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Featured Page – COVID-19 Updates & Information

covid virus, augusta logo, reads COVID-19 Updates and information

Augusta Township Media Release #1

Tuesday March 16, 2020
(For Immediate Release) 

Township of Augusta – Action Plan- Coronavirus (COVID-19)

(MAYNARD) The Township of Augusta held a special meeting of the Municipal Emergency Control Group on Monday morning, followed by an emergency Council Meeting to review precautions regarding the developing situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19).

As of Tuesday March 17th, 2020, The Council of the Township of Augusta advises residents that all Township buildings, including the municipal office and recreational facilities and library will be closed to the general public. Municipal staff will continue regular services and be available by phone or email during this closure.

All recreational programming and facility rentals will cease operations for the immediate future. Township of Augusta Council and committee meetings will be postponed until further notice.

The Waste Management Sites will remain open. Please observe a 2 metre (6 feet) space between you and the attendant.

The closure will be in effect until Monday April 6th, 2020. At that time, we will re-evaluate the situation.

The Township will extend the interim tax bill payment deadline to April 30th, 2020 to help residents with this closure. No interest will be incurred during the extension period.

“The Township of Augusta will do everything possible to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our residents during the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Mayor Doug Malanka.  “We need to flatten the curve to try and prevent our health care facilities in Leeds and Grenville from becoming overwhelmed. We will take every action necessary to protect our most vulnerable, our seniors. We ask all residents to restrict travel when possible and do everything they can to minimize the spread of this virus.”

At this time, the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit states the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 continues to be low in this region. In order to reduce the spread of germs including the flu and COVID-19 it is recommended that you:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, and or use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Cover your cough and or sneeze
  • If possible, stay home if you are sick
  • Avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care facilities

In order to keep up to date with official information, please refer to the following sources:

Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Public Health:  https://healthunit.org/coronavirus/

Ontario Ministry of Health: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

Health Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

Updates will be provided on the Townships website and social media platforms.

Posted March 16, 2020


Update on COVID-19 from the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit 

Board of Health Meeting

February 27, 2020

On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) China Country Office was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology (unknown cause) detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province in China.  A novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was identified as the causative virus by Chinese authorities on January 7, 2020.  On February 11, 2020, the WHO released the official name for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) as COVID-19.  The Health Unit Website provides detailed information about COVID-19.

The Health Unit is participating, for Lanark, Leeds and Grenville, in the provincial strategy to contain the spread of COVID-19.  The incident Management Structure (IMS) is working very well for the Health Unit to keep on top of the evolving COVID-19 situation.  The Health Unit’s local role is to:

  • Provide information to health service providers and respond to queries about possible cases,
  • Monitor people who have had potential travel exposure and who are self-isolating at home,
  • Provide information and advice to school boards and other community partners, and
  • Provide general information to the public through the website and social media,
  • Work with health care partners to develop, and plan for, any changes to the current situation.

At this time, the key message to the public is to protect yourself and others from any respiratory disease, including influenza and the common cold, by:

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer,
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands,
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or you arm, not your hand,
  • Stay home if you are sick, and keep your children home if they are sick,
  • Keep commonly used surfaces clean.

Posted March 9, 2020


Augusta Public Library Notice

Posted March 16, 2020


South Nation Conservation Authority Notice

SNC COMMUNICATION ON COVID-19 RESPONSE

Posted March 17, 2020


Augusta Public Library Notice re: Library Closure Update

Further to our announcement about the library closing until April 6th, we have received new information and will no longer be able to lend materials, or accept returned items. The library drop box will be locked for the duration. No late fees will be charged. Staff will still be at the library and will be monitoring phone, e-mail, and Facebook messages. If you need assistance accessing our free e-books or any of our other online resources, please contact us.  We truly regret this action, but our greatest concern is for the well-being of our patrons and our community at large.

Posted March 17, 2020


Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit Poster

poster outlining the different steps you can take to protect yourself against COVID-19

Posted March 18, 2020


Public Health Ontario Posters

– Self-Isolation: Guide for Caregivers, Household Members and Close Contacts

– Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings

     

Posted March 18, 2020
Updated March 19, 2020


Public Health Agency of Canada Posters

– Know the Difference: Self-Monitoring, Self-Isolation, Isolation
– About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

               

Posted March 18, 2020


Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit Updates

The local health unit will be regularly updating their website, Facebook page and Twitter account.  Visit these links for up to date information on COVID-19.

computer mouse  Website

Facebook logo   Facebook

twitter logo   Twitter

Posted March 18, 2020


Province of Ontario COVID-19 Information Website

The Province has a website that 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.  

Click HERE to visit the website.

Posted March 19, 2020


Health Unit Media Release 

Public Health Message to LGL Residents about Food Premises

Posted March 19, 2020


United Counties of Leeds & Grenville Economic Development Office Website

The Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office is receiving information on the impact of COVID-19 on business and our region from various sources.  They will continue to their website as additional business information, surveys, resources and programs become available.

