COVID-19 Info


Tuesday, June 2, 2020
 
As the province launches into the recovery phase of the COVID-19 outbreak, a number of local plans are being put into place. This will include a gradual, staged approach to reopening businesses, services and public spaces. The Recovery Phase section of our website will be updated as details emerge from the province and as local information becomes available.
 
To try to help the general public understand why it is being done in stages, the Grey Bruce Health Unit has developed this video titled Reopening and Riskiness.  Along with this reopening infographic, we hope everyone has a better understanding of the rationale behind the reopening strategy for both the province and locally! 
 
This email will be followed up by a series of videos that will be coming out over the next two weeks. You will get an email similar to this one with the new videos, as they are released. They will also be posted on our webpage and social media.  You are free to use the video and infographic as you like - we encourage it be shared widely!
 
Here are links to some recent COVID-19 resources/information you may find useful. Many of these items are available on the GBHU website and may be shared publicly.
 
Please note: the COVID-19 section of the Grey Bruce Public Health website has been recently updated. It includes general COVID-19 information, inquiries, and resourcesinformation for health care providersinformation on the recovery phase, and a message from Dr. Arra Medical Officer of Health
 
6.      GBHU Daily Situation Report 
7.      OPHA COVID-19 Summary of Key Developments for May 28- June 1st  2020 (below Social Media links)
 
Follow the Grey Bruce Health Unit on Social Media:
 
 
 
Facebook: Grey Bruce Health Unit
 
 
Twitter: GBPublicHealth
 
 
Instagram: gbpublichealth
 
 
YouTube: GreyBruceHealthUnit
 
OPHA COVID-19 Key Developments June 1
Provincial Developments
  • The Ontario government announced that it will continue to support provincial electricity consumers by providing stability and greater customer choice, while helping those struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • The Premier reiterated his earlier announcement of a new fixed COVID-19 Recovery Rate of 12.8 cents per kilowatt hour rate for customers, starting June 1st.
  • He also announced:
    •  $9 million for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) to support consumers struggling to pay their energy bills during the pandemic.
      • CEAP will provide one-time payments to consumers to help pay down any electricity bill debt incurred over the COVID‑19 period; and
      • Applications will be available through local utilities in the upcoming months;
    • $8 million for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business to provide support to businesses struggling with bill payments as a result of the outbreak; and
    • an extension of the Ontario Energy Board's winter disconnection ban until July 31, 2020 to ensure no one is disconnected from their natural gas or electricity service.
  • The Ontario Government passed a new regulation to protect employees from permanent layoffs and businesses from potential closures.
  • The new regulatory amendment will put non-unionized employees on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave during the COVID-19 outbreak any time their hours of work are temporarily reduced by their employer due to COVID-19.
  • This will ensure businesses aren't forced to terminate employees after their temporary layoff period, as set out in the Employment Standards Act, has expired.
The Ontario government is establishing a new Indigenous Women's Advisory Council that will provide culturally relevant advice on violence prevention. The Council will:
  • help confront and eliminate the root causes of violence so that Indigenous women and girls will be able to live their lives feeling safe and secure;
  • be co-chaired by Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women's Issues and include members from some 11 First Nations, Métis, Inuit communities as well as  LGBTQ2S leaders and experts in violence prevention; and
  • focus on issues like human trafficking, child, youth and family healing and well-being, and Ontario's response to the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Testing:
  • The Premier was pleased to announce that some 20,000 tests were completed on Saturday.
  • He further announced that mobile testing units are out in the field starting in Scarborough and will be moving around the Greater Toronto Area.
  • When asked about the testing and housing of migrant workers, the Premier indicated that while testing of migrant workers is not mandatory, he will be following up with public health to make sure that they do get tested. He seemed more skeptical about the province's ability to change housing conditions for migrant workers to make them less vulnerable to COVID-19.
Re-Opening of the Economy:
  • Further to Premier Ford's remarks last Friday about considering a regional approach to reopening the economy, he noted that, "this regional approach is very complicated" and "we are just getting input from stakeholders... associations... and elected officials across the province to see exactly what this will look like."
  • When asked about the extension of emergency orders to June 30th, which will be debated in the legislature tomorrow, the Premier indicated that if the numbers come down in the next four weeks, using the regional approach, some of the emergency measures may be lifted and "people could see their loved ones" in long-term care in the next month or two.
Long-Term Care Issues, Pandemic-Pay and Federal Support:
  • When asked about addressing issues in long-term care, the Premier said that he recognized that these problems go all the way back to the Bill Davis' era but he will fix them.
  • When asked about some of the health-care workers left out of the pandemic-pay, Health Minister Elliott said that no one was left out deliberately; they are still having discussions with employers and conducting webinars on how to proceed with this pay which should be out to eligible workers by next week.
  • When asked about the support from the federal government, the Premier said that Ontario will receive around $813 M but noted these funds are from "existing" budgets rather than being new money; given Ontario contributes some 40% to federal coffers, Premier Ford argues that the province should see a similar level of federal funding in return.
Federal Developments
Support for Municipalities:
  • Prime Minister Trudeau announced $2.2 B for municipalities to support the essential services they are providing (e.g. testing clinics, programs for seniors, transit).  
  • This support will be provided in the coming few weeks through the federal government's yearly gas tax funding. The full payment for 2020-21 will be made in one installment now, instead of the regular two installments.
  • Communities will have full flexibility to use the funds to move forward with infrastructure projects and help restart local economies.
  • The Prime Minister acknowledged that this funding isn't enough to meet all the funding shortfalls that municipalities are experiencing and urged the provinces to step up and provide more support to local municipalities.
Summary of Cases in Ontario and Canada 
Cases in Ontario:
  • Total number of cases: 28,263 cases; an increase of 323 cases on Saturday, 326 cases on Sunday and an increase of 404 since the last report.
    • Over a half of these new cases are from Toronto (120 cases) and Peel (103 cases)
    • 55.3 % are female
    • 17% are healthcare workers (4,730 cases)
  • Resolved: 22,153 (78%)
  • Deaths: sadly, 2,276 people have died
  • Hospitalized: 781 people are hospitalized; 125 are in intensive care and of those, 89 are on a ventilator
  • Long-term care homes: 181 active outbreaks; 5,097 confirmed cases in residents; 1,814 confirmed cases in staff; 1,445 deaths among residents and eight among staff
  • Retirement homes: 41 homes are in outbreak; 191 deaths reported
  • Lab testing: 732,722 tests completed; 14,379 tests completed in the last 24 hours; 6,427 are currently under investigation
  • The Premier indicated that the increased number of cases could be due to the 81 migrant workers that tested positive in Southwestern Ontario. Dr. Yaffe said that 85 workers had tested positive, 25 are symptomatic workers and 5 were admitted to the hospital.
Cases in Canada:
  • Total number of cases: 91,351; an increase of 835 cases
  • Resolved: 49,235 (54%)
  • Deaths: 7,305 (8%)
  • People tested: 44,996 people tested per million
  • Percent positivity: 5%
 
OPHA COVID-19 Key Developments May 30-31
Provincial Developments
  • On May 30th, the Ontario government amended the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 regulation, to enable the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) to increase the emergency payment they can provide to eligible retirement home residents from $2,000 to $3,500 and to require retirement homes to report infectious disease outbreaks to the RHRA during COVID-19 and beyond.  This emergency funding can be used by residents to cover their transportation, alternative accommodation or temporary care.   
  • Regulatory changes were also made to extend an emergency order to provide electricity bill relief for industrial and commercial consumers through to the end of June 2020.