April 16th 2020 | COVID-19 Update

Published on April 16, 2020

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use Ontario’s interactive self-assessment tool to help determine how to seek further care: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment

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Are you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19?


If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use Ontario’s interactive self-assessment tool to help determine how to seek further care: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment

For more information on whether or not you need to seek further care or attend an assessment centre, please contact your family doctor by telephone. You can also contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000

Click here for information on local assessment centres. Do not visit an assessment centre unless you have been referred by a health care professional or public health. 
For the most up-to-date COVID-19 information from the Government of Ontario, including daily updates on case counts and testing, click here or visit ontario.ca/coronavirus


Province Extends State of Emergency Until May 12th

On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and with the approval of the Ontario legislature, the Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act for a further 28 days. 

The extension of the provincial declaration of emergency allows Ontario to continue to enforce current emergency orders, such as the closure of all non-essential workplaces, outdoor amenities such as parks and recreational areas, public places and bars and restaurants, as well as restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and prohibitions against price-gouging. A full list of emergency orders can be found on the e-Laws website under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency to Continue the Fight Against COVID-19
COVID-19 Action Plan: Long-Term Care Homes
In order to better protect the most vulnerable and stop the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care homes, the Ontario government has developed a robust action plan with key measures to be implemented within hours. 

The COVID-19 Action Plan: Long-Term Care Homes adds critical new measures to prevent further outbreaks and deaths from COVID-19 in long-term care homes, including:   

  1. Aggressive Testing, Screening, and Surveillance: enhancing testing for symptomatic residents and staff and those who have been in contact with persons confirmed to have COVID-19; expanding screening to include more asymptomatic contacts of confirmed cases; and leveraging surveillance tools to enable care providers to move proactively against the disease.
  2. Managing Outbreaks and Spread of the Disease: supporting long-term care homes with public health and infection control expertise to contain and prevent outbreaks; providing additional training and support for current staff working in outbreak conditions.
  3. Growing our Heroic Long-Term Care Workforce: redeploying staff from hospitals and home and community care to support the long-term care home workforce and respond to outbreaks, alongside intensive on-going recruitment initiatives.

Additional measures under development will help to ensure preparedness and respond to the situation as it evolves, including improving isolation capacity at long-term care homes.

In addition, the province has issued a new emergency order restricting long-term care staff from working in more than one long-term care home, retirement home or health care setting. These measures are being taken on the advice of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health. 

Ontario Ramping Up Protection for Long-Term Care Residents
Ontario Significantly Expands Hospital Capacity

Acting on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health care professionals, the Ontario government has significantly expanded hospital capacity in preparation for any COVID-19 outbreak scenario. The province has added 1,035 acute care beds and 1,492 critical care beds and taken steps to ensure hospitals have the staff available to care for a sudden surge in patients.

Ontario has a total of 20,354 acute care beds with a potential for an additional 4,205 more acute care beds by April 30, 2020. Of Ontario's 3,504 critical care beds, 2,811 are now equipped with ventilators, up from 1,319 when the outbreak first started.

Hospitals have identified additional opportunities to add new beds, including through the use of field hospitals, conference centres, school locations and more. Sites are ready to open based on the needs of the community.
Ontario Significantly Expands Hospital Capacity to Prepare for Any COVID-19 Outbreak Scenario
Personal Protective Equipment for Health Care Workers

The Ontario government continues to ensure that patients, frontline health care workers and first responders have the critical equipment and supplies they need to protect themselves during the COVID-19 outbreak. In recent days, more than 13 million surgical and procedural masks, 200,000 N95 respirator masks, and 38 ventilators have been delivered to Ontario's pandemic stockpile warehouses.  

Ontario is providing same-day deliveries to hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes, and other facilities to support essential workers in all settings and ensuring supplies and equipment are expedited to those most in need. This includes shipments this past weekend of 6.5 million surgical and procedural masks to over 650 providers across the province to protect our frontline workers, patients and residents.

