COVID-19 Update #49

COVID-19 is something that we are all going to have to face together. Our primary concern is the health and safety of Ontarians.
We hope you are staying safe and healthy.

Thank you to all the province’s essential services workers and those on the front-line. You step up everyday to ensure individuals, families and seniors have what they need to stay safe and healthy.

Thank you to everyone else who is staying home and practicing physical distancing.

It is important to listen to the advice of Public Health experts: 

  • Wash hands frequently
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Practice social-distancing
  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well
  • If you are concerned or suspect you have the virus, call
    Telehealth Ontario: 1-866-797-0000 or
    Ottawa Public Health: 613-580-6744

New as of May 11

   We hope all mothers had a enjoyable Mother’s Day yesterday

Ontario Retail Stores Open for Curbside Pickup and Delivery

Starting today, more people will be returning to work across the province as the Ontario government allows retail stores with a street entrance to offer curbside pickup and delivery. Over the weekend, garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores began offering in-store purchasing. All retailers should follow available safety guidelines in order to protect staff, consumers and the general public during the COVID-19 outbreak.

In addition, provincial parks and conservation reserves will begin opening today with limited access. To start, recreational activities will be restricted to walking, hiking, biking and birdwatching. People will be able to access all parks and conservation reserves for free until the end of the month.

Today’s update was provided by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance.

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and its health and safety association partners have now released over 80 sector-specific health and safety guidelines, including guidelines for curbside pickup and delivery services. The Ministry of Health has also released a Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces. Business owners should use these guidelines to develop reopening plans that work for their business and protect workers, customers and the general public as the province prepares for the gradual reopening of the economy.

Easing restrictions on retail stores is aligned with the first phase of the government’s Framework for Reopening our ProvinceProtect and Support, which allows for businesses that can operate safely to do so. The Framework also includes guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces, and sets out the criteria Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts are using to advise the government on adjusting or loosening public health measures.

School Boards Encouraged to Celebrate Student Achievement When it is Safe to Do So 

Today, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued the following statement to encourage school boards to proceed with celebrations of student achievement subject to health and safety limitations during the COVID-19 outbreak:

“Students have worked incredibly hard this school year, and we know that the COVID-19 outbreak has forced some schools to cancel or delay important milestones to recognize student achievement, such as prom and graduation ceremonies.

Although we are making great efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario, it may still be some time before schools and boards are able to offer the kinds of ceremonies and traditions in the same way they have in previous years.

I spoke directly to many graduating students and their parents. Their stories have moved me to act. I firmly believe Ontario students deserve this positive conclusion to their academic journey, even if ceremonies are delayed. 

Despite this uncertainty, I am encouraging boards to reschedule these events based on input from local medical officers of health. In some cases, this might mean facilitating graduation ceremonies and proms during the summer or fall when it is safe to do so.

These are important events for all students and their families. While students in Ontario have been incredibly flexible and eager in the transition to Learn at Home, we know that the support of their parents and guardians has been critical in rapidly shifting toward a newer model of learning. Students and parents deserve to celebrate many of these critical milestones — especially graduation ceremonies — and I expect boards to preserve these opportunities to proudly recognize the incredible success and achievement resulting from the hard work of our students.”

Ontario Helps Build, Repair and Replace Municipal Roads and Bridges

The 2020-21 Connecting Links program will support 24 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.

The funding will support three bridge repairs, 10 resurfacing projects, seven reconstruction projects, and four detailed design projects to prepare for further infrastructure investments.

Connecting Link projects are reviewed based on technical need and safety considerations such as the condition of the connecting link bridge and road, need for repair in the near term and cost effectiveness.

Eligible municipalities are also encouraged to apply for funding for the 2021-22 Connecting Links Program, which will be open to applications later this year.

Prime Minister announces additional support for businesses to help save Canadian jobs 
Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)

COVID-19 has altered the way we live our lives and, every day, Canadians are facing new challenges during this crisis. As more people worry about paying their bills and caring for their loved ones, the Government of Canada is continuing to take unprecedented action to help protect middle class jobs, and the health and safety of all Canadians.  

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced new measures to support businesses so they can keep their workers on the payroll and weather this pandemic.

