COVID-19 Update for April 6

This page was last updated on April 6th. For up-to-date information on the COVID-19 situation please visit: Ontario.ca/coronavirus

Most Willowdalers continue to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic by staying home. Thank you. I know it's hard but your sacrifice today is saving lives. If you are not already, please stay home unless absolutely essential to leave. Leave your home only to go grocery shopping once a week, or to pick up medication or seek medical attention.

Do your part, please stay home!

The Ontario Government continues to monitor, prevent and respond to the spread of the novel coronavirus. As the situation changes, day by day, hour by hour, our government will continue to monitor the outbreak and escalate our responses as necessary. The health and wellbeing of Ontarians is our government's top priority.

My team and I continue to be available by phone and email to answer questions and connect you with any support or resources you may need during this time. You can reach us at 416-733-7878 or at stan.cho@pc.ola.org

Here is an update on new actions taken since March 31st:

For a list of actions taken before March 31st please see: https://www.stanchompp.ca/covid_19_update_for_march_31

You can also see an updated list of provincial, federal and municipal government supports for people and businesses, and a list of local Willowdale resources by clicking one of the buttons below:

Supports for People     Support for Businesses     Local Resources

Ontario’s Action Plan: Support for Families

This week, Premier Ford, Minister Lecce, Minister Elliott and Minister Phillips announced further details about the government’s plan to support families with school-age children, which will offer direct financial support for parents while Ontario schools and child care centres remain closed as a result of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Starting this past Monday, families can complete a simple online application to receive a one-time payment of $200 for each child aged 0 to 12, or $250 for children 21 years old or younger with special needs. Through this program the government is providing over $300 million in relief to parents in Ontario.

Click here to apply: https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-support-families#section-2

Additional Measures to Protect First Responders

The Government made an emergency order that will allow police, firefighters and paramedics to obtain COVID-19 positive status information about individuals with whom they are coming into contact. This will help first responders protect themselves and the public when responding to an emergency. We have confidence that businesses and Ontarians across this province will follow the emergency orders issued and public health advice. However, we need to make sure that the capacity exists to address non-compliance and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Funding for Vulnerable Ontarians: COVID-19 Residential Relief Fund

On April 4th, the province is announced an investment of up to $40 million to support organizations that provide residential services for children and youth, people with developmental disabilities and emergency shelters for women and families fleeing domestic violence. The COVID-19 Residential Relief Fund will cover costs such as additional staffing, residential respite for caregivers; personal protective equipment and supplies; initiatives to support physical distancing and transportation to minimize client exposure.

Ontario Agri-Food Job Portal

Launched a new web portal – which brings together in one location a variety of employment openings and training resources in the agri-food sector. This online portal provides access to information on job opportunities in all parts of Ontario’s food supply chain – from grocery retailers to bakeries and cheese processing facilities to opportunities on farms. Click here to visit the portal: https://www.ontario.ca/page/agriculture-and-food-jobs-ontario

Released Extensive COVID-19 Modelling

On April 3rd, our government released extensive COVID-19 modelling, revealing several scenarios that project the potential number of cases and deaths and providing the public with full transparency about the consequences should everyone but non-essential workers fail to stay home and practise physical distancing. How this outbreak unfolds is in the hands of the public, in all of your hands – we can change the outcomes by how we all stay at home and physically distance ourselves.

Updated Essential Services List

Following the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario Government is reducing the list of businesses classified as essential and ordering more workplaces to close. The government is ordering all businesses not covered by the updated essential businesses order to close effective as of Saturday, April 4th at 11:59 pm. This closure will be in effect for 14 days, with the possibility of an extension as the situation evolves. Teleworking, online commerce and other innovative ways of working remotely are permitted at all times and are strongly encouraged for all businesses. All supply chains necessary for the production of vital food and healthcare supplies are being protected and remain intact. The updated list can be found here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/stopping-spread-covid-19#section-1

Expanded Public Health Capacity

To support public health units’ extensive efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, Ontario issued a new emergency order to provide public health units the authority and flexibility they need to make staffing decisions to focus squarely on the fight against this new virus while allowing for public health units to considerably increase their capacity.

Assigned Retirement Homes More Flexibility

The Government also issued a temporary order to give retirement homes more flexibility to recruit and reassign staff and focus more resources toward implementing the protocols and procedures put in place to keep residents safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Strengthened Victims Services  

On April 2nd, Attorney General Doug Downey announced emergency action to address the recent spike in domestic violence reported by victims services organizations as the COVID-19 outbreak evolves. Our government’s one-time emergency payment of $2.7 million will help more than 50 community agencies across Ontario, including including victim crisis assistance organizations (VCAOs), Indigenous organizations and those based in rural areas, stay operational and accessible to victims during the public health crisis. This emergency payment will ensure victims of crime, particularly domestic violence, get the help they need in order to stay safe and healthy during this crisis.

In addition to this investment in victims services, Attorney General Downey also announced Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 will invest $1.3 million in technology to help courts and tribunals continue the transition to remote operations in response. This investment will help keep front-line justice workers safe while they work to uphold the administration of justice during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Improved Access to Mental Health

Premier Ford was joined by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, to announce Ontario is making it easier for everyone, especially those on the front lines, to reach out for mental health support during the COVID-19 outbreak. To improve access, the province is providing emergency funding of up to $12 million to immediately expand online and virtual mental health supports and $2.6 million to hire six new psychologists and other mental health workers to support Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) personnel.

Supporting the Trucking Industry

Provided more safe places for truck drivers to stop and rest across the province and keeping all 23 ONroute travel plazas open for take-out, grab and go and drive-through services, including washrooms with enhanced cleaning. Also providing portable washrooms at 32 truck inspection stations so trucks have a place to stop and rest safely.

Ontario Together: Help Fight Coronavirus

On April 1st, the Ontario government launched a $50 million Ontario Together fund to provide immediate support to businesses, organizations and communities to team up with the province to provide innovative solutions or retool their operations in order to manufacture essential medical supplies and equipment, including gowns, coveralls, masks, face shields, testing equipment and ventilators. The Ontario Together Fund will leverage the recently launched Ontario Together website to accept proposals.

In addition, our government has worked closely with businesses across Ontario and the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association to ramp up production of ventilators to meet the need in Ontario and other parts of Canada. The government has recently placed an order with O-Two Medical Technologies who, with the support from Auto Manufacturing Parts Association members, Linamar, Martinrea, and Magna, will produce 10,000 ventilator units for a made-in-Ontario solution.

Over 13,000 health care workers, including those who previously retired or left their profession, have signed up to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Expanded Testing Capabilities

Finally, we've reduced the backlog of COVID-19 tests as Ontario increases testing capacity every day with 20,000 COVID-19 tests a day expected by mid-April.

Questions? Need Help?

My constituency office remains accessible via email: stan.cho@pc.ola.org and phone: 416-733-7878. For everyone’s safety, we are not taking any in-person meetings, walk-ins or appointments. 

We've also compiled a list of government supports for people and businesses, and a list of local Willowdale resources. Check them out here:

Supports for People     Support for Businesses     Local Resources