Here Are links to Some COVID-19 Resources/Information You May Find Useful.

Grey Bruce Health Unit logo. (Courtesy Grey Bruce Health Unit)

Friday, July 3, 2020

 

Here are links to some COVID-19 resources/information you may find useful. Many of these items are available on the GBHU website and may be shared publicly.  If you have any questions, please call the Help Line At: 519-376-9420 ext 3000

 

Please note: the COVID-19 section of the Grey Bruce Public Health website has been recently updated. It includes general COVID-19 information, inquiries, and resourcesinformation for health care providersinformation on the recovery phase, and a message from Dr. Arra Medical Officer of Health.  Please see this resource for workplaces to develop safety plans.  It is a valuable resource to help your organization ensure all safety practices are in place, in relation to COVID-19.

 

  1.       Assessment Centres in Grey Bruce (updated)
  2.       Public Pool Reopening Guidance
  3.       COVID Tracking Sheet
  4.       Media Release – Indeterminate Case – Restaurant Saugeen Shores
  5.       Outdoor Dining Guidance
  6.       GBHU Daily Situation Report 
  7.       OPHA COVID-19 Summary of Key Developments for June 29 – July 2nd 2020 (below Social Media links)

 

  If you have any questions, please call the Help Line At: 519-376-9420 ext 3000

 

 

Follow the Grey Bruce Health Unit on Social Media:

 

 

Facebook: Grey Bruce Health Unit

 

Twitter: GBPublicHealth

 

Instagram: gbpublichealth

 

YouTube: GreyBruceHealthUnit

 

OPHA COVID-19 Key Developments July 2

Provincial Developments

Launch of COVID-19 contact tracing app in Ontario delayed

  • A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health said the province is still working with the federal government and the app is expected to launch soon, but didn't give a new date for the app's launch.
  • The province will be the first to pilot the new made-in-Ontario COVID Alert app, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said it should be ready for downloading in the rest of the country later this summer.
  • Premier Doug Ford says the app is meant to enhance the province's contact tracing strategy. He's previously said that it could play a key role in helping contain the spread of COVID-19 as more businesses reopen their doors.
  • The app will be voluntary, and will notify users based on a number of criteria, including if they were within two metres of a person who tests positive for the virus and if that contact took place over an extended period of time.

Ontario Provides Additional Funding to Support Municipalities and Urban Indigenous Community Partners

  • The Ontario government is providing municipalities and urban Indigenous community partners with an additional $150 million to continue to protect vulnerable people from COVID-19 by improving homeless shelters and creating opportunities for longer-term housing.
  • This investment more than doubles the funding currently flowing to local municipal service managers and urban Indigenous program administrators through the Social Services Relief Fund.
  • Municipalities and urban Indigenous community partners will be able to use this funding for long-term, innovative housing solutions resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • They can renovate shelters or purchase new facilities that will help with physical distancing in the short term and support longer-term, more sustainable solutions to homelessness. In addition, this funding could also be used to provide vulnerable people with food, shelter and supplies.

Canada and Ontario invest in roads and bridges for rural communities in Eastern Ontario

  • Joint federal, provincial, as well as municipal and county funding through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan will support five road and bridge projects in Eastern Ontario.
  • The Government of Canada is investing over $9 million in these projects through the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream.
  • The Government of Ontario is contributing more than $6.5 million and municipalities are contributing over $3 million towards the projects.

On Masks and Moving to Stage 3:

  • In the absence of a provincial mandatory mask order local municipalities have used their authority to make their own rules making the wearing of masks mandatory for enclosed public spaces with Toronto being the latest city to do so as of July 7th; other GTA cities, including Brampton and Mississauga, are moving in a similar direction.
  • In addition, the Premier urged the Prime Minister to transfer the promised funding to the provinces to support their efforts in addressing COVID-19.

