3161 (toll-free in Ontario only).

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