UPDATE: April 2, 5:02:23 PM
Message from Executive Secretary Treasurer, James Barry:
Below is the most recent updates on the federal and provincial governments’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will have a conference call with the country’s Premiers later today to assess the needs and supply of Personal Protective Equipment to fight the COVID-19 virus in each jurisdiction. Trudeau announced the call at his daily briefing on the state of the pandemic in Canada. He said the call will also discuss the collection and assessment of data on COVID-19, to help with developing statistical modeling that will predict both the course and development of the killer virus.
- Pressed to reveal existing Government statistical modelling predicting how bad the pandemic will become and when it might be over, Trudeau said the existing data is incomplete and no predictions can currently be released. He said when there is confidence in the modelling the data will be made public. But, the Prime Minister said the biggest variable going forward on when the crisis will peak and when it will end, is how well Canadians follow directives to self isolate, practice social distancing and refrain from giving in to socializing as the weather becomes more pleasant.
- He also said in recent days ten million masks have been delivered in Canada and that the hockey equipment manufacture, Bauer, has converted some of its production to making masks for front line hospital workers.
- Canada is also discussing with the United States, reports that American buyers are diverting overseas shipments of medical supplies by offering more money after the original deal has been made.
- The PM was asked about implementing mandatory stay at home policies under the Federal Emergencies Act. The PM said that his government is not there yet, and will only move in that direction if and when the provinces have exhausted all of their options.
- Premier Ford announced provincial funding of up to $12 million for mental health services to online and virtual supports. The platforms highlighted are:
- Bounceback: a guided self-help program for adults and youth aged 15 and over.
- Kids Help Phone: 24/7 virtual support service offering professional counselling, information and referrals as well as volunteer led, text based support to young people.
- Internet Based Cognitive Therapy (iCBT): Online CBT, supported by therapists.
- iCBT for frontline health care workers: Online CBT targeted at frontline health care workers experiencing anxiety, burnout or PTSD.
- Training for Brief CBT-based interventions: Training will be provided to frontline workers in organizations such as Telehealth and emergency departments in order to better support individuals experiencing acute anxiety due to the pandemic.
- The province also announced that it will be providing $2.6 million to support the hiring of new psychologists and other mental health workers to support the OPP personnel.
- The premier also announced that he has directed the Chief Medical Officer of Health to provide a full briefing to the public tomorrow on the modelling and figures that he has seen. He said that the release will be a “real wake-up call” and will be the same numbers that he and his team see. This is being done in an effort to be fully transparent, and to ensure everyone knows how serious this problem is, and how important it is to stay inside and isolate.
- We are anticipating that the province will soon release an update to the essential workers list. It is believed that the government has been working on this over the last number of days, and the new list will be smaller than the previous version.
Executive Secretary Treasurer
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