Migrant Workers:

  • When asked to consider repealing a policy that allows asymptomatic migrant farm workers to stay on the job in response to a Windsor official's challenge, Premier Ford said he wouldn't repeal the policy, but acknowledged it is up to local medical officials whether or not they implement it.
  • Following a spike in cases among farm workers in the Windsor-Essex Region, there is growing concern that migrant farm workers are avoiding seeking care from medical professionals testing for COVID-19. Premier Ford hopes to connect with migrant workers using Spanish translators to get more information that is directly from the farm workers.
  • The Premier pleaded to migrant workers who might fear seeking medical attention and testing for COVID-19, to get tested without fear of retribution saying "my emphasis to the workers is nothing's going to happen. We're here, Ontario is here to help you."

Ontario Reviews Elevator Laws

  • The Ontario government is launching consultations in an effort to improve elevator safety, performance, and availability in multi-storey buildings.
  • The province is seeking input on proposed regulatory changes under the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000.
  • These new rules would help to ensure that elevators are well-maintained and meet updated safety requirements.

Federal Developments

  • There was no briefing held by the Prime Minister or any other federal official today.

Summary of Cases across Canada and Ontario

Cases in Ontario:

  • Total number of cases: 35,370 cases; an increase of 153 cases since yesterday
  • Resolved: 30,730 (86.9%); 204 new cases resolved since yesterday
  • Deaths: sadly, 2,680 people have died
  • Hospitalized: *119 people are hospitalized; *40 are in intensive care and of those, *26 are on a ventilator. *Please note that more than 30 hospitals did not report information for June 30th, therefore this is likely an underestimate and will increase in tomorrow's counts.
  • Long-term care homes (according to iPHIS): 46 active outbreaks; 5,448 confirmed cases in residents; 2,290 confirmed cases in staff; 1,712 deaths among residents and six among staff
  • Lab testing: 1,457,703 tests completed; 24,322 tests completed in the last 24 hours; 13,922 are currently under investigation.
  • Ontario has completed over a million tests since the onset of the pandemic

Cases in Canada:

  • Total number of cases: 104,204; an increase of 286 new cases
  • Resolved: 67,594 (65%)
  • Deaths: 8,591 (8.2%)
  • People tested: 73,695 people tested per million
  • Percent positivity: 3.5%
  • Canada has crossed the mark of 100,000 cases of the novel coronavirus

 

OPHA COVID-19 Key Developments June 30

Provincial Developments

On the eve of Canada Day, Premier Ford used the opportunity to convey his pride in being Canadian at this moment in history and thanked everyone who followed public health advice to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Ontario Celebrating Canada Day with Free Parks Admission and Extending Free Family Fishing:

The Ontario government is celebrating 153rd Canada Day by offering:

  • free day use at all provincial parks on Canada Day; and
  • free fishing in Ontario, without having to purchase a licence or carry an Outdoors Card for the first two weeks of July, double the length of last year.

Ontario Courts Gradually Resuming In-Person Proceedings:

  • Ontario courts will begin resuming in-person proceedings across the province on Monday, July 6, 2020 with strict health and safety protocols to protect everyone.
  • To start, 149 courtrooms in both the Superior and Ontario Courts of Justice are reopening in 44 locations. Additional courtrooms will open by September with the remaining opening by November 1, 2020.
  • To help maintain physical distancing, plexiglass barriers are being installed in courtrooms, interview rooms, intake offices and at public counters.
  • Everyone who visits a courthouse will be required to wear a face covering and will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.

When asked about taking the proceedings online, the Premier responded that he will be talking to the Attorney General about more online access to court proceedings and said, "People are interested, maybe we look at it."

Ontario investing in the Connecting-Links program to enhance transport system:

  • The Ontario government is providing an additional $10 M in funding for the Connecting Links program in nine more municipalities across the province, bringing the total municipalities receiving funding to 33 for this year.
  • Today's announcement brings the total annual investment for this program to $40 M.
  • The 2020-21 Connecting Links program supports municipalities across the province to help them build, repair or replace municipal roads and bridges that connect two ends of a provincial highway through a community or to a border crossing.

