Ontario health officials introduce new coronavirus guidelines

17 Mars, 2020, 03:43 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Ontario health officials introduce new coronavirus guidelines

Ontario's chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, chalked that up to new lab testing sites that have opened up to accommodate increased demand being unable so far to quickly enter that supplementary information.

During Monday's news conference, Ford confirmed that the province is now in the process of drafting legislation that would amend the Employment Standards Act to provide protections for workers impacted by COVID-19.

Speaking before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's announcement Monday that Canada's borders were shutting to visitors, he said he was very concerned about reports of a lack of screening for those returning from foreign travel.

Dr. De Villa asked bars and restaurants in Toronto to close by midnight except for takeout operations, and warned she may issue mandatory orders that come with fines if businesses do not comply.

"The health and well-being of Ontarians continues to be our government's number one priority", said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

"I'd be okay with closing the borders to visitors, not to trade and commerce". "We have to keep the supply chain moving". "But that's a call for the federal government to make, not the province".

"There's plenty of toilet paper", he said.

"Mothers and fathers who need to care for children or dependents shouldn't have to worry about losing their job", said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

It would also remove the requirement for workers to get a doctor's note to be allowed to take time off for quarantine or self-isolation.

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Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips announced at the same conference that he will present a fiscal update on March 25 in lieu of a full budget. Mr. Ford has already announced a $100-million contingency fund for health costs.

The province now has 172 active cases of COVID-19.

As of Sunday, there were 145 coronavirus cases in the province, five of which have been resolved.

The NDP appear to be in favour, with Leader Andrea Horwath saying she will help it pass but she wants to strengthen the bill with additional supports for shelters and hospitals as well as add more protections for workers.

She said her party would co-operate with the government on emergency legislation, and that she hoped the government would consider her party's recommendations.

It is not clear when the legislation will be passed.

Ms. Horwath said more needs to be done to protect vulnerable workers who lose pay or can not survive on EI. "People who may be infected should be able to do the right thing".

To help contain the spread of COVID-19, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer is recommending that people avoid gathering in groups of 50 or more. He said vulnerable populations need to be protected and that the province may have to put more stringent measures in place as needed. Telehealth itself will also be increasing staff.

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