COVID-19 Update #50

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 frequentlyAvoiding touching eyes, nose and mouthAvoid contact with people who are sickPractice social-distancingStay home if you’re not feeling wellIf 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 12  
I was pleased to attend the special sitting of the Ontario Legislature today and discuss the important issue on family caregivers being reintegrated into health care facilities. Please watch it here:
Declaration of Emergency Extended to June 2 While Ontario Gradually Reopens the Economy
The Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This additional time will ensure the province has the necessary tools and health care capacity to contain COVID-19, while gradually reopening businesses, services, and amenities safely.
Passed during a special sitting of the Ontario Legislature today, the Declaration of Emergency has been extended until June 2. The declaration will allow Ontario to continue to enforce current emergency orders, such as restricting retirement and long-term care home employees from working in more than one facility and prohibiting events and gatherings of more than five people. Since the emergency was first declared on March 17, the government has taken over 150 actions to help protect individuals, families, and businesses from the impacts of COVID-19.
A full list of emergency orders can be found on the e-Laws website, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
The House also passed the COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020, which will help people conduct business while practising physical distancing by:
Providing authority to address in-person attendance rules for school board trustees’ meetings in regulation. This would provide the flexibility in certain emergency situations to allow trustees to meet virtually during school closures;
Enabling corporations to call and hold meetings virtually, as applicable, and extending the time period in which annual meetings must be held in specific circumstances;
Allowing designations of a beneficiary to be provided electronically for Retirement Savings Plans, Retirement Income Funds, Locked-in Retirement Accounts, Life Income Funds and Tax-Free Savings Accounts;
Allowing electronic filing of business registration documents, and the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to accept copies of business registration documents and e-signatures;
Allowing for regulations to set out the parameters for remotely commissioning or notarizing a document;
Extending, on a one-time basis for 2020, the legislated four-year period during which a Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) election is mandated to be held to give more time to support remote voting.
The Expenditure Estimates for the 2020-21 fiscal year were also tabled in the Legislature. This includes program spending to support the $17 billion announced as part of Ontario’s Action Plan 2020: Responding to COVID-19 to ensure the province’s health care system, communities, and economy are better positioned to weather challenges posed by the pandemic.

Ontario Marks the First Provincial Day of Action on Litter 
Today Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and Andrea Khanjin, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks released the following statement:
“Today is the first Provincial Day of Action on Litter in Ontario, a day when all Ontarians can raise awareness and take action to reduce litter and waste at home and in our communities.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, we have seen people across the province doing their part to combat the health crisis from home, or as essential service workers on the frontlines. These are extraordinary times with our focus entirely on staying safe and stopping the spread, but we must never forget the importance of preserving our environment.
When the time is right, our government will work with communities and our partners to organize litter clean-up days across the province. We know that Ontarians are eager to return outdoors, and this will be a great opportunity to reconnect with nature.
There are actions all of us can still take to put litter in its proper place while staying at home and physically distancing. Today, and every day individuals and families can reduce, prevent or divert waste, in the following ways:
Choosing products with less packaging and replace single-use food wraps with reusable storage containers.
Becoming experts in what goes in the green bin and blue box.
For anything that does belong in the trash, such as disposable gloves and masks, making sure garbage bags are properly tied or sealed, to keep our neighbourhoods clean and safe.
Our government is working hard to meet our Made in Ontario Environment Plan commitment to keep our neighbourhoods, parks and waterways clean and free of litter and waste. We’re expanding green bin or similar collection systems, developing a proposal to ban food waste from landfills, and supporting safe food donation. We’ve also started the process of making producers responsible for the waste they create by managing the blue box program.
Businesses across the province are also stepping up to the challenge by opening package-free shops, developing eco-friendly products such as sustainable textiles, and reducing food waste by connecting surplus food to those in need.  
The Provincial Day of Action on Litter is a reminder of the importance of our greenspaces and the role we all play in maintaining a cleaner, healthier Ontario for our communities and loved ones now and for future generations.”