On Masks and Moving to Stage 3:

  • Even while calling it a "golden rule" to wear a mask or face covering in large groups, the Premier however, declined he Toronto Mayor's request for a provincial mandatory mask order and noting that "each region has the authority to make their own rules."
  • Various communities have made the wearing of masks mandatory for enclosed public spaces with Toronto being the latest city to do so as of July 7th;
  • When asked by the media about moving the province to Stage 3, Health Minister Elliott said that the government needs "about another week of data" before deciding.

Migrant Workers:

  • Further to a spike in cases among farm workers in the Windsor-Essex Region, the Medical Officer in Huron Perth issued an order requiring employers of migrant workers,  to follow any direction issued by the public health agency (e.g. to self-isolate as necessary, work exclusively for one operation, follow all public-health measures on the work site and provide contact information). 
  • Health Minister Elliott indicated that while there were only 17 new cases reported in Windsor-Essex, testing of temporary workers is ongoing and additional cases may be identified in the coming days.

On another note, the Ontario government is celebrating International Small Business Week with the launch of the "Shop Local! Shop Safe! Shop with Confidence!" campaign, encouraging Ontarians to support their local small businesses and to shop safely while doing so.

Federal Developments

The Prime Minister indicated that he, Dr. Tam and Dr. Njoo  will start providing  updates on the pandemic a few times a week, instead of every day, when there is pertinent information to share.

Canada Extends Ban on Foreign Travellers to July 31st:

  • The Canadian government has extended the current ban on most international travellers until July 31.
  • The ban allows permanent Canadian residents, the immediate family members of Canadian citizens, as well as diplomats and air crews, to come into Canada, though anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 will still not be allowed to enter.
  • The mandatory 14-day self-isolation for any non-essential worker entering Canada remains in effect, as do all other aspects of the Quarantine Act.   

Cases and Testing in Ontario:

  • Total number of cases: 35,068 cases; an increase of 157 cases since the last report yesterday
  • Resolved: 30,344 (86.5%); 148 new cases resolved since the last report
  • Deaths: sadly, 2,672 people have died (7.6%);
  • Hospitalized: 213 people are hospitalized; 42 are in intensive care and of those, 34 are on a ventilator
  • Long-term care homes: 5,473 confirmed cases in residents; 2,284 confirmed cases in staff; 1,710 deaths among residents and five among staff
  • Lab testing: 1,407,325; Total tests completed in the previous day 23,759; Tests currently under investigation tests 19,318

Cases in Canada (June 28th, 7pm)

  • Total number of cases: 103,918; an increase of 668 new cases
  • Recovered: 67,178 (65%)
  • Deaths: 8,566 (8.2%)
  • People tested: 72,406 people tested per million
  • Percent positivity: 3.6%

 

OPHA COVID-19 Key Developments June 29

Federal Developments 

Canadian Emergency Rent Assistance (CERA):

  • Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the federal government intends to extend the CERA by one month in order to assist businesses to pay less for their rent as they gradually reopen.

Latest COVID-19 Modelling Data:

Canada`s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Tam, shared the latest modelling data on the pandemic. Here are the key takeaways:

  • After a challenging spring, things are continuing to move in the right direction.
  • Ontario and Quebec remain hotspots within the country, while nationally the numbers are going down.
  • Two main hotpots remain around Toronto and Montreal, as well as in pockets of Saskatchewan and southern Ontario; overall Canada's experience with the novel coronavirus has been a case of regional epidemics, with some provinces and territories going weeks now without new cases.
  • It is projected that as of July 12 the country could see between 103,940 and 108,130 cases, and between 8,545 and 8,865 deaths.
  • The daily numbers of hospitalized and critical care cases are also steadily declining as recoveries increase.
  • While there has been a steep decline in transmission among older age groups, there has been a relative increase in Canadians aged 20-39 contracting COVID-19 since late May.
  • For COVID-19 to "die out" in Canada, the effective reproduction number (Rt), the average number of people infected by each case, needs to remain below one; Canada's Rt rate has been less than one for eight weeks.
  • Dr. Tam cautioned that outbreaks have recently been linked to social gatherings, particularly in closed settings with close contacts like funerals or other family gatherings. She advised people to limit the number of close contacts they have and avoid enclosed and crowded spaces.
  • As Prime Minister Trudeau emphasized, "It is going to be really, really important that everyone remains attentive and vigilant to their own behaviours so that we can prevent a second wave from arriving."

