COVID-19 UPDATE FOR APRIL 16, 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.
- 211 is here for you
- COVID-19 testing criteria expanded further
- Look out for less common symptoms of COVID-19
- Should I wear a mask?
- New hours at Brewer Assessment Centre
- More companies will now qualify for a loan
- Reminder: Hotline for businesses
- New rent assistance program coming for small business
- Some conservation area trails remain open
- You may see more wildlife these days – what to do
211 is here for you
- 211 is a 24-hour helpline available in 150 languages.
- If you need help finding food banks, mental health resources or financial relief programs, dial 211 and they will point you in the right direction.
- Live Chat is also available Monday to Friday from 7am to 9pm here.
- You can also use the Search Help Tool at 211ontario.ca.
- You are not alone
COVID-19 testing criteria expanded further
- Last night the Ontario government expanded the list of those who can be tested for COVID-19 if they are showing symptoms. Here is the updated list:
- Healthcare workers or staff who work in health care facilities and members of their households.
- Residents and staff in long-term care homes, retirement homes, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, mental health institutions, hospices, and other congregate living settings and institutions.
- Hospitalized individuals and those who likely will be hospitalized.
- Members of remote, isolated, rural and/or indigenous communities.
- Caregivers and care providers.
- First responders such as firefighters, police and paramedics.
- Individuals with frequent healthcare contact such as patients with cancer or undergoing chemotherapy, dialysis therapy, pre- or post-transplant, pregnancy, and newborns.
- Close contacts of confirmed or probable cases.
- Returning international travellers who seek medical attention.
- Critical infrastructure workers – this includes grocery stores, food services, maintenance and transportation workers, and utilities.
- For more information see Ottawa Public Health’s website here.
Look out for less common symptoms of COVID-19
- COVID-19 has common symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
- COVID-19 also has less common symptoms such as:
- unexplained fatigue
- delirium (a serious medical condition that involves confusion, changes to memory, and odd behaviours)
- acute functional decline
- worsening of chronic conditions
- abdominal pain
- loss of taste/smell
- For more information visit Ottawa Public Health’s website here.
- If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use this self-assessment tool.
Should I wear a mask?
- Dr. Etches said today that she continues to be asked for clarity about whether people should wear a mask. She offered the following information:
- When you can’t maintain physical distancing, wearing a homemade cloth mask is an extra step you can take to protect others around you.
- It will reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 from you to others.
- Homemade masks refer to any mask or facial covering that can easily be made using supplies around the house, including t-shirts, pant legs, or handkerchiefs.
- See tips on making your own mask here.
New hours at Brewer Assessment Centre
- The Brewer Arena Assessment Center is the primary location for swabbing people who need to be tested for COVID-19. If you can manage your symptoms at home (e.g. your symptoms are generally mild), get tested at Brewer Arena if you meet the latest COVID-19 testing criteria.
- Brewer Park Arena Location and hours:
- 151 Brewer Way (Accessed from Bronson Avenue opposite Carleton University)
- Open 9 AM to 3:30 PM, 7 days a week (it was previously open from 9 AM-8 PM)
- Dr. Etches said today that labs are currently turning around COVID-19 tests within 24 hours of receiving them.
More businesses will now qualify for a loan
- The federal government has expanded the eligibility criteria the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA).
- The CEBA provides a $40,000 loan that is interest-free until Dec. 31, 2022. The program opened to applicants on April 9.
- Up until now, businesses needed to prove that they paid between $50,000 and $1 million in payroll in 2019.
- NEW TODAY: Businesses who paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in payroll in 2019 are eligible to receive the loan.
- If a business can repay the loan by the end of 2022, up to $10,000 will be forgiven.
- Businesses can apply through their banks or credit unions.
- So far more than 195,000 loans have been approved through this.
- Official news release here.
New rent assistance coming program for small businesses
- This morning Prime Minister Trudeau announced a new program: the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CEBRA).
- The program will help small businesses cover their rents for April, May, and June.
- The Federal government is partnering with provinces and territories to roll out the new program.
Reminder: Hotline for businesses
- Businesses with questions about how COVID-19 impacts their business or employment can call the “Stop the Spread” information hotline at 1-888-444-3659
- The hotline is open from 8:30 a.m.―5:00 p.m 7 days a week.
Some conservation area trails remain open
- People can continue to get outdoors at the following Conservation Area trails that remain open and maintained for passive recreational use (walk-through access only):
- Two Creek Forest Conservation Area (Morrisburg)
- Oschmann Forest Conservation Area (Ormond)
- Robert Graham Conservation Area (Glen Stewart)
- Warwick Forest Conservation Area (Berwick)
- J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area (Russell)
- W. E. Burton Conservation Area (Russell)
- Reveler Conservation Area (Crysler)
- Nokomis Park (Limoges)
- All other SNC Conservation Areas not listed are closed.
- Please note that all outdoor washrooms, play structures, seating areas, boardwalks and gazebos are closed.
- SNC requests that visitors take extra care, maintain distancing (two metres away from anyone outside your household) and be respectful of other trail users.
- Dogs are not permitted to be off leash on trails.
- More information at: www.nation.on.ca/coronavirus
You may see more wildlife these days – what to do
- As more people stay home, it is possible to see increased wildlife activity in your area.
- Most of the time wildlife is not a threat, but what to do you do if you encounter a coyote, wolf or fox?
- The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says the best way to stay safe is never to approach or touch a wild animal. If you see a coyote, wolf or fox, keep your distance and the animal will most likely avoid you.
- More information on how to prevent conflicts with wildlife can be found at www.ontario.ca/page/prevent-conflicts-wildlife.