You can visit their website HERE.

Posted March 20, 2020


Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit: What Does Social Distancing Mean?

Here is a description of what Social Distancing is, provided by Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health:

Social distancing means limiting the number of people with whom you come into close contact to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect our community.

Public health officials encourage residents to stay home, when possible, and reduce their interactions with others.

The most important thing you can do is stay home when you are sick. You can also:

Cancel gatherings

  • cancel gatherings, especially with vulnerable residents, including seniors and people with pre-existing health conditions

Cancel non-essential trips

  • consider if outings are necessary
  • no parties or play dates

Limit, postpone or cancel small social gatherings

  • if you can, connect with friends by phone or online
  • keep children away from group settings including indoor play dates with other children

For essential trips (e.g. groceries, work)

  • sanitize or wash your hands when entering and exiting buildings
  • avoid long lineups
    • o use tap to pay rather than handling money
  • when taking public transit, avoid prolonged close contact with others
  • travel during non-peak hours
  • take shorter trips rather than one long trip

Go outdoors

  • take a walk, go to the park, walk the dog
  • keep a distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others and stay home when sick
  • greet others with a wave, a bow or a nod (in place of handshakes or hugs)
  • after going outside, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

Avoid visits to care facilities

  • protect vulnerable family members by avoiding visits to long-term care homes, retirement homes and other care settings unless it is absolutely essential

Consider alternative ways to work

  • work from home, if feasible
  • facilitate virtual meetings (video or teleconferencing)

Stay physically active

  • go for walks or exercise outdoors
  • do yoga or aerobics at home

While you may not feel sick we ask that you be mindful of those more vulnerable in our community.

Thank you for your efforts to keep everyone healthy.

We are all in this together.

Posted March 20, 2020


AUGUSTA NOTICE re: WASTE TRANSFER SITES

background photos of maynard & north augusta transfer sites, public works logo

After discussions with our Waste Transfer Site Contractor, it has been decided that EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY our transfer sites will no longer be accepting construction/bulky fee-based materials. Alternative options are being reviewed.  The contractor has also requested that vehicles be limited to 6 (six) at a time in the transfer stations.

We appreciate your patience and understanding at this time.

– Augusta Township Public Works Department

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted March 23, 2020


Augusta Township Media Release # 2

Tuesday March 24th, 2020
(For Immediate Release)

Township of Augusta – Action Plan- Coronavirus (COVID-19)

(MAYNARD) The Township of Augusta held a second meeting of the Municipal Emergency Control Group on Monday morning to review our COVID-19 action plan.

The Township of Augusta advises residents that all Township buildings, including the municipal office, recreational facilities, library, fire department, and public works buildings will continue to be closed to the general public until further notice. Municipal staff are available by phone or email to assist you.

Pitch-In Day, Amnesty Day and Treasure Day have been postponed until further notice.

The Waste Transfer Sites remain open, with a limit of 6-vehicles at a time. Effective immediately bulky/construction waste will not be accepted. Alternative options are currently being reviewed. Please continue to observe a 2metre (6feet) space while attending the transfer stations.

“The Township of Augusta would like to remind residents to self isolate for 14 days when they are returning from vacation. Call a friend for groceries or use grocery pick up to assist with your self isolating.” said Mayor Doug Malanka. “I reiterate that we need to flatten the curve to prevent our health care facilities in Leeds and Grenville from becoming overwhelmed.”

Help reduce the spread of germs including the flu and COVID-19:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, and or use hand sanitizer
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
• Cover your cough and or sneeze into your elbow
• If possible, stay home if you are sick
• Avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care facilities

In order to keep up to date with official information, please refer to the following sources:

Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Public Health: https://healthunit.org/coronavirus/

Ontario Ministry of Health: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

Health Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

Updates will continue to be provided on the Township’s website and social media platforms.

Posted March 24, 2020


Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit – Media Release

March 24, 2020

Slowing the Spread of COVID-19 While Grocery Shopping

Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 by making a conscious effort to keep a physical distance between each other when we have to go out in public. Public Health is working with our food stores to ensure this vital service continues so we all have access to safe food.  Many food stores have put strong measures in place to protect their staff and the public.

The following practices will also help reduce your exposure in the grocery store setting, and protect those who are providing this vital service.

If you are sick do not go out and shop.  STAY HOME.

