COVID-19 Government and International Response: May 20, 2020

WHAT TO KNOW

Global COVID-19 cases have topped 5 million, reaching 5,045,467, up from 4,965,987 at 3:30 p.m. yesterday. Canada now reports 80,081 cases, up from 79,077 cases of COVID-19 yesterday. Ontario reports 23,774 cases, up from 23,384 cases yesterday.

The growth rate of new cases in the province continues to remain under 2%, with 390 (1.7%) new cases reported since yesterday. Of the province’s total cases, 18,190 have been resolved (76.5%) and there have been 1,962 deaths (8.3%). The province has now tested 567,176    individuals and reports 4,444 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

This morning the Prime Minister announced that application documents and updated criteria for Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses are now available, and that the program will be opened for applications beginning on May 25.

The program will provide forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners, who in turn will give a rent reduction of at least 75 per cent for April and May (retroactive), and June, to their small business tenants. Applications will be accepted through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website beginning on May 25, and application documents can be accessed now. More information here.

Also this morning, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains, announced the opening of the application process for the government’s Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF). The program will support Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing. LEEFF will help successful applicants keep their operations going.

The objective of this support is to help protect Canadian jobs, help Canadian businesses weather the current economic challenges, and avoid bankruptcies of otherwise viable firms where possible. This support will not be used to resolve insolvencies or restructure firms, nor will it provide financing to companies that otherwise have the capacity to manage through the crisis.

The additional liquidity provided through LEEFF will allow Canada’s largest businesses and their suppliers to remain active during this difficult time, and position them for a rapid economic recovery. More information here.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is reminding United States (U.S.) travellers, ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, that travel restrictions are still in place at all Canadian international border crossings. The Government of Canada introduced border measures in March to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Canada, including the restriction of all non-essential travel into Canada. More information here.

PROVINCIAL

With parts of the Ontario economy beginning to reopen, the Ontario government is reminding those taking public transit, returning to work or going out shopping to continue to adhere to public health advice as the best line of defence against COVID-19. To assist the public, the Ministry of Health today released specific recommendations on how to choose, wear and care for appropriate face coverings used in public where physical distancing is not possible, along with additional safety measures for provincial transit agencies.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, has advised people to wash their hands often, stay at home if feeling ill, and practise physical distancing by staying at least two metres apart from anyone outside their household. Now that the province is reopening, the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts are recommending that individuals wear a face covering where physical distancing is not possible, such as on public transit or in a small grocery store or pharmacy. In order to assist people and reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health released the following face covering recommendations:

  • Wear your face covering safely and snugly to cover your nose and mouth, without any gaps. Ensure your face covering is made of at least two layers of tightly woven material and can be cleaned multiple times without losing its shape;
  • Medical masks, such as surgical and N95 masks, should be reserved for use by health care workers, those providing direct care, first responders and individuals who are ill and must leave their home for essential reasons such as seeking medical care, picking up medication or groceries;
  • Face coverings should not be placed on or used by children under the age of two; anyone who has trouble breathing; and anyone who is unable to remove it without assistance. More information here.

TORONTO

Mayor John Tory announced today that the City of Toronto will expand its ActiveTO major road closures footprint this weekend to provide residents with more space to physically distance while outdoors and getting exercise, while helping stop the spread of COVID-19. Vehicle access on parts of more major roads will be closed for walking, running and biking this Saturday and Sunday.

The following three major road closures are planned this weekend from Saturday, May 23 at 6 a.m. until Sunday, May 24 at 11 p.m.:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only) from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road. The eastbound Gardiner Expressway off ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard West (exit #146) will also be closed
  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Coxwell Avenue to just south of Woodbine Avenue (Kew Beach Avenue)
  • Bayview Avenue from Mill Street to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue.

Along with the major road closures, ActiveTO includes a plan for 57 kilometres of Quiet Streets across the city.

Work on installing and planning Quiet Streets on neighbourhood roads is continuing. Quiet Streets are neighbourhood streets where traffic calming measures, such as signage and temporary barricades, are placed at intersections to encourage slow, local vehicle access only so that the roadway can be a shared space that also welcomes people who walk, run and bike. Parking and drop off areas are not impacted, and City services, such as waste collection and emergency access, continue as normal. More information here.

INTERNATIONAL

Country Total cases at 3:30 p.m. Total cases yesterday at 3:30 p.m. Increase from previous Active Cases (Increase decrease) Cases per million Total recovered Total deaths
Global 5,044,814 4,965,987 78,827 2,718,699 647 1,998,670 327,448
United States 1,579,387 1,565,166 14,221 1,120,537 285 364,683 94,167
Russia 308,705 299,941 8,764 220,341 2,115 85,392 2,972
Spain 279,524 278,803 721 54,678 5,979 196,958 27,888
Brazil 275,382 262,545 13,287 150,458 1,297 106,794 18,130
United Kingdom 248,818 248,818 Not updated 3,667 35,704
Italy 227,364 226,699 665 62,752 3,760 132,282 32,330
Germany 178,344 177,804 540 13,214 2,129 156,900 8,230
Iran 126,949 124,603 2,346 20,958 1,514 98,808 7,183
India 112,015 106,468 5,547 63,159 81 45,422 3,434
Peru 99,483 99,483 Not updated 60,045 3,022 36,524 2,914
China 82,965 82,960 5 87 58 78,244 4,634
Canada 80,081 79,077 1,004 33,384 2,124 40,670 6,027
Saudi Arabia 62,545 59,854 2,691 28,728 1,800 33,478 339
Chile 53,617 49,579 4,038 30,569 2,808 22,504 544
Australia 7,079 7,068 11 535 278 6,444 100