COVID-19 Government and International Response: May 19, 2020

WHAT TO KNOW

Global COVID-19 cases have reached 4,965,987, up from 4,600,243 at 3:30 p.m. on Friday. Canada now reports 79,077 cases, up from 74,532 cases of COVID-19 on Friday. Ontario reports 23,384 cases, up from 21,922 cases on Friday.

The growth rate of new cases in the province continues to remain under 2%, with 427 (1.9%) new cases reported since yesterday. Of the province’s total cases, 17,898 have been resolved (76.5%) and there have been 1,919 deaths (8.2%). The province has now tested 559,794    individuals and reports 2,294 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, Prime Minister Trudeau announced an expansion to the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include many owner-operated small businesses. The changes to the CEBA will allow more Canadian small businesses to access interest free loans that will help cover operating costs during a period when revenues have been reduced, due to the pandemic.

The program will now be available to a greater number of businesses that are sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll.

To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:

  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution
  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance. More information here.

Over the weekend the Prime Minister announced the Canada Child Benefit will be increased in July, to help families keep up with the costs of living and raising their children. This increase is in addition to the one-time special CCB payment announced by the Prime Minister earlier this month, to help families deal with the added pressures of COVID-19.

This additional tax-free support will help families pay for things such as food, clothes, and activities they can do together at home. The increase will be in place for the 2020-21 benefit year, and will raise the maximum benefit to $6,765 per child under age 6, and $5,708 per child aged 6 through 17.

Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng announced that the Government of Canada will provide $15 million in additional funding to support women entrepreneurs through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). This money will go directly to select organizations that are currently WES Ecosystem Fund recipients and will help women entrepreneurs through the COVID-19 pandemic. More information here.

PROVINCIAL

Today, the province officially enters the first stage of its Framework for Reopening the Province. As part of this initial stage, the government is permitting the reopening of some outdoor recreational amenities, including outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields, off-leash dog areas, and outdoor picnic sites, benches and shelters in parks and recreational areas.

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended all emergency orders currently in force until May 29, 2020. That includes the closure of bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery only, restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and staff redeployment rules for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women’s shelters. The government is also allowing drive-in religious gatherings. More information here.

To protect the health and safety of students during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Ontario government announced it will keep schools closed for the rest of this school year. All students who were on track to graduate from secondary school before the initial school closure order was made in March will be able to graduate, and all students will receive report cards.

Later this summer, the government will announce a plan to strengthen learning and safety protocols to enable students and staff to return to in-class instruction for the 2020-21 school year. That plan will be bolstered by an enhanced province-wide virtual learning program that will allow all students to learn, regardless of the challenges that may transpire in the coming months.

Private schools, licensed child care centres and EarlyON programs will also remain closed for the safety and protection of children, families and staff through Stage 1 of the Framework for Reopening the Province. Emergency child care will continue to operate and provide support for health care and other frontline workers. A gradual reopening of child care is expected to begin when the province is ready to transition to Stage 2 based on public health criteria, which will include robust safety protocols for the safety of Ontario’s youngest learners and their staff. More information here.

Ontario’s long-term care homes have been particularly hard hit by COVID-19. The government announced it will launch an independent commission into Ontario’s long-term care system beginning in September.

Over the next several months, the government will finalize details of the commission including terms of reference, membership, leadership of the commission and reporting timelines. More information here.

The Ontario government is working with Medical Innovation Xchange (MIX), Canada’s first industry-led hub for med-tech start-ups, to provide non-medical manufacturing companies free support as they retool to provide essential supplies and equipment to health care facilities during COVID-19.

With this new collaboration, the government aims to drive innovation in the sector, create jobs and build Ontario’s domestic medical supply chain to ensure the province is as self-sufficient as possible and prepared for a future health crisis. More information here.

TORONTO

Last week the City announced a new partnership with Toronto start-up Ritual to help local businesses accept digital orders online and onsite. The partnership is one of many initiatives to help businesses, led by Mayor Tory’s Economic Support and Recovery Task Force.

The City is encouraging all restaurants and food services businesses, including grocers, butchers, and bakeries, to sign up for Ritual ONE as early as possible. Businesses that sign up by June 1 will receive the service free for life and will not pay any commission or monthly subscription fees on Ritual ONE orders. Businesses are also provided with a dedicated expert to help support them during the onboarding process. Toronto businesses can sign up for Ritual ONE at ritual.co/partners.

INTERNATIONAL

Country Total cases at 3:30 p.m. Total cases Friday at 3:30 p.m. Increase from previous Cases per million Total recovered Total deaths
Global 4,965,987 4,600,243 365,744 637 1,948,944 323,620
United States 1,565,166 1,472,312 92,854 4,732 361,709 93,153
Russia 299,941 262,843 37,098 2,055 76,130 2,837
Spain 278,803 274,367 4,436 5,963 196,958 27,778
Brazil 262,545 212,198 50,347 1,236 100,459 17,509
United Kingdom 248,818 236,711 12,107 3,667 35,341
Italy 226,699 223,885 2,814 3,749 129,401 32,169
Germany 177,804 175,223 2,581 2,123 155,700 8,185
Iran 124,603 116,635 7,968 1,486 97,173 7,119
India 106,468 85,784 20,684 77 42,307 3,301
Peru 99,483 84,495 14,988 3,022 36,524 2,914
China 82,960 82,933 27 58 78,241 4,634
Canada 79,077 74,532 4,545 2,097 39,976 5,909
Saudi Arabia (new) 59,854 1,723 31,634 329
Chile 49,579 39,542 10,037 2,596 21,507 509
Australia 7,068 7,019 49 278 6,413 100