COVID-19 Government and International Response: October 16, 2020

WHAT TO KNOW

Global COVID-19 cases have reached 39,456,909, up from 36,582,388 at 3:30 p.m. on October 9, 2020. Canada now reports 193,497 cases, up from 175,559 cases of COVID-19 on October 9. Ontario reports 62,908 cases, up from 57,681 cases on October 9.

The Province reports 712 (1.1%) new cases since yesterday. Of the province’s total cases, 54,000 have been resolved (85.8%) and there have been 3,031 deaths (4.8%). The province has now completed 4,572,841 tests and reports 37,155 tests are currently under investigation. More information here.

A province-by-province breakdown of Canada’s COVID-19 case count can be found here.

FEDERAL

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the government has been working closely with industry to understand which areas require urgent investment. The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the launch of two challenges through the Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) program to make personal protective equipment (PPE) more compostable and recyclable. Through the ISC Challenge Stream, the Government of Canada invites small and medium-sized Canadian enterprises to propose innovations that address the requirements of published challenges. More information here.

As Canadian businesses confront the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada will continue to support the growth of established and aspiring exporters. On October 15, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced that she will lead a group of Canadian businesses on a virtual trade mission to South Korea. More information here.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) has been working to protect jobs and help businesses, charities and non-profits re-hire workers. The government’s recent Speech from the Throne committed to extending the wage subsidy through to June 2021 as part of its work to create over one million jobs and restore employment to pre-pandemic levels. The government confirmed its intention to extend the wage subsidy until June 2021 and is providing details on the parameters of the wage subsidy that are proposed to apply until December 19, 2020. More information here.

On October 13, the governments of Canada and Ontario announced they are taking additional steps to help farmers better protect the health and safety of agri-food workers in the province during the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure the continued supply of locally grown food all year round. More information here.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has launched a new customizable tool kit resource to help workplaces across Canada operate safely and prevent the spread of infection during the COVID-19 pandemic. Anchored by the COVID-19: Workplace Health and Safety Guide, the online hub provides one-stop access to more than 40 free resources to reduce the spread and protect everyone in the workplace. More information here.

Many people continue to feel the impacts of COVID-19 and require temporary income support.  To ensure that Canadians continue to receive the help they need the Government of Canada has introduced three new benefits, delivered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA): the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB). More information here.

PROVINCIAL

In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Public Health Measures Table, local medical officers of health and other health experts, the Ontario government is introducing additional health measures for York Region. This public health region will be subject to modified Stage 2 restrictions for a minimum of 28 days and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. More information here.

The Ontario government continues to work together with businesses and the manufacturing sector to expand production of domestic PPE to ensure preparedness, both now and for the future. To support the fight against COVID-19, Greenfield Global is investing a total of $75 million at their facility in Johnstown Ontario to produce the medical-grade alcohol critical to making hand sanitizers used by Ontario individuals, families, and front-line workers. The Ontario government is investing $2.5 million through the Ontario Together Fund in support of this project. More information here.

The Ontario government is working with some of the most influential brands in Canada, including Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, to encourage more people to download the made-in-Ontario COVID Alert app and help protect people across the country from the pandemic. To support businesses large and small, the government is launching a new webpage that will provide them with the tools they need to promote the app and build on its success to-date. More information here.

The Ontario government is taking immediate action to expand case and contact management to help track, trace and isolate new cases of COVID-19. The province has hired 100 new contact tracers, many of whom are starting work this week, with up to 500 more recruits expected to be hired by mid-November. These new positions are part the province’s fall preparedness plan, Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19, which dedicates $1.376 billion to enhance and expand testing and contact tracing in the province. Details were provided by Premier Doug Ford and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. More information here.

The Ontario government is investing over $1.4 million in Mississauga-based Microbix Biosystems to expand production of COVID-19 testing supplies and further support the province in the ongoing fight against COVID-19. The announcement was made by Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

With Ontario’s support, Microbix will make viral transport media, which is the solution used to preserve and transport a patient’s test specimen. This viral transport media will be used in COVID-19 patient sampling kits to support the province’s urgent need for testing supplies and reduce the pressure on labs to assess variable international sources while also processing thousands of tests daily. More information here.

The Ontario government is helping to keep the cost of energy low for families, small businesses and farmers by keeping electricity rates stable and providing customers with more choice and energy assistance programs. Customers eligible for the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER) will automatically receive a 33.2% reduction off their energy bill when new electricity rates for Regulated Price Plan (RPP) customers come into effect November 1, 2020. More information here.

TORONTO

The City of Toronto is extending its partnership with Ritual to launch Open For Business – a collaboration with Ritual and DoorDash to help local businesses across Toronto increase their commission-free online sales. Ritual ONE is typically accessed by restaurants, bars and food services, such as cafes, bakeries, butchers and grocers. However, this program is available to any Toronto business that wants to access commission-free pickup and delivery. More information here.

On October 21, a report from Toronto City Manager Chris Murray will go before the City’s Executive Committee. The report outlines the City Manager’s recommendations to best position Toronto for recovery from COVID-19 and its profound health, economic, equity, social and financial impacts on the city. The report is one in a series of reports to Toronto City Council that outlines actions the City of Toronto has and will undertake to address the challenges of the pandemic, key accomplishments, findings from other jurisdictions, insights from engagements and research, and advice to Council on how the City should move towards recovery and prosperity, amidst this evolving emergency. More information here.

INTERNATIONAL

Country Total cases at 3:30 p.m. Total cases Oct 9 at 3:30 p.m. Increase from previous Active Cases (Increase decrease) Cases per million Total recovered Total deaths
Global 39,456,909 36,989,402 2,467,507 8,822,910 5,062 29,35,961 1,106,762
United States 8,250,481 7,863,294 387,187 2,694,913 24,895 5,337,997 223,263
India 7,429,233 6,964,074 465,159 796,220 5,368 6,520,011 113,002
Brazil 5,176,524 5,035,744 140,780 424,437 24,303 4,599,446 152,641
Russia 1,369,313 1,272,238 97,075 289,008 9,382 1,056,582 23,723
Spain 982,723 890,367 92,356 21,016 33,775
Peru 859,740 838,614 21,126 61,413 25,971 764,750 33,577
Mexico 834,910 804,488 30,422 141,437 6,456 608,188 85,285
United Kingdom 689,257 575,679 113,578 10,138 43,429
Iran 522,387 492,378 30,009 71,607 6,197 420,910 29,870
Chile 488,190 477,769 10,421 13,564 25,475 461,097 13,529
Italy 391,611 343,770 47,841 107,312 6,480 247,872 36,427
Germany 355,010 319,403 35,607 60,578 4,233 284,600 9,832
Saudi Arabia 341,495 338,539 2,956 8,556 9,765 327,795 5,144
Canada 193,497 177,697 15,800 20,528 5,114 163,248 9,721
China 85,646 85,521 125 253 60 80,759 4,634
Australia 27,371 27,229 142 1,405 1,070 25,062 904