COVID-19 Government and International Response: February 19, 2021

WHAT TO KNOW

Global COVID-19 cases have reached 111,080,368 up from 108,534,275 at 3:30 p.m. on February 12, 2021. Canada now reports 839,605 cases, up from 819,278 cases of COVID-19 on February 12. Ontario reports 290,771 cases, up from 283,587 cases on February 12.

The Province reports 1,150 (0.4%) new cases since yesterday. Of the province’s total cases, 273,401 have been resolved (94%) and there have been 6,820 deaths (2.3%). The province has now completed 10,588,786 tests and reports 39,970 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

Today, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced the Government of Canada’s intent to introduce regulatory and legislative amendments to increase the number of weeks of benefits available for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) and Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits. More information here.

On February 12, the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, announced that Canada has negotiated an accelerated delivery schedule for Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, and will receive all 40 million of its secured doses from Pfizer-BioNTech by the end of September. This means that Canada will receive 2.8 million additional doses of Pfizer between April and June and an additional 6.2 million doses between July and September than was originally scheduled. More information here.

PROVINCIAL

In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the local medical officers of health, the Ontario government is maintaining the shutdown, the Stay-at-Home order and all existing public health and workplace safety measures for an additional two weeks in the Toronto and Peel Public Health Regions, along with the North Bay-Parry Sound District. The York Public Health Region will transition out of the shutdown and into the revised and strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open. More information here.

The Ontario government has administered over 500,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to Phase One priority populations, which now includes adults 80 years of age and older. At the same time, the province is working with public health units to build and expand its capacity to immunize Phase Two populations by increasing delivery networks and preparing a booking solution and customer service supports for mass vaccination clinic registrations. Ontario has administered more vaccines than any other province. More information here.

On February 18, the Ontario government is providing Facedrive Inc. with $2.5 million through the Ontario Together Fund to accelerate the deployment of its wearable contact tracing technology, TraceSCAN, which alerts users within a workplace who have been in close contact with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. The company anticipates manufacturing about 150,000 devices under this project and creating 68 new jobs, including software, firmware and hardware engineers and machine learning specialists. More information here.

On February 16, the Ontario government is providing the Ontario Heritage Trust (OHT) with $4.3 million to ensure it can carry out its important work during COVID-19. This one-time investment will protect jobs, while ensuring Ontario’s cultural and natural heritage properties remain supported and accessible. The OHT will also continue to offer province-wide programming, ensure compliance with public health protocols and fund necessary preservation efforts. More information here.

On February 16, the Government of Ontario announced it is providing up to $118,500 to develop specialized COVID-19 resources to better protect the health and safety of temporary foreign workers and others employed in the agri-food sector. Informed by health, cultural and support organizations, these new resources, entitled the “Cultural Resources Library,” will be designed by the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association in a variety of languages and formats and will be distributed to farms, greenhouses and food processing operations across Ontario. More information here.

On February 12, the Ontario government is deploying test kits to more essential workplaces and sectors based on the successful use of rapid tests in select settings across the province in order to quickly identify and help stop the spread of COVID-19. Rapid tests are now being used in long-term care homes, retirement homes, congregate care settings, First Nations communities and many essential workplaces. More information here.

On February 13, the Ontario government is supporting its municipalities and other eligible public-sector partners through Infrastructure Ontario’s (IO’s) Loan Program by providing affordable, long-term financing for infrastructure development and renewal. The Loan Program is just one way Ontario is working with its partners to improve the quality of life in communities across the province. The provincial government announced that IO has entered into new commitments to provide financing through its Loan Program to four eligible organizations. More information here.

Today, the Ontario government is launching new health and safety education campaigns, with a particular focus on helping small businesses across the province reopen safely. The on-the-ground assistance includes a comprehensive suite of resources business owners can access at no cost to ensure they are helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. More information here.

The Ontario government is investing more than $7 million in 87 local and virtual events and initiatives through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program. This funding will support the festival and event sector during COVID-19 while helping municipalities and organizations deliver innovative and safe experiences that allow people to reconnect with their communities. More information here.

TORONTO

Today, the City of Toronto’s Immunization Task Force continues to prepare for the launch of City-operated COVID-19 immunization clinics while waiting for vaccine supply and direction from the Province of Ontario to restart clinic operations. Staffing of City-operated clinics is now well underway. More information here.

On February 16, seven health care partners and the City of Toronto will have offered COVID-19 immunization clinics to administer the second dose of vaccine at all 87 long-term care homes in Toronto. This vaccination milestone, protecting some of the city’s most vulnerable residents, represents a significant achievement in the City’s ongoing response to the pandemic. More information here.

INTERNATIONAL

Country Total cases at 3:30 p.m. Total cases February 12 at 3:30 p.m. Increase from previous Active Cases (Increase decrease) Cases per million Total recovered Total deaths
Global 111,080,368 108,534,275 2,546,093 22,614,777 14,251 86,007,343 2,458,248
United States 28,565,929 28,043,159 522,770 9,322,834 85,981 18,736,499 506,596
India 10,976,388 10,891,462 84,926 144,673 7,905 10,675,478 156,237
Brazil 10,030,626 9,716,298 314,328 791,770 46,978 8,995,246 243,610
Russia 4,139,031 4,042,837 96,194 376,686 28,355 3,679,949 82,396
United Kingdom 4,095,269 4,013,799 81,470 60,125 119,920
Spain 3,133,122 3,056,035 77,087 66,995 67,101
Italy 2,780,882 2,697,296 83,586 382,448 46,037 2,303,199 95,235
Germany 2,374,846 2,325,454 49,392 130,865 28,287 2,176,300 67,681
Mexico 2,022,662 1,968,566 54,096 266,716 15,584 1,577,838 178,108
Iran 1,558,159 1,503,753 54,406 167,656 18,402 1,331,162 59,341
Peru 1,261,804 1,212,309 49,495 54,162 37,935 1,163,153 44,489
Canada 839,605 819,278 20,327 32,086 22,123 785,959 21,560
Chile 791,939 768,471 23,468 23,122 41,203 748,920 19,897
Saudi Arabia 374,366 372,073 2,293 2,549 10,649 365,363 6,454
China 89,816 89,748 68 484 62 84,696 4,636
Australia 28,918 28,887 31 1,871 1,126 26,138 909

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