*Edited update from Caroline Mulroney, these update in proper format can be found on her website:
During this difficult time, the Premier of Ontario and the provincial government have promised to be upfront, open and transparent about what we are doing as a government and what we all need to do as a province.
As the Premier said in his press conference today, if there is a surge of people coming into Ontario hospitals in the coming weeks, our supply lines will face challenges that we have not seen up to this point in the crisis. “Every hour, every day and every week that we can push back that surge,” he said, “is another week, another day, another hour we have to prepare.”
Currently, there are 12 cases of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in York-Simcoe. These are not just numbers in the news from a faraway place. These are 12 people in our community – our neighbours in Bradford West Gwillimbury, East Gwillimbury and Georgina – and the growing number of cases here speaks to the severity of this outbreak.
We cannot be successful in our efforts to contain and stop the spread of COVID-19 without your full support. It is unfortunate that we are still receiving accounts from our frontline and essential services personnel that residents of York-Simcoe continue to gather in groups and ignore municipal and provincial orders mandating the closure of public spaces. This behaviour is dangerous. Not only does this behaviour put those present at risk, but it also jeopardizes the people they come in contact with. Further to that, it endangers the first responders who must then respond and address this unlawful behaviour.
On the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Government of Ontario has issued the following directives:
· Stay home unless your work has been designated essential.
· Stay home if you are over 70 years of age.
· If you have travelled outside the county, self-isolate for 14 days.
· If you have a cough, fever or difficulty breathing, self-isolate and call your doctor or Telehealth Ontario (1-800-797-0000).
In these unprecedented times, we must take unprecedented measures. We know you are putting your life on hold, and we know it is not easy. But by doing so, you are saving lives – the lives of people in our community, the workers who are serving on the front lines of this health care crisis, and those who continue to work to maintain the essential functions of our economy. The actions you take today will determine what happens tomorrow.
Please continue to stay safe and be responsible.
Caroline Mulroney, MPP
Supporting Workers Health and Safety
Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer has been working with the business and labour sector to provide advice and resources regarding COVID-19. Now more than ever, it is incumbent that all employers do everything they can to make their workplaces safe.
I have heard many great stories of companies in York-Simcoe that are protecting their employees by implementing strategies to keep the workplace safe during the COVID-19 outbreak and I want to thank them for their leadership.
Employers have obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations to protect workers from hazards in the workplace, including infectious diseases. Through the new job-protected leave legislation, workers are encouraged to follow the advice of medical professionals and can do so without fear of losing their jobs.
Workers can report any concerns about workplace hazards related to COVID-19 to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development using Ontario’s health and safety hotline at 1-877-202-0008.
Here are tips for employers to keep the workplace safe during the COVID-19 outbreak:
Provide better on-site sanitation, including a focus on high-touch areas like site trailers, door handles and hoists.
Communicate roles, responsibilities and health & safety policies, by, for example, posting site sanitation schedules and work schedules.
Enable greater distance between workers by staggering shifts, restricting site numbers and limiting elevator usage.
Protect public health by tracking and monitoring workers.
Allow employees to work from home, if possible
Remind employees to stay home if they are sick
The health and safety of Ontarians is the government’s top priority. The government is taking every step to safeguard the well-being of workers. Since Monday, March 23rd, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has responded to 268 construction-related events reported, including 122 visits on-site. They have issued 67 orders. On Friday, March 27th, the Government shut down a GTA construction site for failing to uphold proper health and safety protocols.
To that end, everyone needs to do their part; the safety of our workers, their families and our communities depend on it. The Government fully expects construction contractors to protect their employees. In failing to do so, work at construction sites will cease.
Please visit here for the latest information relating to the Employment Standards Amendment
Protecting Ontarians from Price Gouging
The Government of Ontario has been clear – price gouging during the current COVID-19 pandemic is unacceptable, un-Canadian and it is ending.
Through an emergency order, the government is protecting Ontarians by holding businesses and individuals that engage in price gouging accountable. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve locally and globally, goods such as hand sanitizers and household cleaners are increasing in demand all over Ontario. Businesses that jack-up prices on these goods that Ontarians desperately need will be met with zero tolerance and harsh penalty.
Individual offenders can face a ticket of $750, or, if summoned to court and convicted, could face a maximum penalty of a $100,000 fine and one year in jail. If convicted, a company director or officer could face a fine of up to $500,000 and up to a year in jail, and a corporation could face a fine of up to $10 million.
Report price gouging here
Ontario Prohibits Gatherings of More Than Five People with Strict Exceptions
The government is taking action to keep Ontario safe.
Based on the best advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government issued a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people, effective immediately.
Organized public events include parades, events including weddings, social gatherings and communal services within places of worship. This order replaces a previous emergency order which prohibits organized public events of over 50 people.