If you have arrived home from travelling, DO NOT SHOP, ask a friend or family member to help or Take advantage of on-line curb side services or grocery delivery services

Keep Clean

  • Clean the handle of your cart
  • Bring your own wipes and hand sanitizer, although the stores have been trying hard to keep a public stock the supplies are short.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands as you enter and after to get into your car
  • If you use reusable bags or containers be sure to clean and sanitize these between uses

Keep your distance

  • Avoid shopping in large groups
  • Keep your distance from other shoppers and employees while in the store, 2 arms-length from each other is an easy way to measure your distance.
  • Avoid common greetings, such as handshakes a simple wave and a friendly smile is just as effective
  • If the grocery store seems busy, come back another time to prevent larger gatherings
  • Offer to grocery shop for those who are self-isolating or those who may be at higher risk like older adults and those in poor health

Keep Safe

  • Remember everyday food safety practices such as separating raw meat from ready to eat food in your cart
  • Wash fruits and vegetables when arriving home and before eating

Please do not hoard, when you do this your friends and neighbours may go without.

The Leeds, Grenville, Lanark District Health Unit understands this is a very stressful and uncertain time for everyone.  Physical distancing can also lead to social isolation, check on the well-being of friends and family but please do it safely.   Try to spend some time outside each day.

Posted March 24, 2020


Ontario Government News Release – Stop the Spread Business Information Line Now Open at 1-888-444-3659

March 25, 2020

The province has launched a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

On Monday, the province issued an emergency order to close at-risk workplaces and encourage non-essential businesses to find ways to help their employees work from home. The government also reminded businesses to put in place protocols for physical distancing and regular hand-washing in order to protect the health and safety of employees and the general public.

Businesses who have questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

Help is available from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 a.m.―5:00 p.m.

A complete list of essential services is available on the Government of Ontario’s website.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19 and how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Posted March 25, 2020


County Wide Burn Ban Now in Effect

has augusta fire rescue & augusta township logos and photo of augusta township road sign with burn ban sign flipped

ALL municipalities within the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville have implemented a TOTAL OPEN-AIR BURN BAN as of Wednesday March 25th at 11:59pm until further notice.

The ban applies to all open-air fires including agricultural burns, brush piles, burn barrels, campfires, chimeneas, cooking fires, consumer fireworks, incinerators and other types of outdoor burning, but does not include cooking appliances with a mechanical shutoff, i.e. propane or natural gas cooking equipment.

Due to the concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19, the need for social distancing and to assist in the health, safety and well-being of our firefighters we placed an open-air burn ban as a precautionary measure to avoid any additional strain on our fire services at this time.

We are committed to providing and maintaining emergency response within our communities and we appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we cope with this uncertain and unprecedented situation.

Posted March 25, 2020


Posters for Stores

The Health Unit has produced these posters for stores to use to help support the message of physical distancing.

Safe Grocery Shopping

Safe Shopping Regular Stores

Posted March 26, 2020


Ontario Government News Release

March 25, 2020

Premier Ford and Minister Phillips Announce Additional Health Care Resources and Support for People, Jobs and Employers

TORONTO — Today, Finance Minister Rod Phillips released Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 (March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update).

The government’s action plan is a first step in its response to COVID-19 and includes $7 billion in additional resources for the health care system and direct support for people and jobs. It also will make available $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flow, protecting jobs and household budgets.

This $17 billion response is a critical first step to ensure our health care system, communities and economy are positioned to weather the challenges ahead. The plan includes historic levels of prudence, including a dedicated $1 billion COVID-19 contingency fund, as part of the additional health care investments, as well as an unprecedented $2.5 billion reserve and an increased contingency fund of $1.3 billion to provide continued flexibility to respond to changing global circumstances.

The plan includes $3.3 billion in additional health care resources to protect the health and well-being of the people of Ontario.

“As Finance Minister, my number one priority right now is ensuring that our front-line health care professionals have the resources they need to fight the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Minister Phillips. “The people of Ontario can have confidence that we will do whatever it takes to protect their health and well-being. These additional resources will enhance hospital capacity, protect our loved ones in long-term care, and support our public health officials’ work to flatten the curve and slow the spread.”

Health

  • Committing to a dedicated $1.0 billion COVID-19 contingency fund for emerging needs related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Investing $935 million for the hospital sector, including $594 million to accelerate progress on the government’s commitment to address capacity issues, as well as $341 million for an additional 1,000 acute care and 500 critical care beds and additional assessment centres.
  • Increasing public health funding by $160 million to support COVID-19 monitoring, surveillance, and laboratory and home testing, while also investing in virtual care and Telehealth Ontario.
  • Investing $243 million for surge capacity in the long-term care sector, as well as funding for 24/7 screening, more staffing to support infection control, and supplies and equipment to help tackle the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Investing $75 million to supply personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies to front-line staff to tackle COVID-19.

As part of the action plan, the Province also announced $3.7 billion to directly and urgently support people and to protect jobs.

“During this global pandemic, I want the people of Ontario to be focused on their health — not worrying about losing their job or how to make ends meet as they deal with unexpected additional expenses,” said Minister Phillips. “We are helping make life a little more manageable for every person in Ontario, while providing additional support to those who need it the most.”

