COVID-19 news recap

Peel and Toronto enter Phase 2 on June 24

On June 22 the Ontario government announced it is moving the City of Toronto and Peel Region into Stage 2 on Wednesday. This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the local medical officers of health. It is based on positive local trends of key public health indicators, including lower transmission of COVID-19, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity to do rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing. Toronto Public Health and Peel Public Health will enter Stage 2 on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. They will join the 31 other public health regions that entered Stage 2 on June 12 and 19, 2020. (See below, along with Windsor-Essex, Peel and Toronto were excluded from moving into Phase 2 last Friday June 19.)

Feds extend border closure by 30 days

On June 16 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the coronavirus border shutdown between Canada and the United States is being extended again, this time until July 21. The 30-day extension comes as U.S. case numbers climb above two million and several states report surges in new cases amid a patchwork response between the federal and state governments there.

“I can now confirm that Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend current border measures by 30 days until July 21,” Trudeau said during his daily briefing on the pandemic response.

Ontario re-opens cautiously
  • Province extends emergency orders

A media release from the province on June 17th advised that the Ontario government has extended all emergency orders currently in force under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This extension will be in effect until June 30, 2020 to ensure the government continues to have the necessary tools to safely and gradually reopen the province, while continuing to support frontline health care workers and protect vulnerable populations from COVID-19.

While current emergency orders will remain in place until the end of the month, the government will continue to review each one on an ongoing, case-by-case basis to determine when and if they can safely be adjusted or lifted, as part of the province’s framework to safely reopen the province.

  • More regions entered Phase 2 on Friday June 19

On June 15 Ontario announced that a further seven public health unit regions will be allowed to move into Stage 2 on Friday, June 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. These regions are in addition to the 24 public health regions that entered Stage 2 on June 12, 2020. Before opening, business owners need to review the workplace safety guidelines and public health  advice. Remaining at Stage 1 under ongoing assessment until trends of key public health indicators demonstrate readiness to move into Stage 2 are three regions: Peel Public Health; Toronto Public Health; and Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health restrictions can be gradually loosened or if they need to be tightened.

  • Ontario public health collecting personal data from positive cases

On June 15 the Ontario government announced it proposes a regulatory change to mandate the reporting of data on race, income, language and household size for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, in order to ensure the province has a more complete picture of the outbreak. Under these proposed changes, individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 infection will be asked additional questions about their race, income, languages spoken, and household size. Individuals can choose not to answer any or all of these questions. Individuals’ privacy is protected as it is for all information currently collected on other diseases.

 

 

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