Ontario Secures Critical Medical Equipment and Supplies
Emergency Financial Support for Ontarians

Ontario has made additional resources available for those currently receiving social assistance who are facing additional costs related to the COVID-19 outbreak. This funding can be used to meet a broad range of needs, for example: cleaning supplies, transportation, food or clothing that individuals and families may require due to COVID-19. 

If you need help paying for food and housing and are not already on Ontario Works or ODSP, you can also apply directly for COVID-19 emergency assistance through the Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services. 

Support for People
Regulatory Changes Open the Door for Auto Insurance Rebates

The Ontario government is enabling auto insurance companies to provide temporary insurance premium rebates to drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The province has amended a regulation under the Insurance Act to help ease the financial pressure on working people and families during this public health crisis.

The Government and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) will continue to work together to monitor how the auto insurance sector is responding.

Ontario Enables Auto Insurance Companies to Provide Driver Rebates During COVID-19

Schools will remain closed past May 4th

The Premier of Ontario recently stated in his press conference that Ontario schools will remain closed past May 4th. The Minister of Education will speak to this in greater detail in the coming days.

Pandemic Threat Response (PANTHR) Health Data Platform
The Ontario government is taking steps to better detect, plan and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. In consultation with the Ontario Privacy Commissioner, the province is developing a new health data platform called the Pandemic Threat Response (PANTHR). This new platform will hold secure health data that will allow researchers to better support health system planning and responsiveness, including the immediate need to analyze the current COVID-19 outbreak. This new platform will allow researchers to better detect, plan and respond to the outbreak.
Province Developing New Health Data Platform to Help Defeat COVID-19

           FEDERAL GOVERNMENT          

Update for Travelers Entering Canada

The Federal Government has updated the mandatory requirements to all travelers entering Canada. The Government of Canada's Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act already requires persons entering Canada—whether by air, land or sea —to isolate for 14 days if they have symptoms of COVID-19, or to quarantine themselves for 14 days if they are asymptomatic to limit the spread of COVID-19.

An updated Order is being issued, under which any traveller arriving in Canada—whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic—cannot isolate or quarantine in a place where they would be in contact with people who are vulnerable, such as adults aged 65 years or over and people with pre-existing medical conditions. 

Travellers who do not have an appropriate place in which to isolate or quarantine themselves must go to a place designated by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada. These criteria are newly applied to asymptomatic travellers.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
The Federal Government has expanded the eligibility for CERB. Those who make up to $1000 due to reduced hours or are seasonal workers, or have exhausted their EI regular benefits and can not find a job, are now also eligible for this benefit.  If you are a wage earner, self-employed, a contractor and have a loss of income due to COVID-19 you may be eligible for this new benefit. For more information:

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

Under changes announced today, CEBA will now be available to companies that spent between $20,000 and $1.5-million in payroll in 2019. Under the initial criteria unveiled last week, the loans were limited to companies that spent between $50,000 and $1-million in payroll last year. For more information: https://ceba-cuec.ca/

All Parks Canada venues are now closed

To limit the spread of COVID-19 the Federal Government has suspended all camping, group activities and events at all national parks, national historic sites, heritage canals and national marine conservation areas until at least May 31, 2020. The current suspension of visitor services and vehicle access by visitors, as well as the temporary closure of visitor facilities, will remain in place until further notice.

         MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT         

Emergency Child Care Centres in the City of Toronto

Following the province's establishment of emergency child care centres for health care workers and select other frontline staff, the City of Toronto is currently operating five emergency child care centres, with one more to open this week. For more information on locations and eligibilty, please visit: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-financial-social-support-for-people/covid-19-child-care-for-essential-workers/


Constituency Office Operations
Following recommendations from public health to practice social and physical distancing, my constituency office remains closed at this time. My staff and I are working remotely and remain available to answer your inquiries via phone or email. We appreciate your patience as it may take us longer than normal to get back to you.
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