Prime Minister announces additional support for Canadian seniors
No Canadian should have to choose between putting food on the table, filling their prescriptions, or paying their bills. Yet too many seniors are facing significant health, economic, and social challenges due to COVID-19. They helped shape this country, and now they need our help.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada has introduced measures to support seniors. We invested $1.3 billion in a one-time special payment through the Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit in April. More than 4 million seniors benefited from this top-up, which gave an average of $375 for single seniors and $510 for senior couples. We also invested in community organizations that provide practical services to Canadian seniors, including the delivery of groceries and medications.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced a series of additional measures to help Canadian seniors and provide them with greater financial security in this time of crisis. These measures include:
Providing additional financial support of $2.5 billion for a one-time tax-free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, with an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). This measure would give a total of $500 to individuals who are eligible to receive both the OAS and the GIS, and will help them cover increased costs caused by COVID-19.
Expanding the New Horizons for Seniors Program with an additional investment of $20 million to support organizations that offer community-based projects that reduce isolation, improve the quality of life of seniors, and help them maintain a social support network.
Temporarily extending GIS and Allowance payments if seniors’ 2019 income information has not been assessed. This will ensure that the most vulnerable seniors continue to receive their benefits when they need them the most. To avoid an interruption in benefits, seniors are encouraged to submit their 2019 income information as soon as possible and no later than by October 1, 2020.
The Government of Canada will continue to monitor and respond to the health, social, and economic impacts of COVID-19. We stand ready to take additional actions as needed to support all Canadians, including seniors, and stabilize the economy.

Ottawa Public Health Information on Ticks
2020 Vector-Borne Infections

The community, in fact the entire world, is focused on preventing COVID-19 infections. This has been a tremendous effort by the community to ‘flatten the curve’. As the season progresses, we do need to keep in mind there are other infections spread by black-legged ticks and mosquitos to be mindful of and ensure we protect ourselves and family members. It is worth noting that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has no data to suggest that this new coronavirus or other similar coronaviruses are spread by mosquitoes or ticks. The main way that COVID-19 spreads is from person to person.

While most mosquitoes are just a nuisance, others can pose a health risk as carriers of West Nile virus. Using an insect repellant containing DEET or icaridin, wearing tightly woven but loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing, long pants and long sleeves, keeping screens in good repair and removing standing water around the home will help you protect yourself and prevent bites. Mosquitoes breed in standing water so eliminate pooled water in the bottom of tire swings, and drill holes in recycling bins and unused planters. These mosquitos like to live in proximity to human habitat so even on your own property outside in your garden or on a porch remember to protect yourself. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing from dusk to dawn or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.

If you live adjacent to outdoor areas suitable for ticks, for example, wooded areas or areas with tall grasses, or you visit these areas once permissible from COVID-19 restrictions, you need to be aware of the risk of Lyme disease. As you may have heard through media reports, populations of blacklegged ticks that carry Lyme disease are growing and expanding into new areas. This means that the risk of contracting Lyme disease is on the rise across Canada.

Ottawa is considered an at-risk location for ticks that may carry Lyme disease. Tall grasses, bushy, wooded and forested areas are habitats favoured by ticks. The blacklegged tick that is known to carry the bacterium causing Lyme disease is present in the Ottawa area, across Eastern Ontario, and the Outaouais region of Quebec. OPH is monitoring this issue and providing information to residents and physicians to help prevent and reduce Lyme disease-related health risks in our community. OPH has seen an increase in the number of cases of Lyme disease reported in the Ottawa area over time, as well as an increase in the number of cases of Lyme disease likely acquired in the Ottawa area.

Do your best to stay on cleared paths, but if your trek brings you into long grass or forests, apply insect repellant and tuck your pants into your socks (don’t worry – it can be very fashionable these days). Most importantly, perform a “full body” check on yourself, your children and your pets for ticks. Pay careful attention around toes, knees, groin, armpits and scalp. If you do find a tick on your skin, carefully remove it following. instructions available at

Situations when you should immediately contact your family physician include: flu-like symptoms following a mosquito or tick bite; a bull’s eye type rash after a tick bite; and when a tick has been attached for 24 hours or more, a tick looks partially or fully engorged, or if you are unsure the length of time the tick has been attached. While there are no antiviral treatments available for COVID-19 or WNV, fortunately Lyme disease is treatable with antibiotics; however, prevention is the best approach with these, as with all, infectious diseases. For more info on West Nile virus and Lyme disease, visit or

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.