Provincial Developments 

Migrant Workers

  • Some 175 cases of the 257 new cases reported this Monday are from testing over the weekend on one farm that employs about 450 people in the Windsor-Essex public health region. The Premier noted that "We have a great team out there and we're going to do everything in our power to resolve these cases as soon as possible."
  • Ontario`s Associate Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Yaffe, indicated that public health officials are monitoring the situation and one option could be to close down this farm.
  • When asked by the media about whether allowing farm workers who are infected with COVID-19 but asymptomatic led to this increase in cases, Health Minister Elliott said that a team of nurses and translators will be visiting the farm, ``we're going to make sure that they are thoroughly medically checked out ... those with symptoms may need be moved off the property`` and hospitalized if needed.
  • The Premier also said that they would be following up with some recruitment agencies that are not following the rules. In addition, some 70 orders have been issued recently by inspectors further to 250 farm inspections.

Defunding the Police:

  • When asked about discussions in Toronto about reducing 10% of its police budget, Premier Ford noted that he didn't agree but that it`s an issue under municipal control. He said "We'd never step in" to prevent a local council from defunding their police budget.
  • Toronto City Council voted against the defunding police motion and instead supported various initiatives aimed at tackling systemic racism (e.g. stop police from responding to mental health calls that do not involve weapons or violence, have police wear body cameras).

Making Masks Compulsory:

  • While the mayors of five Toronto municipalities are calling on the province to make it mandatory to wear mask indoors in their region, Premier Ford said he would deny such a request, saying it "isn't necessary" because local medical health officers have the power to issue such orders on their own.
  • In her briefing with the media, Dr. Yaffe indicated that the province is "strongly encouraging" non-medical face coverings for now.

Trends in Ontario:

Dr. Yaffe provided the following update on trends in COVID-19 cases in Ontario:

  • For much of the province, the trends have remained very positive.
  • It's been over two weeks since many regions have moved to stage 2 and number of new cases has remained steady.
  • On Friday last week, there were only 111 new cases, 160 cases on Saturday and 178 cases on Sunday.
  • Of Ontario's 257 confirmed new cases of COVID-19 reported Monday, 177 were from the Windsor-Essex area as the province began targeted testing of migrant farm workers.
  • The number of tests per day has remained well above 20,000, reaching a record high of 33,492 on Saturday.
  • While these trends are encouraging, unfortunately outbreaks were seen related to the reopening of businesses, for example in Kingston. Hence,  Ontarians are requested to follow public health advice and remain vigilant

Ontario Increasing Oversight of Towing Industry:

  • The Ontario government is establishing a task force to improve provincial oversight of the towing industry, develop a regulatory model that will increase safety and enforcement, clarify protections for consumers, improve industry standards and consider tougher penalties for violators.
  • Once the task force has developed proposals for discussion and comment, it will be consulting with industry, municipalities, and public safety experts.

We will continue to monitor and share with you federal and provincial developments related to COVID-19 and other policy matters as long as our members find this useful. Stay well!  

Cases and Testing in Ontario:

  • Total number of cases: 34,911 cases; an increase of 257 cases since the last report yesterday
  • Resolved: 30,196 (86.5%); 89 new cases resolved since the last report
  • Deaths: sadly, 2,665 people have died (7.6%);
  • Hospitalized: 232 people are hospitalized; 46 are in intensive care and of those, 35 are on a ventilator
  • Long-term care homes: 5,468 confirmed cases in residents; 2,283 confirmed cases in staff; 1,706 deaths among residents and five among staff
  • Lab testing: 1,383,566; Total tests completed in the previous day 27,127; Tests currently under investigation tests 16,701

Cases in Canada (June 28th, 7pm)

  • Total number of cases: 103,250; an increase of 218 new cases
  • Recovered: 66,191 (64%)
  • Deaths: 8,522 (8.3%)
  • People tested: 71,209 people tested per million
  • Percent positivity: 3.6%

 

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