October 2, 2020
Ontario Delivers $2.8 Billion COVID-19 Fall Preparedness Plan

The Ontario government has developed a $2.8 billion COVID-19 fall preparedness plan to ensure the province's health care, long-term care and education systems are prepared for the immediate challenges of the fall, including a second wave of COVID-19 and the upcoming flu season. Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19 will enable the province to quickly identify, prevent and respond to surges and waves of the virus to protect the health and safety of all Ontarians.

The plan was delivered by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

The Keeping Ontarians Safe plan focuses on six key areas to rapidly identify and respond to COVID-19 outbreaks and surges, build health system capacity, and reinforce the province's health care workforce.

Click here to read the full News release.

Ontario Releases Updated COVID-19 Modelling for Second Wave

Modelling Shows Following Public Health Measures Remains Critical to Stop the Spread

On September 30, 2020, the Ontario government released updated COVID-19 modelling, which shows the province is experiencing a second surge in cases similar to what other jurisdictions have experienced. The province is providing the public with full transparency about the consequences if Ontarians are not vigilant in adhering to public health measures. The Chief Medical Officer of Health says Ontarians must be vigilant in adhering to public health measures to reduce the number of new cases and the spread of the virus.

Ontario has developed a comprehensive plan, Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19, to ensure the health care system is prepared for the immediate challenges of the fall including future surges and waves of COVID-19 and flu season. The plan ensures the province is able to quickly respond to any scenario in order to protect all Ontarians and communities.

Key highlights from the modelling update include:

  • Ontario is currently on an upward trajectory similar to what its peer jurisdictions, including Victoria, Australia and Michigan in the United States, have experienced.
  • Cases are currently doubling approximately every 10 to 12 days.
  • The growth in cases was initially in the 20 to 39 age group but now cases are climbing in all age groups.
  • Forecasting suggests that Ontario could be around 1,000 cases per day in the first half of October.

Click here to read the full News release.

WSIB Health and Safety Excellence program

Keeping your team safe and healthy at work is good for business. The WSIB Health and Safety Excellence program provides a clear roadmap for you to improve safety in your workplace, whether you are just getting started or want to improve systems and processes you already have in place.

The program connects businesses of all sizes with WSIB-approved providers to help you develop a program that is suitable for your business.

Learn more about how WSIB is helping businesses stay pandemic ready and safe.

Benefits include:

  • Pandemic readiness materials, to help businesses meet the challenges of operating safely during a pandemic
  • Support and guidance from an experienced provider
  • Reduced risk of hazards and a better health and safety culture in your workplace
  • Rebates on premiums and money saved by improving your safety experience
  • Recognition to show employees, customers, and investors your commitment to health and safety
  • Opportunities to network and share best practices with other like-minded businesses

Click here to read the full News release.

Ontario Set to Employ the Largest Number of Labour Inspectors in Provincial History

New Inspectors will help Keep Workers Safe on the Job during COVID-19

The Ontario government is launching a recruitment campaign to increase its team of frontline health and safety inspectors by 98 and help ensure workplaces across the province are doing their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The new inspectors will play a key role in protecting workers by checking and enforcing that workplaces are following occupational health and safety legislation. They will have broad powers to:

  • inspect any workplace and ensure they have COVID protections in place;
  • investigate any potentially hazardous situation, critical injury, fatality and work refusal;
  • order compliance with the legislation;
  • stop unsafe work from being performed; and
  • recommend and initiate prosecutions.

To help ensure that employers have the resources and equipment they need to keep their employees safe, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the government launched the Ontario Together PPE Directory

Click here to read the full News release.

Ontario Advances Infrastructure Projects to Strengthen Communities and Create Jobs

The Ontario government is moving forward with 40 major infrastructure projects across the province using the public-private partnership (P3) model. The projects are listed in the most recent P3 Market Update, which was released today by Laurie Scott, Ontario's Minister of Infrastructure.

The P3 Market Update, released on a quarterly basis, is a list of public projects in the pre-procurement and procurement stages for which Ontario has committed investments.

Highlights of the P3 Market Update include:

  • The addition of two new correctional facility projects: Quinte Detention Centre; and Brockville Correctional Complex (currently known as Brockville Jail) and St. Lawrence Valley Correctional and Treatment Centre (SLVCTC) expansion (the new Brockville Correctional Complex and the new female SLVCTC expansion will be built on the grounds of the current SLVCTC property);
  • The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital redevelopment, which has advanced from planning to pre-procurement; and
  • The GO Expansion: OnCorr project, which will now be delivered using the Design Build Operate Maintain model.

The P3 Market Update is an important affirmation of the Government of Ontario's historic commitment to P3s and public infrastructure generally, particularly in the midst of managing the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19.

Click here to read the full News release.

Ontario Supporting Renters and Small Businesses in COVID-19 Recovery

Families and small businesses continue to be impacted by COVID-19. In response, Ontario has introduced the proposed Helping Tenants and Small Businesses Act, 2020 to freeze residential rent increases in 2021, and give the vast majority of Ontario's 1.7 million tenants some relief during these unprecedented times. The proposed legislation would also support Ontario's small businesses by extending the temporary ban on commercial evictions, and it will make legislative changes to create a single register of electors for both municipal and provincial elections.

Click here to read the full News release.

Modular Shipping Container Pods Address COVID-19 Screening Demand

2020's back-to-school season is being threatened by a resurgence in COVID-19 cases across Ontario, spiking once again in the densely-populated Greater Toronto Area. Keeping classes moving through the pandemic will require screening and assessment measures that have not previously been necessary for educational buildings, and with space limited even before the social distancing measures now sought, new square footage is often required to allow COVID-19 screening.

A solution developed right here in Ontario and already being implemented is the "Citizen Care Pod," a joint effort of Citizen Care Pod Corp, WZMH Architects, and PCL Construction in collaboration with Microsoft, utilizing modified shipping containers to create portable screening centres with applications for any building or space where people gather.

The retrofitted 20-foot and 40-foot shipping containers are equipped with high-tech features like Microsoft's Azure artificial intelligence, Insight’s Connected Platform data analysis service, and PCL’s Job Site Insights™ Internet of Things hub for better contact tracing, safety, and security.

Click here to read the complete news release.

Ontario hospitals getting infrastructure upgrades to improve patient safety

The Ontario government is investing $175 million this year to fund critical upgrades, repairs and maintenance at 129 hospitals. Funding includes $50 million for COVID-19 related and other urgent projects.

Through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund, this funding will help hospitals maintain their infrastructure and ensure a safe and comfortable environment for patients to receive care.

As the government continues to work toward bringing Ontario’s world class health care system into the 21st century, this funding will help hospitals address urgent issues such as upgrades or replacement of roofs, windows, security systems, backup generators and fire alarms. Projects will also support hospitals in their ongoing response to COVID-19, such as updating HVAC systems to enhance patient and staff safety, creating additional isolation spaces and negative air pressure flow rooms to increase capacity, and enhancing infection prevention and control measures.

Click here to read the complete news article.

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TCA Resources on COVID-19

To access TCA dedicated Covid-19 Updates, click here.