COVID-19 UPDATE FOR APRIL 15, 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 here 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 during this challenging time.
- Part-time, contract, and seasonal workers now qualify for the CERB
- Essential workers to get wage boost
- New online portal with mental health and substance use supports
- New measures to combat COVID-19 in long-term care homes
- Parks Canada suspends camping and group activities
Part-time, contract, and seasonal workers now qualify for the CERB
- Today Prime Minister Trudeau announced expanded eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
- The CERB is available to workers who meet the following conditions:
- Have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for EI
- Earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months before applying.
- Today, the government announced changes to the eligibility rules to include:
- Workers who earn $1000 or less a month
- Seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI benefits and are unable to work because of COVID-19.
- Workers who have recently exhausted their EI benefits and can’t find a job or return to work because of COVID-19.
- These changes will be retroactive to March 15, 2020. More details will be posted on the government’s portal shortly.
- The CERB provides $2000 every four weeks for up to four months to workers who lose income as a result of COVID-19.
- Official news release here
Essential workers to get wage boost
- The federal government is working with provinces to top up the pay of essential workers who earn less than $2,500 a month.
- This will provide a boost to those working in hospitals and long-term care homes, those working to keep food on our shelves and tables, and others.
- More details will be released in the coming days.
- We also expect announcements this week about support for post-secondary students and businesses worried about commercial rent.
New online portal with mental health and substance use supports
- The Federal government has launched a new mental health portal available on the government’s website and through their new COVID-19 app.
- Wellness Together Canada provides free online resources, tools, apps, and connections to trained volunteers and qualified mental health professionals.
- It’s normal to be feeling stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed given the current crisis.
- We’re all being challenged in many ways because of isolation, financial and employment uncertainty and disruptions to our daily lives.
- We have a list of mental health supports on our COVID-19 portal here.
New measures to combat COVID-19 in long-term care homes
- The province has announced an Action Plan to fight COVID-19 in long-term care homes.
- All symptomatic staff and residents will now be tested, as well as any asymptomatic residents or staff who came in contact with someone with COVID-19.
- Testing will also begin for asymptomatic residents and staff in “select homes” to better understand how COVID-19 is spreading.
- The Minister of Long-Term Care said that the province will use “rapid deployment teams” from local hospitals to assist with infection prevention and control in affected facilities.
- The province will provide personal protective equipment to LTC homes within 24 hours of their request and will work toward "better isolation measures".
- A 14-day emergency order preventing long-term care staff from working at multiple homes starts next week.
- Workers who must temporarily give up a job in another care setting are entitled to an unpaid leave of absence.
- To help long-term care workers make up these lost wages, the government encourages employers to offer full-time hours to their part-time employees during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Official news release
Parks Canada suspends camping and group activities
- To help limit the spread of COVID-19, Parks Canada has suspended camping, group activities and events at all national parks, national historic sites, heritage canals and national marine conservation areas until at least May 31, 2020.
- This means:
- All visitor services, including reception, information, lockage and mooring are suspended until further notice;
- All visitor facilities, including parking lots, washrooms, day use areas and visitor centres are closed until further notice;
- All camping facilities including backcountry camping, oTENTiks, and other roofed accommodations remain closed until further notice;
- All events, group and interpretive activities are cancelled until at least May 31, 2020;
- Parks Canada will not be taking new reservations until at least June 1, 2020. All existing reservations set to take place prior to May 31, 2020, will be automatically cancelled and refunded in full.