COVID-19 Update #8

New as of March 22

Province Takes Steps to Ensure Frontline Staff Can Continue to Work
Ontario to Open Select Child Care Centres across the Province

In order to support health care and frontline workers during this COVID-19 outbreak, Ontario plans to exempt certain child care centres from the order to close all licensed child care centres pursuant to the state of emergency declared earlier this week. This initiative is being done in partnership with service system managers and First Nations partners.

Health care and other frontline workers, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, firefighters, police, and correctional officers, will be able toaccess safe, local emergency child care. These child care centres will be required to follow existing health and safety requirements and have a plan in place should any staff, children or parents be exposed to the virus.

Once emergency child care centres open, a list of locations will be made available on

Closure of Drive Test Centres In Response to COVID-19

All full-time DriveTest Centres and part-time Travel Point locations will be closed. The closures will take effect March 23, 2020 until further notice.

The decision to close was the result of a mutual agreement between the government and service provider.

Ontarians can rest assured they will not lose their current driver’s licences due to this decision and no driver’s licence applicants will lose test fees as a result of the closures. The current “Fail to Keep Appointment” penalty fee will also be waived.
Please visit or for more information.

If you have a driving test coming up, you should reschedule or cancel your appointment. You can reschedule
or phone, at:
Toll-free: 1-888-570-6110
Telephone: 647-776-0331
Your initial fee will remain on your record so you can apply it when you reschedule.

As a first step to wind down the amount of volume attending DriveTest Centres, MTO staff started calling each senior citizen who had their Senior Driver Group Education Sessions (GES) tests and allowed them extensions without the loss of their licence by issuing temporary licences where necessary.


Ontario Stepping Up Measures to Limit the Spread of COVID-19 in Correctional System

On March 13, the government announced measures to protect Ontario’s adult correctional facilities from COVID-19 by granting intermittent inmates, who serve time on the weekends, temporary absences from custody, and temporarily halting personal visits. Intermittent inmates have already been deemed low-risk by the courts and remain in the community Monday to Friday to live and work.

Building on these changes, Ontario is implementing amendments to Regulation 778 under the Ministry of Correctional Services Act to allow senior corrections officials to expand the use of temporary absences and for the Ontario Parole Board to use alternatives to in-person meetings.

Going forward, correctional services will have the option to issue temporary absences beyond the current 72-hour maximum. This means those serving intermittent sentences, who have been granted a temporary absence will not have to report to a correctional facility every weekend, which will avoid cycling individuals back and forth between the community and a correctional facility. 

In addition, the longer-term temporary absences will allow for early release of those inmates who are near the end of their sentence. To ensure public safety, inmates would be carefully assessed to ensure they are a low risk to reoffend. Those inmates who have been convicted of serious crimes, such as violent crimes or crimes involving guns, would not be considered for early release.

A second regulatory amendment will allow the Ontario Parole Board to conduct hearings by electronic or written means, rather than solely in-person, providing alternate options for hearings.


Government of Canada requests recall of the House of Commons to help workers and businesses during COVID-19 crisis

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the Government House Leader has asked the Speaker of the House of Commons to recall the House in order to introduce urgent economic measures, as part of Canada’s $82 billion response to support workers and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The quick passage of this legislation is important to ensure Canadians have the financial support needed during this crisis. The House is expected to meet on Tuesday, March 24, at 12 p.m. ET.

The Government of Canada recently announced wide-ranging actions that would help ensure Canadians can pay for their rent and groceries, and help businesses pay their bills and employees during this time of uncertainty. These measures would also help Indigenous communities across the country, support young people in the repayment of their student loans, and protect people experiencing homelessness or fleeing intimate partner violence.

Members of Parliament from all parties have been clear in their desire to help Canadians, workers, and businesses experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recalling the House will give them the opportunity to come together to debate these important measures and get Canadians the immediate support they need. We are all in this together, and the Government of Canada is ready to help every Canadian during this time.

Ottawa Public Health Guidance for Multi-Use Dwellings – see flyer

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.