Ontario Government COVID-19 Full Update

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Ontario Government COVID-19 Full Update
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About the Author

Stephen Crawford

Stephen Crawford

A member of the Conservative Party of Ontario, Stephen Crawford is the Member of Provincial Parliament for Oakville. He was elected on June 7, 2018.

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Our chief concern is the health and safety of all residents, visitors, and staff across the province. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve, Ontario is taking additional measures to ensure the province’s health care system is positioned to continue to safeguard the health and well-being of Ontarians.

Based on the advice of Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, and the experts at the province’s Command Table, we have been taking decisive steps to contain the virus and continue to protect the public. Everything is on the table. Dr. Williams will be giving daily updates on COVID-19. Furthermore, Ontario is launching a $10 million awareness advertisement campaign to inform the public.

We are introducing new legislation to mandate job protection for those instructed to self-isolate, or caring for someone who is self-isolating, or if one has to stay home to care for children while schools are closed. Workers will need to notify their employers, and will no longer have to provide sick notes to employers if they are self-isolating due to COVID-19 symptoms. Many workers will be eligible for Employment Insurance sickness benefits.

As well, we are reviewing current access and eligibility to emergency assistance which is available through the Ontario Works (OW) program to support individuals who are impacted by the coronavirus and who are not able to meet their basic living expenses. Employers should be reasonable and compassionate in these circumstances. It is a fair and balanced approach.

Ontario is expanding testing capacity and establishing dedicated assessment centres to ease pressures on hospitals. Please only visit these assessment centres if you have symptoms. Ontario Health has started to deploy approximately 130 nurses to conduct symptom assessments and referrals among callers who request a callback. The province is requesting that all hospitals further implement pandemic plans.

Ontarians can be confident that our food supply is one of the strongest in the world. Our distribution system will continue to remain responsive to the needs of Ontarians. Please practice normal grocery buying habits, and please keep in mind your local food bank and those in need.

We have temporarily closed all elementary and secondary schools from March 14th to April 5th, 2020. We will work with Ontario’s postsecondary institutions to ensure each campus has a COVID-19 response plan. This includes academic continuity for students and faculty that does not put their health at risk, while ensuring students can continue to receive a world-class education.

Several days ago, Ontario’s Minister of Finance met with Canada’s Minister of Finance to discuss the economic impact of COVID-19. Ontario will not introduce a full budget next week, but instead a one-year fiscal outlook. Ministers with economic portfolios are meeting daily and speaking with major business leaders and unions. We are creating a $100 million contingency fund as an initial response to COVID-19, and we are taking action to ensure readiness for a range of outbreak scenarios. Our government continues to monitor the situation closely as we learn more about the impact COVID-19, geopolitical risks, and commodity price fluctuations will have on our economy. While it is still too early to know the full impacts, our government will ensure the necessary resources are available to respond as needed.

As a measure of prudence, the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries has convened a series of advisory groups with sports organizations, airlines, hotels, restaurateurs, and others, their reports will help inform any action that may be required to protect Ontario jobs and support impacted businesses.

Please ensure you are following effective sanitary practices such as sufficiently washing your hands, and disinfecting high-touch areas, avoid touching your face, and follow proper coughing and sneezing etiquette. Please engage in social distancing and avoid large crowds, do not pursue non-essential travel, and stay at home if you are sick. I would like to thank all employers, community partners and frontline workers who are actively working to address this challenge and keep everyone safe and healthy. Let’s stay strong, Oakville.

To use the COVID-19 self-assessment tool, or to stay up-to-date regarding Ontario’s actions on COVID-19, please visit: www.ontario.ca/coronavirus

If you have symptoms, please call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000 or your local public health unit.

Contact information for Stephen Crawford, MPP for Oakville

Tel: 905-827-5141

Email: Stephen.Crawford@pc.ola.org

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