COVID-19 UPDATE FOR MARCH 31, 2020
Below you will find today’s updates on the COVID-19 situation.
My team and I are monitoring the situation closely and sharing resources and information in our daily newsletter, on our COVID-19 Information Hub, on Facebook, and on Twitter. Our goal is to help you have the latest facts at your fingertips.
Please continue to follow updates from Ottawa Public Health.
- Ontario schools closed until at least May
- New “Teacher-Led” program to help students learn from home
- Update on post-secondary schools
- Federal Government update on medical equipment
- Update from Ottawa Public Health – Next two weeks are crucial
- Hydro Ottawa
Ontario public schools closed until at least May
- Publicly-funded schools will stay closed until at least May 1 for teachers and May 4 for students, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced today.
- “I’m prepared to extend these closures even further if we have to,” said the Premier.
- Private schools, licensed child care centres and EarlyON programs will also remain closed until April 13, according to the Declaration of Emergency, which only allows closures to be extended for one 14-day period at a time.
- More information here.
New “Teacher-Led” program to help students learn from home
- There is a new teacher-led online learning program for students in K-12.
- Students will be able to accumulate courses and get a report card at the end of the year.
- This is the second phase of Ontario’s Learn at Home program.
- Teachers will lead a certain number of hours of learning from home every week. Depending on a student’s grade, they can expect to spend the following amount of time on classwork:
- Kindergarten to Grade 3: five hours per week
- Grades 4 to 6: five hours per week
- Grades 7 and 8: 10 hours per week
- Grades 9 to 12: three hours per week per course for semestered students and 1.5 hours per course per week for non-semestered students
- The program will include graded work and report cards for all students.
- The Minister of Education said laptops and other electronic devices are being distributed as needed in partnership with boards of education and added that the government is working with telecommunication partners “to get technology to those that need it.”
- We’ll share more details as we have them.
- Government news release here.
New funding for post-secondary schools
- Ontario has partnered with eCampus Ontario to provide “digital learning supports,” including online exams, to postsecondary institutions.
- The provincial government is distributing $25 million to colleges, universities and Indigenous Institutes to help address COVID-19-related needs such as deep cleaning, purchasing medical supplies or offering mental health supports.
- OSAP payments have also been given a six-month, interest-free moratorium until Sept. 30.
- More information here.
Federal Government Update on Medical Equipment
- In his daily media briefing, the Prime Minister announced that the government has reached agreements with three Canadian companies — including Ottawa’s Spartan Bioscience — to make medical supplies including respirators and surgical masks.
- The government has signed letters of intent with five other Canadian companies to boost access to supplies such as masks, face shields, gowns, test kits, hand sanitizer and ventilators.
- More information here
Update from Ottawa Public Health – Next two weeks are crucial
- Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches says the physical distancing measures Ottawa residents are practicing are “helping us have a very slow rise in the number of cases.”
- “We haven’t seen a big surge in the number of cases, and that’s exactly what we want…a manageable increase day over day, and then to slow that rate of increase.”
- Dr. Etches agrees with Premier Ford that the next two weeks are “crucial” in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
- “We have put in some strong measures that should definitely make a difference in limiting the number of cases and transmission going forward” said Dr. Etches.
- Click here for all the latest information from Ottawa Public Health.
In response to the urgent need for medical protective equipment during the COVID-19 crisis, Hydro Ottawa wanted to do their part and donated 12,000 surgical masks to The Ottawa Hospital - L'Hôpital d'Ottawa. They would also like to say THANK YOU to all the healthcare workers dedicated to fighting this virus and caring for our community.