As the first phase of re-opening Ontario is underway, the Provincial government is urging members of the public and business operators to continue following safety precautions to avoid a resurgence of COVID-19. This includes a recommendation by the Chief Medical Officer for people to wear non-surgical masks or face coverings in public when it may not be possible to stay at least two metres apart. The government said health officials will closely monitor new infection rates and won’t hesitate to reinstitate stricter lockdown measures to prevent the virus from spreading further. You can find the full news release here.
The Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney said the province is working with transit agencies to develop a clear set of guidelines to help reduce the risks of COVID-19 as more people begin using public transportation. Anyone taking public transit is recommended to wear a face covering, except for those under the age of two, people with trouble breathing and those who cannot remove a mask or face covering without assistance.
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has launched a new online Resource Centre, offering tools designed to inform Ontarians about their consumer protection work, and natural gas and electricity regulation. You can find the online Resource Centre here.
The Prime Minister announced that starting today, large employers impacted by the COVID-19 economic downturn can apply to receive funding through the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) program. The loans will be offered for the next 12 months on a case-by-case basis dependent on individual needs. Eligible companies include businesses which have a “significant impact” on the Canadian economy, including having a large workforce or operation in Canada. Companies must make a demonstrable commitment to keeping their domestic business activities alive with the assistance of the loan. The program will be delivered through a subsidiary of the Canada Development Investment Corporation. You can read the full release here.
The Prime Minister also announced a new Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program. Commercial property owners will be offered forgivable loans to cover 50 per cent of three-monthly rent payments. The loans will be forgiven if the property owner agrees to reduce eligible businesses’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the three months. Applications will be accepted through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website beginning on May 25. The website can be found here.
Parents who receive the Canada Child Benefit today will be getting an additional $300 per child.
Three Windsor-Essex long-term care facilities that previously had COVID-19 cases are no longer in the outbreak category, says the health unit. The three places where the outbreak classification was recently rescinded are: Lifetimes On Riverside, Chartwell Kingsville, and Country Village Homes in Woodslee.
On Wednesday, the health unit added 11 new confirmations to the number of Windsor-Essex COVID-19 cases, bringing the region’s total count to 805. No new deaths were announced. To date, 63 people in the region have died due to COVID-19.
Please continue practicing social distancing, wearing a mask in public if possible, and washing your hands thoroughly and frequently.