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COVID-19: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urges Canadians to stay home

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canada on Monday, March 16, 2020.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is urging Canadians to stay home in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

Speaking from self-isolation at his home this morning (March 17), Trudeau said that Canadians should do what they can to "lighten the load" of the country's healthcare workers by practicing social distancing.

"Stay home, and don't go out unless absolutely necessary," said Trudeau. "Your doctors and nurses need your help, your neighbours need your help, vulnerable people need your help."

The Prime Minister also announced that, as of Wednesday (March 18), Parks Canada will be suspending visitor services at all national parks and historic sites. 

Tomorrow, Trudeau said he will announce further economic actions the country will be taking in response to the coronavirus, including examining the current tax season. 

He also said Parliament may be recalled to the House of Commons so the government can discuss emergency measures, and examine the Emergency Act to see if it is necessary.

Earlier Tuesday, Ontario declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19, closing the city's public mandating the closure of all restaurants and bars, although they can still sell food items if they offer take out and delivery. 

Most facilities in the city have been closed, except for those deemed essential services, including public transit, grocery stores and pharmacies, and offices. 

Trudeau said Ontario is taking the "right steps" in declaring the emergency to protect residents and its health care system, adding that the federal government "will be there" for affected workers. 

More to come...