Millions of Canadians pay their bills and feed their families by working for large and medium-sized businesses. The government will offer support to those businesses affected by COVID-19 based on a number of conditions. To help protect Canadian middle class jobs, and safeguard our economy, the Government of Canada will:

  • Establish a Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) to provide bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, in order to keep their operations going. The objective of this support is to help protect Canadian jobs, help Canadian businesses weather the current economic downturn, and avoid bankruptcies of otherwise viable firms where possible. This support will not be used to resolve insolvencies or restructure firms, nor will it provide financing to companies that otherwise have the capacity to manage through the crisis. The additional liquidity provided through LEEFF will allow Canada’s largest businesses and their suppliers to remain active during this difficult time, and position them for a rapid economic recovery.
  • Use key guiding principles in providing support through the LEEFF, including:
    • Protection of taxpayers and workers: Companies seeking support must demonstrate how they intend to preserve employment and maintain investment activities. Recipients will need to commit to respect collective bargaining agreements and protect workers’ pensions. The LEEFF program will require strict limits to dividends, share buy-backs, and executive pay. In considering a company’s eligibility to assistance under the LEEFF program, an assessment may be made of its employment, tax, and economic activity in Canada, as well as its international organizational structure and financing arrangements. The program will not be available to companies that have been convicted of tax evasion. In addition, recipient companies would be required to commit to publish annual climate-related disclosure reports consistent with the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, including how their future operations will support environmental sustainability and national climate goals.
    • Fairness: To ensure support across the Canadian economy, the financing is intended to be applicable to all eligible sectors in a consistent manner.
    • Timeliness: To ensure timely support, the LEEFF program will apply a standard set of economic terms and conditions.
  • Expand the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to mid-sized companies with larger financing needs. Support for mid-market businesses will include loans of up to $60 million per company, and guarantees of up to $80 million. Through the BCAP, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will work with private sector lenders to support access to capital for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions.
  • Continue to provide financing to businesses through Farm Credit Canada, the BDC, and EDC, including through the Canada Account. This will ensure the government is able to respond to a wide range of financing needs, including for some large employers facing higher risks, with stricter terms in order to adequately protect taxpayers.

These measures are part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which has helped protect Canadian jobs, and committed billions in support to Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the pandemic. This includes an extension on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, which allows businesses to keep workers on the payroll. The government will continue to monitor and respond to the wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19, and take additional actions as needed to protect the health and safety of Canadians and stabilize the economy.

Special statement from Dr. Vera Etches

Today marks the start of National Nursing Week, a time when nurses are recognized for their hard work, dedication and commitment to the health and well-being of us all. Ottawa Public Health (OPH) nurses play a vital role across the Ottawa community and in the life of every resident in the city. As respected members of our public health teams, nurses bring tremendous technical expertise to promote and protect our community’s health and to prevent disease and injury across populations.

During this week, please join me in extending a thank you to the OPH nurses and all nurses across the healthcare sector for their tireless work now and every day.

Testing for COVID-19 infection

OPH continues to work with the Champlain Health Region Incident Command (CHRIC) to make COVID-19 testing available to the public, carry out testing to manage outbreaks and a surveillance exercise in long-term care homes and emergency child care centres. The Ontario-area laboratories appear to be managing the volume of testing created from encouraging people over 60 who have COVID-19-like symptoms to present to an Assessment Centre or Care Clinic for assessment.  As the surveillance exercise wraps up, more of the population will be encouraged to present to rule out COVID-19 if they have symptoms of the infection.

Gatherings of up to five people

There have been many questions in the last few days regarding gathering with people outside our households if the group size is less than five. While Ontario regulation allows gatherings of up to five people, OPH recommends keeping to activities with members of our households as much as possible, no matter what the size of the group. If we increase our interaction with others too much too soon, the level of infection has more chances to rise and we may risk overburdening our health care system – something we have avoided so far, thanks to the actions of people in Ottawa.  People may not realize they are infected and still pass on the COVID-19 virus.  There are still cases arising in the community where people infected were not in contact with a known case and did not have a history of travel to an affected area.

Provincial parks reopening across Ontario

Some good news for everyone to access more outdoor space for walking, biking, hiking, and more to stay active and healthy: as of today, the provincial government will begin reopening provincial parks and conservation reserves for day use with limited access. Before planning your trip, please visit to check the status of your local provincial park. Also, it is important to remember to continue to practice physical distancing if you decide to use these areas. Lastly, masks can provide another level of protection to people around you if you are not able to maintain a 2-metre distance from them.

 Ontario has created a new self-assessment tool
If you think you have 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use this self-assessment to help determine if you need to seek further care. Visit here.

If you require help in Ottawa South, please visit our website for Community links and contacts.

Ottawa Public Health
For the latest updates, please click here.

Government of Ontario
Every day at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.  ETthe Province of Ontario’s novel coronavirus (COVID-19) web page will be updated with the most up-to-date information including the status of cases in Ontario.

Government of Canada
For the latest COVID-19 updates, please click here.
For the latest on Employment and Social Development changes for employees and employers, click here.

Find out about the current reported scams related to COVID-19.

Learn how to protect yourself when banking online.

Know what to do if you’re a victim of fraud.