WHAT TO KNOW
Global COVID-19 cases topped 3 million today, up from 2,761,121 on Friday at 3:30 p.m. The United States accounts for nearly one third of all cases. Canada is now reporting 48,229 cases, up from 43,552 cases of COVID-19 on Friday. Ontario reports 14,856 cases, up from Friday’s 13,519 cases. While total cases continue to grow, Ontario’s growth rate continues to fall, from 5% on Friday to 2.9% today. The province has now tested 242,188 individuals and reports 5,001 tests are currently under investigation. Yesterday the Province completed more than 12,000 tests. More information here.
This morning the government launched the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy application process through the Canada Revenue Agency. As was previously announced, the CEWS provides a subsidy of 75% of an eligible employee’s weekly earnings, to a maximum of $847 per employee per week, to eligible employers, for up to 12 weeks. Retroactive to March 15, 2020, the CEWS is intended to prevent further job losses and encourage employers to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19.
All claims that are approved through the CRA’s automated verification process will be sent for payment on May 5, so that payments being made through direct deposit should begin to appear in employers’ accounts as of May 7. Some applications will require a secondary verification, done manually, and in these cases the CRA may contact employers to verify information. It is expected that these secondary verifications will take no more than 72 hours in the vast majority of cases. More information here and here.
Over the weekend Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, Bernadette Jordan announced $62.5 million of new assistance to the fish and seafood processing sector.
This new Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund will help businesses:
- access short-term financing to pay for maintenance and inventory costs;
- add storage capacity for unsold product;
- comply with new health and safety measures for workers;
- support new manufacturing/automated technologies to improve productivity and quality of finished seafood products; and,
- adapt products to respond to changing requirements and new market demands.
More information about the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund here.
The governments of Canada and Ontario are partnering to invest up to $2.5 million to help the agri-food sector expand online, providing more opportunities for producers to grow their business and offer more food choices for families who are shopping from home during the COVID-19 outbreak. The funding is being provided through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. More information here.
Today, the Ontario government released A Framework for Reopening our Province, which outlines the criteria Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams and health experts will use to advise the government on the loosening of emergency measures, as well as guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces. The framework also provides details of an outreach strategy, led by the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, to help inform the restart of the provincial economy.
The government is planning a three stage approach to reopening the economy to ensure there are appropriate measures in place so workplaces can open safely. Public health officials will carefully monitor each stage for two to four weeks, as they assess the evolution of the COVID-19 outbreak to determine if it is necessary to change course to maintain public health. More information here.
The document does not include specific dates around when the province would begin to reopen, but Dr. Williams provided some information around the determining factors last week, including see fewer than 200 new cases per day for an extended period. Some of the other factors announced today include a decrease in cases not traced to a source and a decrease in new hospitalizations.
Over the weekend, on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the government introduced new and amended some emergency orders of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to better support Ontario’s long-term care homes and deafblind community. The orders would allow for the redeployment of staff to ensure they can work where they are needed most during the COVID-19 outbreak. More information here.
This morning, in an interview with CP24, Mayor John Tory said that he has been in touch with Raptors President Masai Ujiri and General Manager Bobby Webster about the status of the team’s practice facility, but is leaving the final decision on when to reopen it to public health officials. More information here.
Mayor Tory told reporters on Friday that the city is looking at ways to alleviate sidewalk congestion to ensure physical distancing can take place. More information about this plan which is being led by Toronto Public Health and the city’s transportation services department, are expected this week. More information here.
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