Key initiatives in the government’s plan to strengthen its response to the COVID-19 outbreak and support people, families, workers and employers include:

People and Jobs

  • Helping families pay for the extra costs associated with school and daycare closures during the COVID-19 outbreak by providing a one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those with special needs, including children enrolled in private schools.
  • Proposing to double the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment for low-income seniors for six months.
  • Supporting more affordable electricity bills for eligible residential, farm and small business consumers, by providing approximately $5.6 billion for electricity cost relief programs in 2020-21, which is an increase of approximately $1.5 billion compared to the 2019 Budget plan.
  • Further supporting more affordable electricity bills by setting electricity prices for residential, farm and small business time-of-use customers at the lowest rate, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day for 45 days to support ratepayers in their increased daytime electricity usage as they respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, addressing concerns about time-of-use metering.
  • Cutting taxes by $355 million for about 57,000 employers through a proposed temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption.
  • Providing $9 million in direct support to families for their energy bills by expanding eligibility for the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and ensuring that their electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected for nonpayment during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Providing emergency child care options to support parents working on the front lines, such as health care workers, police officers, firefighters and correctional officers.
  • Expanding access to the emergency assistance program administered by Ontario Works to provide financial support to people facing economic hardship and help more people meet basic needs such as food and rent during this public health emergency.
  • Enhancing funding by $148 million for charitable and non-profit social services organizations such as food banks, homeless shelters, churches and emergency services to improve their ability to respond to COVID-19, by providing funding directly to Consolidated Municipal Service Managers and District Social Service Administration Boards who would allocate this funding based on local needs.
  • Providing six months of Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loan and interest accrual relief for students, leaving more money in people’s pockets.
  • Helping to support regions lagging in employment growth with a proposed new Corporate Income Tax Credit, the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit.
  • Providing additional supports of $26 million to Indigenous peoples and communities, including emergency assistance for urban Indigenous people in financial need, and costs for health care professionals and critical supplies to reach remote First Nations.

The government’s plan also includes measures that will make available $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flows over the coming months, including:

  • Making available $6 billion by providing five months of interest and penalty relief for businesses to file and make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes.
  • Over $1.8 billion by deferring the upcoming June 30 quarterly municipal remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days, which will provide municipalities the flexibility to, in turn, provide property tax deferrals to residents and businesses, while ensuring school boards continue to receive their funding.
  • Making available $1.9 billion by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) allowing employers to defer payments for up to six months.

“We’re taking responsible steps to lessen the burden for businesses and people,” said Minister Phillips. “Together, these actions can free up as much as $10 billion in cash flows for businesses and people in these uncertain times, helping protect jobs and household budgets.”

QUICK FACTS

  • The March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update provides planning assumptions for the year ahead. The government will provide regular updates of the Province’s fiscal and economic outlook throughout the year.
  • The Province is projecting a deficit of $9.2 billion in 2019–20, an improvement of $1.1 billion relative to the 2019 Budget. As a result of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the government is planning for a deficit of $20.5 billion in 2020–21.
  • Ontario’s $2.5 billion reserve in 2020–21 is the highest ever in history.

The government will release a multi-year provincial Budget by November 15, 2020. This responsible approach will allow the government to continue assessing the economic situation and put forward a long-term outlook based on the most recent and reliable data.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Posted March 26, 2020


Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit Media Release

First Person with confirmed COVID-19 reported in Leeds, Grenville & Lanark

March 26, 2020

Today, Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health for the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit, confirmed that an individual living in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark area has tested positive for COVID-19. The person is in isolation at home and had recently returned from the United States.

A woman in her 70s was assessed and tested using all appropriate precautions and is isolated at home with follow-up from the public health nurse. The Health Unit is actively investigating people who were in contact with the individual and will require all close contacts to self-isolate for 14 days.

“Having an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 in our area is not surprising” reported Dr. Stewart. “This reinforces the importance of the public health measures in place such as school and non-essential service closures, as well as personal precautions like staying at home for 14 days after travel outside the country, physical distancing, covering coughs and sneezes, staying home when sick, and regular hand hygiene.”

The best way to get reliable information about COVID-19 is by visiting www.healthunit.org. Please call the Health Unit if you have any questions at 1-800-660-5853 x 2499. You can also get important public health updates by connecting with LGLHealthunit on Facebook and Twitter.

If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care.

If you need further assistance, call TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or your health care provider.

Visit Ontario’s website, www.Ontario.ca/coronavirus to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

Posted March 26, 2020


AUGUSTA NOTICE re: WASTE TRANSFER SITEShas both transfer stations and no children sign in the middle

To ensure public safety and to respect physical distancing recommendations, we are requiring that children REMAIN INSIDE THE VEHICLE at all times at both Transfer Stations.

