Please see below the most recent updates on the federal and provincial governments’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Canada has signed an agreement with drug company Astra-Zeneca and Oxford University to acquire twenty million doses of the anti COVID-19 vaccine they are currently testing, if those test prove the vaccine is effective countering the pandemic.
- The latest agreement plus others previously announced with other drug companies, means Canada has the potential for 170 million doses of vaccine to protect against COVID-19 (if all the drugs under development proved to be successful).
- The 170 million total includes 15 million doses earmarked in a second agreement announced by the Prime Minister. This $440 million agreement is with the Covax Group of countries committed to equitable distribution of a vaccine when it is proven successful to both rich and poor countries. Canada will receive 15 million doses under this arrangement, while paying for double that amount. The second 15 million doses would then be distributed to less affluent countries
- Today, the Ontario government announced that it is investing $741 million to help clear the backlog of surgeries and build more capacity in the health care system. This announcement is part of the province’s COVID-19 fall preparedness plan, Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19.
- As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the government is investing $457.5 million to increase community capacity (including home care), in an effort to help reduce pressure on the health care system and expand the delivery of care.
- The government also announced tighter public health measures in response to the recent rise in cases of COVID-19. Amendments were made to the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020. Effective 12:01 a.m. on Saturday September 26:
- Restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments (including nightclubs) will be required to stop the sale of alcohol after 11 p.m., and prohibit the consumption of alcohol on the premises after 12:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. (including employees), and close by 12:00 a.m. and remain closed until 5:00 a.m. except for takeout or delivery
- All strip clubs across the province will be closed
- Businesses or organizations are required to comply with any advice, recommendations, and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health on screening for COVID-19, including screening individuals who wish to enter their premises.
- The Premier continued to press Health Canada to approve the faster saliva/antigen tests.
- The Premier and Health Minister also reiterated that the province is considering shortening list of COVID-19 symptoms that require kids to stay home from school, and will only make any changes upon the recommendation of the Chief Medical Officer.
Executive Secretary Treasurer
IBEW Construction Council of Ontario