WHAT TO KNOW
Global COVID-19 cases have reached 3,885,628, up from 3,795,667 yesterday at 3:30 p.m. Canada is now reporting 64,817 cases, up from 63,375 cases of COVID-19 yesterday. Ontario reports 19,121 cases, up 399 (2.1%) from 18,722 cases yesterday. The province has now tested 380,854 individuals and reports 13,012 tests are currently under investigation. More information here.
A province-by-province breakdown of Canada’s COVID-19 case count can be found here.
This morning Prime Minister Trudeau announced all provinces and territories have confirmed, or are in the process of confirming, plans to cost share wage top-ups for their essential workers.
The Government of Canada will provide up to $3 billion in support to increase the wages of low-income essential workers. Each province or territory will determine which workers would be eligible for support, and how much support they will receive. More information here.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the government is waiving tariffs on certain medical goods, including PPE such as masks and gloves. This will reduce the cost of imported PPE for Canadian businesses, which face tariffs of up to 18 per cent in some instances, to help protect workers, and ensure our supply chains can keep functioning well. More information here.
This morning Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Health Christine Elliott announced the development of a comprehensive framework to help hospitals assess their readiness and begin planning for the gradual resumption of scheduled surgeries and procedures, while maintaining capacity to respond to COVID-19. Timelines will vary from hospital to hospital and be conditional on approval by regional oversight tables involved with planning and coordinating Ontario’s response to COVID-19.
The framework contains clear criteria that must be met before hospitals can resume scheduled surgeries, including ensuring that the hospital and its region have the following:
- A stable number of COVID-19 cases;
- A stable supply of personal protective equipment;
- A stable supply of medications;
- An adequate capacity of inpatient and intensive care unit beds;
- An adequate capacity of health human resources; and
- The availability of post-acute care outside the hospital that would be required to support patients after discharge.
As a first step, hospitals will need to assess if there is adequate staffing, equipment and other resources to resume scheduled care. This assessment will be revisited on a weekly basis to reflect changing needs and requirements, including responding to any COVID-19 surges that may occur locally. More information here.
Yesterday, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli announced the Ontario government is providing Virox Technologies Inc. with $850,000 from the Ontario Together Fund to help the local manufacturer double its production of disinfectants and create jobs. The investment will assist in keeping people, frontline workers and communities safe and stop the spread of COVID-19. Virox is the first manufacturer to receive money from the Ontario Together Fund. More information here.
After speaking with cottage country mayors, this morning Premier Ford said that it is important for Ontarians to remain vigilant and avoid non-essential travel as much as possible. In a statement the Premier said: There is going to be many more weekends that you can go up there and have a good time but right now please just respect the rules. More information here.
Yesterday, Mayor Tory announced the new ActiveTO program being developed by Toronto Public Health and Transportation Services to provide more space for people walking and cycling as well as transit riders to allow for better physical distancing as part of the city’s restart and recovery.
A high-level update of the plan was released yesterday with further details to be released next week. The ActiveTO initiatives include:
Creating Quiet Streets: These will be local routes with traffic calming measures that will enable local car traffic only and open up space for pedestrians and cyclists. These projects will roll out fairly quickly and the initial target will be 50 kilometres of quiet streets.
Major streets for active transportation: Transportation Services staff and Toronto Public Health recommend closing some major roads adjacent to major trails or recreational attractions where crowding on weekends and holidays has been observed. These would include some locations with complete closures to all car traffic and would be delivered through recurring short-term road closures, such as on weekends. When this happens, on a trial basis, staff will be monitoring adjacent routes with real-time data and will make adjustments as necessary.
Expanding cycling network: More bike lanes will help people move around the city as the restart gets underway. This plan would see the cycling network expanded and temporary active transportation lanes installed. The City will expand and accelerate key parts of the council-approved Cycling Network Plan, that connect the cycling network, as well as bikeways that mirror major TTC routes.
More information about ActiveTO here.
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