We thank everyone for their cooperation.

– Augusta Township Public Works Department

 

 

 

Posted March 27, 2020


Augusta Township Media Release # 3

Friday March 27th, 2020
(For Immediate Release)

Township of Augusta – Declares State of Emergency under COVID-19 Pandemic

(MAYNARD)
After careful consideration and in consultation with the Municipal Emergency Control Group, Mayor Doug Malanka has declared a municipal state of emergency in accordance with The Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act at 10:15 hours on Friday March 27, 2020. The declaration of an emergency, under Section 4 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, allows the Township to use all available options to protect the health, safety and welfare of its residents and aligns with the Government of Ontario’s Declaration of Emergency made March 17, 2020. The state of emergency is effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice. Declaring an emergency is not an indication that the crisis has escalated in our community. It means that, as a Township, our priority is to be proactive and prepared. It will ensure that Augusta Township’s municipal government can continue to respond quickly to the pandemic and any other events that arise from it in the weeks ahead. We are declaring an emergency, in order to protect everyone in our Township. We need residents who feel they are not at risk personally to recognize how serious (and potentially deadly) this pandemic can be to all, especially our elderly and those with a compromised immune system. The formal Declaration also provides the Township of Augusta with additional powers and tools to protect the health and safety of residents. It streamlines the decision-making process through the Municipality’s Emergency Control Group so they can act as quickly as possible when they need to. “Let’s continue to do our part to flatten the curve by acting on the advice of our public health officials by staying home, leaving only if necessary, and practicing physical distancing and protecting our at-risk population.” said Mayor Doug Malanka. We will update residents as the situation develops.

Posted March 27, 2020


Ontario Government News Release: Ontario Prohibits Gatherings of More Than Five People with Strict Exceptions

Stronger action required to stop the spread of COVID-19

TORONTO — Today, the Ontario government is taking immediate and decisive action to further stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and well-being of all Ontarians.

Based on the best advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is issuing 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.

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.

“If we are going to stop the spread of COVID-19 now and keep our communities safe, we need to take extraordinary measures to ensure physical distancing,” said Premier Doug Ford. “I strongly encourage everyone to do the responsible thing and stay home unless absolutely necessary. I can assure everyone that we will do everything in our power to stop this virus in its tracks.”

“We are acting on the best advice of our Chief Medical Officer of Health and other leading public health officials across the province,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “These are extraordinary times that demand extraordinary measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect our people. Nothing is more important.”

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.

Ontario declared a provincial state of emergency on March 17, 2020 and has issued orders to close non-essential workplaces, recreational programs, libraries, publicly funded schools, private schools, daycares, provincial parks, churches and other faith settings, as well as bars and restaurants, except those that may only offer takeout or delivery. Essential services, such as grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, public transit, manufacturing facilities, and supply chain companies remain open and operational.

Quick Facts

  • Everyone in Ontario should be practicing physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people. Avoid close contact (within 2 metres) with people outside of your immediate families.
  • On March 25, 2020, the federal government announced an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19. They should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days.
  • Take everyday steps to reduce exposure to COVID-19 and protect your health: wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer; sneeze and cough into your sleeve; avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; avoid contact with people who are sick; stay home if you are sick.

Additional Resources

You can also view this News Release on the Ontario Government’s website.

Posted March 29, 2020


Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit Media Release

March 29, 2020

Outbreak found in Almonte Country Haven

The Health Unit is overseeing the management by Almonte Country Haven of a COVID-19 outbreak in the long term care home – 3 residents and 1 staff member have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Infection control measures have been put in place to manage the outbreak and are being monitored by the Health Unit. All staff have been instructed to wear Personal Protective Equipment at all times and to self-monitor for symptoms, and to self-isolate at home when not working.

Over the last few days, the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has received confirmation of 15 cases of COVID-19 as of March 29 at noon – 3 long term care residents, 1 long term care staff member, 8 isolating at home and 3 in hospital. The increase in cases is not surprising for several reasons. The risk is higher in the United States now and more people returning are testing positive. The Assessment Centres are increasing access to both assessment and testing, and hospital labs in Ottawa and Kingston are now able to process the tests of people in our area with results back in one to two days.

“The increase in the number of people in our community who have tested positive for COVID-19 reinforces the importance of people staying at home as much as possible, and staying 6 feet, or two arms lengths away, from others when in public places to reduce the spread of COVID-19.” recommends Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health. In addition, staying home when sick, coughing in to your sleeve, washing hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer, and cleaning commonly touched surfaces will reduce the risk of people becoming ill.

A quarantine of 14 days is now mandatory for all Canadians returning from travel outside of the country. Returning travellers must go straight home upon their return to the country, and rely on help from family, friends, their municipality and local agencies for anything they need.

