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COVID-19 Update: September 28

September 28, 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:

  • Ontario reported 700 new COVID cases today, that is the highest daily case count on record.  Almost half of the cases (344) are in Toronto and 60% are in Ontarians under the age of 40. 
  • Today the Premier announced that the Ontario government is investing $52.5 million to recruit, retain and support over 3,700 more frontline health care workers and caregivers. The province also will be investing an additional $26.3 million to support personal support workers (PSWs) and supportive care workers as well as an additional $26 million to support nurses. 
  • The province’s COVID-19 fall preparedness plan, Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19,  is intended to help the province quickly identify, prevent and respond to scenario’s in order to protect communities.
  • The Keeping Ontarians Safe plan will:
    • Recruit, retain, train and support health care workers, while also continuing to engage families and care givers;
    • Implement the largest flu immunization campaign in Ontario’s history;
    • Maintain strong public health measures, including continued expansion of testing and case and contact management;
    • Quickly identify, manage and prevent COVID-19 outbreaks;
    • Accelerate efforts to reduce health service backlogs; and
    • Prepare for surges in COVID-19 cases.

Questions from the media:

  • Many questions from the media today were about the record number of cases that Ontario reported.  Minister Elliott along with Dr. Williams advised that the health command table and health officials are closely looking at these positive cases and monitoring issues such as spread of infection, hospitalizations and deaths. 
  • Dr. Williams advised that the government is still looking at the data to be able to determine which kind of wave this is and confirmed that Ontario has the resources available in the province to deal with a second wave and advised that he is confident that we can overcome the second wave. Dr. Williams also advised that the determination of how big the wave will become is based on the efforts of Ontarians continuing to follow public health measures.  He said it is time to refocus efforts in washing your hands, staying socially distanced and continuing to wear a mask. 
  • The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) has called upon the government to move Toronto, Peel and Ottawa to go back to phase two.  Minister Elliott advised that they do not want to turn back to stage two unless absolutely necessary.  She further confirmed that the government is already taking steps and measures to help stop the spread some of those measures have already been introduced such as lowering public gathering numbers indoors and outdoors and limiting hours on businesses.
  • When asked about providing transparency on where people/how people are contacting COVID so they can make informed decisions Minister Elliott advised that COVID app is one of the best solutions.  The Premier also advised that all information provided to government, except actual personal details such as name, address will be shared at all times possible in the interest of public safety. 
  • When asked again what the threshold for moving the province back into phase two. Dr. Williams advised that we are in a much different scenario than we were in June.  He commented on the increased capacity of testing hitting almost 40K tests per day, advised cases are not all over the province like before but seems to been in high density areas and concentrated to three-five regions.   He further advised that they are in constant conversations with local health and will continue to monitor data. 
  • When asked about an article exposing the over usage of nerve blocking agents Minister Elliott advised that they are working with the medical associations to find situations where medical practices aren’t using best practices or where there are over uses of the system.   She further advised that excessive usage of neve blocks is being investigated.

James Barry
Executive Secretary Treasurer
IBEW Construction Council of Ontario

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