WHAT TO KNOW
Global COVID-19 cases have reached 32,642,945, up from 31,657,877 at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Canada now reports 149,503 cases, up from 146,663 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. Ontario reports 48,905 cases, up from 48,087 cases on Wednesday.
The Province reports 409 (0.8%) new cases since yesterday. Of the province’s total cases, 42,169 have been resolved (86.2%) and there have been 2,837 deaths (5.8%). The province has now completed 3,722,479 tests and reports 65,277 tests are currently under investigation. More information here.
A province-by-province breakdown of Canada’s COVID-19 case count can be found here.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced an agreement with AstraZeneca to procure up to 20 million doses of its COVID‑19 vaccine candidate. This agreement adds to those already reached with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, Pfizer, and Moderna, which were made following the recommendations of the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force. With these agreements in place, the government has now secured access for Canadians to six leading vaccine candidates. More information here.
The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare how critical accessible, affordable, inclusive and high-quality child care is for our families, our children and our economy. Today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen, spoke about the Government of Canada’s commitment to create a Canada-wide early learning and child care system. The Government of Canada will build on previous investments that have created close to 40,000 new child care spaces, and work with all provinces and territories, as well as with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation governments, to ensure that high-quality care is accessible to all. More information here.
In an effort to support workers in sectors that have been particularly hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, and the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced the introduction of Bill C-2, to create three new temporary Recovery Benefits to support Canadians who are unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19. These new Benefits are being proposed as part of the Government of Canada’s plan to support Canadians as we work to build back a stronger, more resilient economy. The new Benefits would provide income support to Canadians while promoting economic recovery by introducing measures that encourage people to safely return to work. More information here.
The Ontario government is investing $1.9 million to help more than 2,000 students, underemployed adults, Indigenous community members and other Northern Ontario workers learn the skills they need to find new, better jobs. Working with local partners, the government’s investment in local skills development will help address unemployment in Northern Ontario as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. More information here.
The Ontario government has introduced legislation to make it easier, faster and more affordable for individuals and families to resolve family legal matters. The Moving Ontario Family Law Forward Act, 2020, if passed, will help simplify an outdated and complex family law system by modernizing language, simplifying appeal routes and improving the online child support service. More information here.
In an effort to strengthen communites and create jobs, The Ontario government is moving forward with 40 major infrastructure projects across the province using the public-private partnership (P3) model. The projects are listed in the most recent P3 Market Update, which was released today by Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure. More information here.
The Ontario government is building on the largest provincial testing initiative in Canada by providing $1.07 billion to expand COVID-19 testing and case and contact management. The government is also immediately investing $30 million to prevent and manage outbreaks in priority sectors, including the province’s long-term care homes, retirement homes and schools. These investments are part of the province’s comprehensive plan to prepare the health system for a second wave of COVID-19. To measure success in these efforts, Ontario will track progress against the following:
- Faster turnaround time for testing: 80 per cent of test results delivered within 48 hours.
- Maintain test positivity rate under three per cent;
- Ensure sufficient case management and contact tracing capacity to continue reaching 90 per cent of cases within 24 hours; and
- Compliance with public health measures (based on health behaviour surveillance data).
The Ontario government is investing $741 million to help clear the backlog of surgeries and build more capacity in the health care system to effectively manage surges and outbreaks in COVID-19 cases. This is part of the province’s COVID-19 fall preparedness plan, Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19. The plan will help the province quickly identify, prevent and respond to any scenario in order to protect communities. Ontario is also preparing to respond to any potential surges of COVID-19 without interrupting the delivery of routine health care services. More information here.
Today, Mayor John Tory reminded residents that this weekend will be the final weekend of ActiveTO Major Weekend Road Closures. Verified data from a variety of summer weekends in May, June, July and August show that ActiveTO Major Road Closures provided space for thousands of people to be physically active, contributing to overall wellbeing, along Toronto’s busiest and most popular trails to help stop virus spread. Following this weekend, the City will have delivered at least one ActiveTO Major Road Closure on approximately 20 consecutive weekends from May to September. More information here.
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