This order would not apply to private households with five people or more. It would also not apply to operating child care centres supporting frontline health care workers and first responders provided the number of persons at each centre does not exceed 50 people. Funerals would be permitted to proceed with up to 10 people at one time.
Do your part, stay apart!
Ontario protecting Seniors During the COVID-19 outbreak
The Ontario government is working with businesses, volunteer organizations and non-profits to make it easier for Ontario’s seniors to self-isolate and practice physical distancing during this unprecedented time by ensuring they can receive the support they need to stay safe and healthy. Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is strongly urging those over the age of 70 or those with compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions to stay at home.
Our seniors have worked so hard to give us what we have today. Now is the time to give back to them by protecting them. To help seniors who are self-isolating, the government is investing $10M to deliver food and medicine, $20M in increased infection control in retirement and long-term care homes, and $243M to long-term care for 24/7 screening, additional staff and cleaning.
The government is also working with province-wide organizations including Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) and Older Adults Centres’ Association of Ontario (OACAO) to identify and mobilize potential volunteer supports and expand the use of innovative technologies in the community to address social isolation and support daily living assistance.
Ontario is building an iron ring around our seniors. I encourage everyone to reach out and support them, whether its delivering their prescriptions or picking up the phone and giving them a call.
I am so proud of the people and businesses who are hearing the call to action to help out our fellow Ontarians. Working together is the only way forward. This is the heart of the #OntarioSpirit.
As the situation with COVID-19 evolves, I want to recognize people and businesses making an effort to flatten the curve and help out our frontline healthcare workers.
If you know of a person or business in York-Simcoe that deserves to be recognized for their #OntarioSpirit, please email me at [email protected].
Ontario 211 is a free helpline that connects Ontarians to community and social services in York-Simcoe 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in over 150 languages.
If you need to find access to mental health support, food services, financial assistance or more, Dial 2-1-1 anytime, day or night. Their community navigators can help you find the supports you need.
For more information, visit Ontario 211’s website.
Online Self-Assessment Tool
Ontario has now launched an enhanced and interactive self-assessment tool. This new easy-to-use tool takes the public through a series of questions to inform those who are concerned they may have contracted COVID-19.
In a matter of seconds, this tool will help people determine if they are negative or it will provide them with guidance on where to seek care based on their needs. Critically, the enhanced tool provides the province with real-time data on the number and geography of users who are told to seek care, self-isolate or to monitor for symptoms. This data will help inform Ontario’s ongoing response in order to keep individuals and families safe.
The tool guides individuals through a series of questions and, based on their responses, users are provided clear direction on what action to take. These next steps could include directions such as; continue to practice social distancing; self-isolate; call a primary care provider or Telehealth Ontario; or in the case of symptoms such as severe difficulty breathing or severe chest pain, call 911 or go to the emergency department.
Local Assessment Centres
Simcoe – Muskoka
490 Huronia Road, Barrie. The assessment centre is located in the rear building of the Eagle Ridge complex and is NOT at the Huronia Urgent Care Clinic.
Southlake Regional Health Cente Centre
If you have been advised to visit an Assessment Centre, go to the main entrance of the Emergency Department at Southlake. You will be pre-screened by a nurse who will provide further instruction.
Status of cases in Ontario
The Status of Cases in Ontario web page will be updated with the most up-to-date information on the status of cases in Ontario, every day, seven days a week, at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. ET.
Additional guidelines for healthcare workers-please click links below
Dowload file for PPE gown procedure -click below
Let me start by saying that we absolutely recognize, value and appreciate what you and your staff are doing on the frontlines to provide care to vulnerable clients, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The need for PPE in your homes that you have raised has most definitely been flagged within the ministry. Please know that we are all doing everything possible to highlight the need as well as figure out solutions with respect to PPE.
You would have seen the Minister’s order yesterday that aims to get a clear sense of who has what in terms of PPE, the gaps, and look to effectively redistribute and/or provide PPE. I’m attaching that Order and update on PPE here for you ease of reference. You will also find information in the attached PPE Update on the provincial efforts to address the need for PPE. Furthermore, you would have been asked to complete a survey on PPE as required by the Minister’s Order.
For current critical shortages of PPE in your HSC homes, please contact the Regional Leads (see the list below) who will work within their region/regional table and with other local health care providers to determine if others in their local area have supplies they can provide to your homes. I believe the region for your homes would be “Central”.
I hope this information is helpful. Once again, I can’t thank you and the other HSC and CHO homeowners enough for all that you are doing.
Please continue to be safe and take good care.
Message from your region director Calvin Cain
This one time financial support is the City’s attempt to ease some of our financial pressures during the Civid-19 pandemic period.