The provincial government has now directed all food premises to close to the public unless they can arrange for take-out services, all non-essential businesses and personal services settings are closed to the public as well to reduce physical distance between people.

The best way to get reliable information about COVID-19 is by visiting www.healthunit.org. Please call the Health Unit if you have any questions at 1-800-660-5853 x 2499 from 8:30 to 4:30 every day. You can also get important public health updates by connecting with LGLHealthunit on Facebook and Twitter.

If you have respiratory symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who does, self-isolate at home and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool for their recommendations. If you need further assistance, call TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or your health care provider.

Visit Ontario’s website, www.Ontario.ca/coronavirus to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

Posted March 31, 2020


Ontario’s Action Plan – Support for Businesses and Individuals

Update: March 30, 2020 @ 4:30PM

Below is a document which outlines Ontario’s plan for supporting individuals and businesses during this time.

Government Announced Support

Posted March 31, 2020


Ontario Government News Release: Ontario Protecting Supply Chains To Support COVID-19 Emergency Response

March 28, 2020

Province to Buy Urgently Needed Critical Goods and Services and Deploy them to Where They are Needed the Most

TORONTO – Ontario continues to take important steps to protect the province’s supply chain and make sure the heroes on the front lines have the essential goods and services they need in the fight against COVID-19 like ventilators, masks and swabs.

“COVID-19 is impacting supply chains across Canada, and around the world,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “That’s why we are proclaiming the Supply Chain Management Act to make sure we can deploy critical supplies, equipment and services to where they are needed most.”

These regulations will enable the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services and the Ministry of Health to centrally manage public sector supply chains. It will allow the collection of key data on inventories, orders and supply constraints and the development of a virtual inventory tool so that demand for crucial supplies are visible and trackable. With these measures in place, the government can prioritize buying what is needed most, deploying them, and allocating them on a priority basis to support the delivery of essential services to Ontarians.

Support will also be available to other public entities, such as publicly funded social service agencies and municipalities if they choose to participate.

“Ontario is implementing critical and necessary measures to ensure that we are able to protect the health and well-being of Ontarians,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This includes working with innovators and businesses across the province who can supply emergency products and cutting-edge solutions to support ongoing efforts to contain COVID-19.”

Ontario has also launched Ontario Together, a new website that is helping businesses work with the province to meet the challenges of COVID-19. This removes barriers allowing Ontario’s manufacturing sector to redeploy capacity towards the production of essential equipment.

QUICK FACTS

  • Ontario declared a state of emergency on March 17, 2020 in the fight against COVID-19.
  • As part of Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, Ontario has announced $935 million for the hospital sector, to address capacity issues, an additional 1,000 acute care and 500 critical care beds, and for additional assessment centres.

The government launched OntarioTogether to invite businesses and their employees to supply emergency products and innovative solutions in the battle against this disease.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

Posted March 31, 2020


United Way of Leeds and Grenville: Resources and Services List

The United Way of Leeds and Grenville has compiled a list of trustworthy resources and services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can find the list on their website.

Posted March 31, 2020


Ontario Government News Release: Ontario Enhancing Public Reporting about COVID-19

March 30, 2020

Dedicated Website Will Include Expanded Information of Confirmed Cases Across the Province

TORONTO — Ontario is enhancing the public information it provides about the status of COVID-19. As the outbreak evolves, Ontario has launched a new dedicated web page and is changing how COVID-19 cases are being reported to provide a more relevant summary of data from Public Health Ontario that offers expanded information every day at 10:30 a.m.

This daily epidemiologic summary replaces the general information on the status of COVID-19 cases that was previously provided twice daily on the web page. The new summary provides more provincial and regional data on confirmed cases, including trends of cases since the outbreak began, geography, exposure and severity.

“Ontario has been diligently monitoring and taking decisive action to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep Ontarians informed,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “We will continue to work with Public Health Ontario, public health units and the health sector to have and report on the best possible data to help us understand the scope of the COVID-19 outbreak in our province and inform our collective response to keep all Ontarians safe and healthy.”

The daily summary is based on data recorded by local public health units in the province’s integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS), as of 4 p.m. the day before the summary is posted. iPHIS is the Ministry of Health’s disease reporting system, where data is regularly updated.

In addition to the daily update to the website, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, will continue to hold regularly scheduled daily media briefings via teleconference, to provide an update on the province’s ongoing response to COVID-19.

