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COVID-19: Update, September 21

September 22, 2020

Please see below the most recent updates on the federal and provincial governments’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal:

  • There was no update from the federal government today.

Provincial:

  • Today during Premier Ford’s daily press conference, he advised that health care is a critical and important issue. He has called upon the federal government to increase the Canada Health Transfer to cover at least 35% of provincial-territorial health spending starting this year. Further, he pressed the federal government to provide a framework for funding provincial priorities as it relates to the need to respond to potential future waves or surges of COVID-19. Along with calling for further funding, the Premier is urging the federal government to play a more active role in measures like testing and enforcement of the quarantine measures.
  • The province is calling on the federal government to provide investment for an additional $10 billion per year, over 10 years to support infrastructure.  Ontario also has over 360 shovel-ready projects not yet approved by the federal government. The province is looking to the federal government to help remove roadblocks to these projects quickly and expedite approvals so communities can start building right away and get people working again.
  • When asked about why the Fall Preparedness Plan has not yet been unveiled, Minister Elliott reiterated that the government has been working for months on the creation of a fall plan and has already implemented some of the plan.  The Preparedness Plan incorporates the ability to continue surgeries and treatments, incorporating the upcoming cold/flu season and has to take in account all other connected health scenarios.  Furthermore, the Minister advised that the plan requires collaborative agreements with the federal government regarding funding. 
  • Regarding the long wait times at testing locations, Minster Elliott advised that all Ontarians concerned should get tested.  This is in reference to:
    • Those with symptoms
    • Those who have been in contact with a positive COVID case or
    • Those who have been notified by the contact tracing app. 
  • Minister Elliott further advised that the government is looking at expanding scope of the testing centres to incorporate effective measures such as longer hours, placing popup testing facilities in hot spots, as well as looking at other groups like pharmacies to do some testing (asymptomatic).
  • Minister Elliott advised that as we enter flu season, all Ontarians should get the flu shot.    
  • Minister Elliott also advised that the health officials are currently reviewing the list of COVID symptoms to determine the most common symptoms linked to positive cases.   Minister Elliott also advised that as testing is very important it is not the be all and end all to prevention and urged Ontarians to again to:
    • Wash their hands
    • Wear a mask
    • Stay 2 meters apart from those not in your immediate bubble, and
    • Continue to follow all health guidelines
  • Don’t become complacent. 

James Barry
Executive Secretary Treasurer
IBEW Construction Council of Ontario

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