This is a one time funding package from unused funds from the CHPI pot.
1) The PerDiem remains at $52 /day/person.
Until further notice
2) Lump funding:
$5,000.00 for each RCF
$200.00 / residents based on your last six billing months .
The City indicated that Funding will be rolled out in two weeks or sooner. The contract amendment is required.
I am posting a letter below from a homeowner to the Ministry, as well as some more documents from the Ministry(click on the link). Connie has suggested for any covid outbreaks to use coveralls or gowns and remove clothes and wash immediately after leaving rooms. Use one pair of shoes for in the room and another or outside of room. A scarf or hat can be worn over hair/neck, sunglasses or swimming goggles can be used for eye protection. If you don’t have a second pair of shoes, wear socks into the room and immediately change upon leaving. If you do not have a separate washroom, try to find a commode or wash basin.
Friday March 27, 2020
Senior Program Consultant
Mental Health and Addiction Programs Branch
Ministry of Health
56 Wellesley Street West, 9th Floor
Toronto ON M5S 2S3
Dear Ms Johnston,
I understand you and your team are working on a crisis protocol during the Covid-19 pandemic. I operate three homes under the Ministry of Health’s Homes for Special Care Act that provide community housing to individuals living with mental illness. My family has been in this business since 1969 and at this time we operate 26 beds across three facilities in the Durham Region. As this crisis rages we are in need of critical support and guidance.
To give you some perspective on the urgency: I have a resident (and I’m quite confident I am not the only one) that will not remain in the home, or on our property despite numerous warnings. He willfully perpetuates his typical pre-pandemic daily schedule by visiting coffee shops, money lenders and shelters. He does not believe in the pandemic and is recklessly endangering the health and safety of ten other residents and staff not to mention the people he encounters in his daily activities.
As the Covid-19 infection rate climbs and community concern accelerates, we are running out of time and options. At this juncture I have no recourse whatever for barring him from my home to protect the rule abiding residents and staff or for providing him alternate living solutions since he is unwilling to follow the guidelines set out by the province for the general public. As you are well aware, HSC homes provide shared accommodation. We have shared bedrooms and bathrooms and sitting rooms and kitchens. We have of course increased our sanitation standards and schedules in response to the outbreak but regardless, once introduced, we would expect the Covid-19 virus to flourish.
As of today, there is nothing I’ve been able to find that is set up with supports specific to individuals living in the community that struggle with mental health issues. Without proper and comprehensive guidelines we are needlessly endangering an already vulnerable population.
I understand this is a difficult time for all of us but I implore you we need desperately specific and comprehensive guidelines that account for the needs of vulnerable residents who, whether they recognize it or not, are making devastating decisions with far reaching consequences for themselves and those around them.
I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter and I look forward to working with you to enforce a strategy that best serves our community and residents.
Connie has said the $15000.00 for the phase 2 homes implementing CHO will for home improvements will be going into accounts in the next day or two, so hopefully everyone got their email lists in. Also if anyone needs hand sanitizer please contact Connie right away.
Funding for COVID-19 Preparedness
The Ministry of Health will be providing Homes for Special with funding related to COVID-19. For homes that are licensed for 14 beds or fewer, each home will be provided with $2,000. For homes that are licensed for 15 or more beds, each home will be provided with $3,000. This payment is currently being processed and will be paid to the home. No action is required on the part of the HSC owner to receive this payment.
This funding must be used to prepare for dealing with COVID-19. The funding must be used to assist with the following:
If a home has funding remaining after adequately dealing with the above, the HSC owner should contact their HSC Office to discuss the appropriate use of the remaining funds which may include enhanced in-house recreation to encourage tenants to remain at home.
The HSC owners should retain the invoices related to this funding and submit the receipts/invoices, together with one invoice summary marked COVID-19 Preparedness, to their HSC office.
Please communicate this to the HSC homes in your area.
Senior Program Consultant
Mental Health and Addiction Programs Branch
Ministry of Health
Hydro rates will now be at off peak rates at all times for the next six weeks to help reduce bills, as well hydro one has info on their site about relief for bills and payments of needed. (more…)
The Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
You are an eligible employer if you:
Note: CCPCs are only eligible for the subsidy if their taxable capital employed in Canada for the preceding taxation year, calculated on an associated group basis, is less than $15 million.
The Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is limited to the eligible employers listed above.
The subsidy is equal to 10% of the remuneration you pay between March 18, 2020, and June 20, 2020, up to $1,375 per employee and to a maximum of $25,000 total per employer.
Associated CCPCs will not be required to share the maximum subsidy of $25,000 per employer.
For example, if you have 5 employees, the maximum subsidy you can receive is $6,875 ($1,375 x 5 employees), even though the per employer maximum is $25,000.
