COVID-19 Government and International Response: May 6, 2020

WHAT TO KNOW

Global COVID-19 cases have reached 3,795,667, up from 3,706,350 yesterday at 3:30 p.m. Canada is now reporting 63,375 cases, up from 61,959 cases of COVID-19 yesterday. Ontario reports 18,722 cases, up 412 (2.3%) from 18,310 cases yesterday. The province has now tested 365,675 individuals and reports 8,790 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

The Competition Bureau is warning all businesses against making false or misleading claims that their products and services can prevent, treat or cure COVID-19.

The Bureau is actively monitoring the marketplace and taking action to stop potentially deceptive claims that could give Canadians a false impression that products or services can treat COVID-19 infections or protect against the coronavirus.

The Bureau has issued direct compliance warnings to a variety of businesses across Canada to stop potentially deceptive claims, including warnings against:

  • making claims that herbal remedies, bee-related products, vitamins, vegetables or other food and drink products can prevent COVID-19 infections; and
  • making claims—without first conducting the testing required by law—that certain UV and ozone air sterilization systems, as well as certain air filters or air purifiers, will effectively kill or filter out the virus.

The businesses included a major national retailer and businesses located in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Québec and New Brunswick. Most of the businesses have taken corrective action, pulling products that raised concerns from their shelves or stopping the claims. The Bureau continues to monitor the situation and will take further action as needed.

More information here.

PROVINCIAL

The Ontario government will allow all retail stores with a street entrance to provide curbside pickup and delivery, as well as in-store payment and purchases at garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores.

As early as Friday, May 8 at 12:01 a.m., garden centres and nurseries will be able to open for in-store payment and purchases, operating under the same guidelines as grocery stores and pharmacies. Hardware stores and safety supply stores will be permitted to open for in-store payment and purchases as soon as 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 9. On Monday, May 11 at 12:01 a.m., retail stores with a street entrance can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery, in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces and occupational health and safety requirements.

In addition to easing restrictions on retail, the government is also expanding essential construction to allow below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects like apartments and condominiums to begin and existing above-grade projects to continue.

Businesses must follow public health measures and should review the workplace safety guidelines, such as promoting physical distancing and frequent handwashing, sanitizing surfaces, installing physical barriers, staggering shifts, and using contactless payment options to stop the spread of COVID-19. More information here.

The Ontario government is extending emergency electricity rate relief to families, farms and small businesses until May 31, 2020 during the COVID-19 outbreak. Customers who pay time-of-use electricity rates will continue to be billed at the lowest price, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This electricity rate relief, initially provided for a 45-day period starting on March 24, 2020, has been extended by an emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The rate relief is intended to be in place for an additional 24 days.  More information here.

On the advice of the Province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, the government has extended all emergency orders in the province until May 19. More information here.

TORONTO

The 60-day grace period for property tax, utility bill payments and late penalties extended by the City during the COVID-19 response ends on May 15. There are important changes to instalment amounts and due dates for customers on all payment schedules. All customers will receive a mailed notification of their revised interim bill due dates. Final tax bills will be mailed in mid-May as usual. More information here.

As part of the City of Toronto’s response to COVID-19 for people experiencing homelessness, a second recovery program will open this week and enhanced PPE measures will be in place across the shelter system. More information here.

INTERNATIONAL

Country Total cases at 3:30 p.m. Total cases yesterday at 3:30 p.m. Increase from previous Cases per million Total recovered Total deaths
Global 3,795,667 3,706,350 89,317 487 1,279,401 262,741
United States 1,249,765 1,226,481 23,284 3,776 204,865 73,599
Spain 253,682 250,561 3,121 5,426 159,359 25,857
Italy 214,457 213,013 1,444 3,547 93,245 29,684
United Kingdom 201,101 194,990 6,111 2,962 30,076
Germany 167,575 166,598 977 2,000 137,400 7,190
Brazil 121,600 110,156 11,444 572 48,221 8,022
Iran 101,650 99,970 1,680 1,210 81,587 6,418
China 82,883 82,881 2 58 77,911 4,633
Canada 63,375 61,959 1,416 1,679 26,993 4,223
India 52,987 49,400 3,587 38 15,331 1,785
Chile 23,048 22,016 1,032 1,206 11,189 281
Australia 6,875 6,849 26 270 5,984 97