Today, Trudeau announced that the federal government has signed an agreement with Amazon Canada to manage the distribution of personal protective equipment to the provinces and territories.
Citing growing shortages of food for vulnerable individuals, Trudeau also announced a $100 million cash injection into organizations that buy and deliver food to those that need it most, including Indigenous communities. Recipients of this funding include Food Banks Canada, the Breakfast Club and the Salvation Army.
The federal government is fast-tracking a previously announced GST/HST Credit to April instead of May. In addition, Trudeau said the government has been working with major banks on direct deposit for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit and encouraged Canadians to visit their bank’s website to enrol for CERB direct deposit.
Following the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is reducing the list of businesses classified as essential and ordering more workplaces to close. This measure is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of the people of Ontario, while ensuring that necessary goods and services remain available. The government is ordering all businesses not covered by the updated Emergency Order to close effective as of Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days, with the possibility of an extension as the situation evolves. Updated list here.
Please call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659 if you have any questions regarding how the new updated essential business list will impact your business or employment
Public health officials Matthew Anderson (President and CEO of Ontario Health), Adalsteinn Brown (Dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto), and Dr. Peter Donnelly (President and CEO of Public Health Ontario) provided projections and scenarios based on currently-available data. Highlights:
- The Ontario government is projecting between 12,500 and 80,000 COVID-19 cases in the province, with between 3,000 and 15,000 deaths over the course of the entire pandemic.
- The low end of this prediction is if full intervention is taken while high end of the number is based on the measures currently in place.
- Without actions, Ontario would have faced upwards of 100,000 deaths over the same period.
- Ontario’s mortality rate for populations aged 60-79 is projected at 2.9%. For people 80 and over it’s 15.9%.
- The backlog of tests is now eliminated. COVID-19 testing can now be used strategically and focus on forward planning.
Public health officials noted that there will be a number of additional prevention measures put in place in the coming days. These include:
- Enhanced focus on enforcement and fines for non-compliance.
- Expanded direction/guidance on physical distancing, including retail settings.
- Enhanced support for the elderly, homeless and other vulnerable populations and communities.
- Considering entry restrictions in some communities including First Nations.
- Changes in human resource management (the movement of health care workers between settings).
- Use of technology to reinforce self-isolation (including alerts).
- Further public education and communication – emphasizing shelter-in-place with few exceptions.
Windsor Regional Hospital has reached an agreement with St. Clair College to transform the school’s SportsPlex – a stand-alone athletic facility on the main campus – into a field hospital for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. The agreement provides WRH with the additional space it needs to accommodate in case there is a surge of patients with COVID-19.
We have updated our website with important resources that you may find useful.
While the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has reached 141 in Windsor-Essex, I am very sorry to hear that three people have now passed away from COVID-19 in our region. My deepest condolences go out to their families and loved ones.
Please remember to stay safe this weekend and do your part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Continue to practice social distancing, avoid crowds, and wash your hands frequently.