COVID-19 UPDATE FOR APRIL 23, 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.
- Ontario government extends emergency orders for 2 more weeks
- Canada Post: Christmas-level parcel volumes resulting in delays
- NEW: National medical and research strategy to fight COVID-19
- NEW: Ontario’s COVID-19 Action Plan for Vulnerable People
- Update on long-term care homes
- NROCRC Update
Ontario government extends emergency orders for 2 more weeks
- The Ontario government has extended emergency orders for another two weeks, until May 6.
- Today’s extension relates to the closure of parks and rec spaces, limits on social gatherings, and non-essential workplace closures.
- The official State of Emergency lasts until May 12 and can re-extended beyond that.
- Today the Ontario government also introduced a new measure to allow mental health and addictions agencies to redeploy staff within different locations or between programs, and employ extra part-time staff, temporary staff or contractors.
- Official news release
Canada Post: Christmas-level parcel volumes resulting in delays
- Canada Post is letting its customers know that the process and delivery of parcels has entered Christmas-esque levels.
- They are advising customers to expect delays with deliveries as the company’s important safety measures mean everything is taking longer to process.
- Customers can track parcels online through the Canada Post website or the Canada Post app.
- To support physical distancing, Canada Post has implemented what it calls the “Knock, Drop, and Go approach.” Delivery employees knock or ring, choose the safest location available to leave the item, and then depart for the next address.
- See statement from Canada Post.
NEW: National medical and research strategy to fight COVID-19
- Prime Minister Trudeau has announced a $1.1 billion strategy for medical research to fight COVID-19.
- The plan has three components:
- $115 million for research into vaccines and treatments being developed in hospitals and universities.
- $662 million for clinical trials in Canada.
- $350 million to expand national testing and modelling for COVID-19.
- The Prime Minister also announced the creation of a new COVID-19 immunity task force focused on serology testing — blood-based tests used to determine if someone has been exposed to the virus already.
- David Naylor, who chaired the committee that reviewed Canada's response to SARS in 2003, will be on the panel.
- The task force will work to determine how many people have COVID-19 beyond those who already have been tested, whether those who've recovered are immune and, if so, how long that immunity might last.
- Official news release.
NEW: Ontario’s COVID-19 Action Plan for Vulnerable People
- The Ontario government announced a new plan today to protect vulnerable residents outside of long-term care settings.
- Facilities where the risk of spreading and contracting COVID-19 is high include:
- homeless shelters
- homes serving those with developmental disabilities
- shelters for survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking
- children’s residential settings
- residential settings supporting vulnerable Indigenous individuals and families
- Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, said the new "vulnerable populations COVID-19 action plan" will go into effect within the next 48 hours.
- The new strategy includes enhanced screening of residents, staff and visitors at those facilities, in addition to more testing for COVID-19.
- Minister Smith said the new policies will help "stabilize outbreaks in many of these settings."
- Official news release
Update on long-term care homes
- The federal government has approved Ontario's request for Canadian Armed Forces help in to long-term care homes.
- Premier Ford said today that officials are still deciding which homes will receive help from the military. He expects to share details about the military deployment over the next day or so.
- Premier Ford pledged today to strengthen the province’s long-term care homes, saying "I recognize the system is broken".
- The Premier’s mother-in-law, a resident of a Toronto long-term care home, has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Public Health officials reported today that 516 of Ontario’s 713 COVID-19 deaths –72%– are accounted for by long-term-care residents. As of today, there were 132 outbreaks at Ontario long-term care homes, with 2,189 cases among residents and 1,058 cases among staff.
The Affordability Fund Pilot provides an opportunity for qualifying residents to reduce their hydro bills, receive FREE energy-saving upgrades and get help finding additional community services if needed.