The subsidy must be calculated manually.
For example, if you have 5 employees earning monthly salaries of $4,100 for a total monthly payroll of $20,500, the subsidy would be 10% of $20,500, or $2,050.
Once you have calculated your subsidy, you can reduce your current remittance of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax that you send to the CRA by the amount of the subsidy.
For example, if you calculated a subsidy of $2,050, you would reduce your current remittance of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax by $2,050. You could continue reducing future income tax remittances, up to the maximum of $25,000, for all remuneration paid before June 20, 2020.
You can start reducing remittances of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax in the first remittance period that includes remuneration paid between March 18, 2020, and June 20, 2020.
For example, if you are a regular remitter, you can reduce your remittance that is due to the CRA on April 15, 2020.
If the income taxes you deduct are not sufficient to offset the value of the subsidy in a specific period, you can reduce future remittances to benefit from the subsidy. This includes reducing remittances that may fall outside of the application period for the wage subsidy (after June 20, 2020).
For example: If you calculated a subsidy of $2,050 on remuneration paid between March 18, 2020, and June 20, 2020, but only deducted $1,050 of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax from your employees, you can reduce a future income tax remittance by $1,000, even if that remittance is in respect to remuneration paid after June 20, 2020.
No. You will continue deducting income tax, Canada Pension Plan contributions, and Employment Insurance premiums from salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration paid to your employees, as you currently do. The subsidy is only calculated when you remit these amounts to the CRA.
If you are an eligible employer, but choose not to reduce your payroll remittances during the year, calculate the temporary wage subsidy on remuneration paid between March 18, 2020, and June 20, 2020. You can then ask for the subsidy to be paid to you at the end of the year, or transferred to the next year’s remittance.
You will need to keep information to support your subsidy calculation. This includes:
The CRA is currently updating reporting requirements. More information on how to report this subsidy will be released in the near future.
Yes. If you receive the subsidy, you have to report the total amount as income in the year in which the subsidy is received.
If you did not pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration to an employee between March 18, 2020, and June 20, 2020, you cannot receive the subsidy, even if you are an eligible employer.
This Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers allows eligible employers to reduce remittances made to the CRA only.
OHSNA is working hard with the Ministry to to get PPE’s and compensatory funding for the increased cost homes have incurred to ensure the safety of their staff and residents. I will update here as soon as I know more. I have added news from the ministry below.
March 23, 2020
New Funding Will Support Municipalities, Food Banks, Homeless Shelters and Individuals
TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing $200 million in social services relief funding to help protect the health and safety of the province’s most vulnerable people in response to the outbreak of COVID-19.
The province will be providing municipalities and organizations that administer social services with funding to support them in their response to COVID-19. The funding will help municipalities and social service providers such as shelters, food banks, emergency services, charities and non-profits continue to deliver their critical services, hire additional staff, and find ways to promote social distancing and self-isolation to keep clients safe and healthy. Ontario’s municipal service managers will determine local needs and distribute the funding, ensuring clients are receiving the support they need.
“Our government will spare no expense to protect the health and safety of all Ontarians,” said Premier Doug Ford. “We are doing our part to show the Ontario spirit and we will make sure no one gets left behind. Organizations across the province are doing critical work right now to help vulnerable Ontarians and these funds will allow them to directly help those who need it most.”
The funding will also help individuals who do not qualify for emergency financial supports under federal programs. The government is putting in place an expanded Emergency Assistance program administered through Ontario Works (OW) to cover these individuals’ needs such as food, rent, informal childcare, and services. There will also be discretionary benefits available to those who already receive social assistance.
This new funding will help individuals and families in financial crisis who are not able to access federal assistance to cover needs such as food, rent, medicine, transportation and other services during this public health crisis. Funding will also be made available to organizations delivering social services to vulnerable First Nations individuals and families. Individuals can apply online at Ontario.ca/community.
“Protecting our most vulnerable is an absolute priority, as the COVID-19 crisis continues to develop,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “We’re expanding access to temporary emergency assistance so that individuals who have no other means of financial support can stay safe and healthy.”
This fund will also help local communities support their shelter systems during this health crisis. The province’s 47 municipal service managers will deliver this funding, ensuring clients are receiving the support they need, and will make local decisions on community funding.
“We are acting quickly to support those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless during this unprecedented time,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This funding will go straight to communities, who know best what the immediate needs are on the ground in their local shelters.”
“This new funding will provide much needed support to our province’s most vulnerable as we continue to take decisive action to contain the spread of COVID-19,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “If Ontario is going to successfully flatten the curve, it’s vital that we ensure that all Ontarians have the resources they need to protect their health and well-being.”
Office of the Premier