QUICK FACTS

  • Everyone in Ontario should be practicing physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people. Avoid close contact (within 2 metres) with people outside of your immediate families.
  • If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care.
  • On March 25, 2020, the federal government announced an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act, that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19. They should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days.
  • On March 28, 2020, Ontario 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.
  • Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to COVID-19 and protect your health:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
    • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve;
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth;
    • Avoid contact with people who are sick; and

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

Posted March 31, 2020


Ontario Government News Release: Ontario Extends Emergency Declaration to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

March 30, 2020

All Outdoor Recreational Amenities across Province Now Closed

TORONTO — In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep people home, the Government of Ontario has extended the Declaration of Emergency and associated emergency measures, including the closure of non-essential workplaces and restrictions on social gatherings. In addition, Ontario is issuing a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to close all outdoor recreational amenities, such as sports fields and playgrounds, effective immediately. These actions are based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

“I made a commitment to be open and upfront about what we need to do as a province to beat this virus,” said Premier Ford. “Based on the best medical advice available, we are taking further steps today to protect the health and safety of all Ontarians by closing outdoor recreational amenities, like sports fields and playgrounds, and extending our emergency orders to save lives. We all need to work together and do our part to stop COVID-19 by staying home, practising physical distancing, and avoiding social gatherings.”

This new order would close all communal or shared, public or private, outdoor recreational amenities everywhere in Ontario, including but not limited to playgrounds, sports fields, basketball and tennis courts, off-leash dog parks, beaches, skateboard and BMX parks, picnic areas, outdoor community gardens, park shelters, outdoor exercise equipment, condo parks and gardens, and other outdoor recreational amenities. Green spaces in parks, trails, ravines and conservation areas that aren’t otherwise closed would remain open for walkthrough access, but individuals must maintain the safe physical distance of at least two metres apart from others. Ontario’s provincial parks and conservation reserves remain closed.

“We are acting on the best advice of our Chief Medical Officer of Health and other leading public health officials across the province” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “We will continue to take decisive action to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect Ontarians’ health and wellbeing.”“The health and well-being of Ontarians is a top priority of our government as we navigate through the COVID-19 health crisis. I know our municipal partners are already taking action locally to protect their residents,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This order makes the rules around closing shared outdoor recreational amenities consistent across the province.”To ensure the province is able to continue its extensive efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, Ontario will also extend the March 17, 2020 declaration of emergency and subsequent emergency orders, regulations and amendments issued under s.7.0.1 and 7.0.2(4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

The following declaration and orders have been extended and will be in effect until April 13, 2020:

QUICK FACTS

  • Ontarians should stay home except for essential reasons, and to limit the number of these essential trips. Essential reasons include accessing health care services and medication, grocery shopping, walking pets when required and supporting vulnerable community members to meet the above needs. It is strongly recommended that people over 70 years old or who have compromised immune systems and/or underlying medical conditions self-isolate and get help with essential errands.
  • Ontarians must strictly practice physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people and keep at least two metres away from people outside of their household.
  • On March 25, 2020, the federal government announced an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19. They must not go to work, grocery stores or on walks. They should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days and contact their primary care providers or Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000) if they experience symptoms.
  • Take everyday steps to reduce exposure to COVID-19 and protect your health : wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer; sneeze and cough into your sleeve; avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; avoid contact with people who are sick; stay home if you are sick.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

  • Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

For public inquiries, call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (toll-free in Ontario only).

Posted March 31, 2020


Leeds-Grenville–Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes Business Survey: COVID-19

Leaders from municipal economic development offices, Chambers of Commerce, Employment Services, Community Futures Development Corporations, Small Business Enterprise Centres, Business Improvement Areas and local business support organizations are working together to identify how the impact of COVID-19 will be felt by our business community.They are working together with all levels of government to connect our businesses to existing programs and support, while developing additional ones that can assist our local business community during these challenging times.  If you own a local business, please take the time to complete this short SURVEY if you haven’t done so already. They would like to hear from you and guide you to supports that can assist your business.

The SURVEY will be open until Friday, April 3rd at 12 p.m.

Posted March 31, 2020


Standardized Protocols for All Canadian Construction Sites

The Canadian Construction Association has come our with new protocols for construction sites to follow during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CCA COVID-19 Standardized Protocols for All Canadian Construction Sites March 26, 2020

Posted March 31, 2020


Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit – Media Release

March 31, 2020

Outbreak found in Carolina Retirement Residence in Perth, Ontario

The Health Unit is working with Carolina Retirement Residence in Perth to manage a COVID-19 outbreak. One resident and one staff member have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Infection control measures have been put in place to manage the outbreak and are being monitored by the Health Unit. Staff who have been in contact with the resident have been instructed to wear Personal Protective Equipment at all times and to self-monitor for symptoms. The staff member who is at home on self-isolation.

“This outbreak reminds us that we all need to follow the recommended actions to decrease the risk of spread of COVID-19 in the community, says Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health. “This incudes staying at home as much as possible, and staying 6 feet, or two arms lengths away, from others when in public places to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer for the Province, has recommended that all people over age 70 and people who have chronic illnesses stay at home as much as possible.

A quarantine period of 14 days is now mandatory for all Canadians returning from travel outside of the country. Returning travellers must go straight home upon their return to the country, and rely on help from family, friends, their municipality and local agencies for anything they need.

The best way to get reliable information about COVID-19 is by visiting www.healthunit.org. Please call the Health Unit if you have any questions at 1-800-660-5853 x 2499 from 8:30 to 4:30 every day. You can also get important public health updates by connecting with LGLHealthunit on Facebook and Twitter.

If you have respiratory symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who does, self-isolate at home and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool for their recommendations. If you need further assistance, call TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or your health care provider.

Visit Ontario’s website, www.Ontario.ca/coronavirus to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

Posted March 31, 2020


Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit Media Release

March 31, 2020

Two COVID-19 related deaths reported in Leeds, Grenville & Lanark

It is with sadness that the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit reports that two older people, a man and a woman, with underlying health problems living in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark area have died from infection with COVID-19. The man was living at the Almonte Country Haven Home, and the woman was living at home and died at the Queensway Carleton hospital. The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit is following up close contacts of the individuals.

“The home wishes to extend their condolences to the family of this gentleman,” says Carolyn DellaForesta, Administrator at Almonte Country Haven. “We wish to express that we understand and appreciate the concerns of our families and our community and assure you that our residents’ care and safety is our number one priority.”

“We extend our sincere condolences to the families and friends of the two people who passed away as well as to the staff of Almonte Country Haven”, says Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health. “The deaths remind us how important it is to protect the vulnerable members in our community” Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer for the Province, has recommended that all people over age 70 and people who have chronic illnesses stay at home as much as possible.

Practicing physical distancing and staying home are essential measures at this time that we are seeing an increase in the people across our region who have lab confirmed local COVID-19 infection. A quarantine period of 14 days is now mandatory for all Canadians returning from travel outside of the country. Returning travellers must go straight home upon their return to the country, and rely on help from family, friends, their municipality and local agencies for anything they need.

The best way to get reliable information about COVID-19 is by visiting www.healthunit.org. Please call the Health Unit if you do not have access to the internet at 1-800-660-5853 x 2499. You can also get important public health updates by connecting with LGLHealthunit on Facebook and Twitter.

Visit Ontario’s website, www.Ontario.ca/coronavirus to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

April 1, 2020


Ontario Government News Release: Public Required to Identify Themselves if Charged with Breaching an Emergency Order During the COVID-19 Outbreak

March 31, 2020

TORONTO — People who are being charged with an offence under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) will be required to identify themselves if asked by a provincial offences officer, which includes police officers, First Nations constables, special constables and municipal by-law enforcement officers. This temporary power was approved by the Ontario government today through an emergency order to better protect people during this COVID-19 outbreak.

“It is essential that measures are in place to allow provincial offences officers to lawfully require an individual to disclose their correct name, date of birth and address in order to protect our communities,” said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. “By providing provincial offences officers with this temporary power to obtain identifying information under the EMCPA, they will be able to enforce emergency orders during these extraordinary times.”

Emergency orders currently in place to address the COVID-19 outbreak include the closure of non-essential businesses, prohibiting organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people and stopping price gouging on necessary goods such as disinfectant products. Failing to comply with any of these emergency orders is an offence under the EMCPA and so is the failure to identify oneself accurately.

Failing to correctly identify oneself carries a fine of $750 for failure to comply with an order made under the EMCPA or $1,000 for obstructing any person in exercising a power if a provincial offences officer issues a ticket. In addition, failure to comply with an emergency order could carry punishments of up to one-year imprisonment or a fine of up to $100,000 for an individual, $500,000 for a director of a corporation, or $10,000,000 for a corporation itself if a provincial offences officer charges the individual by issuing a summons.

These penalties apply in addition to the penalties for breaching other emergency orders.

“It is the responsibility of all Ontarians to do their part and respect the emergency orders in place. We are supporting provincial offences officer in their critical work to enforce that responsibility and ensure the safety and well-being of Ontarians,” added Solicitor General Jones.

Posted April 1, 2020


Ontario Government News Release: Ontario Protecting Seniors During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Province Investing $10 Million to Mobilize Businesses and Volunteers to Support the Most Vulnerable

March 30, 2020 1:30 P.M.

TORONTO — 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.

The government is investing $10 million to help community organizations with the coordination of subsidized deliveries of meals, medicines and other necessities to seniors. This investment doubles the government’s initial commitment in Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19. The government is also working with grocers and pharmacists to prioritize seniors’ delivery orders and establish senior-only shopping hours.

“We take seriously the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, and we’re working to put an iron ring of protection around our seniors from COVID-19,” said Premier Doug Ford. “I know asking our seniors to stay at home will not be easy as it will mean inconvenience, isolation and significant change in routine. That’s why we are encouraging everyone to reach out and support them, whether it’s delivering their prescriptions or picking up the phone and giving them a call. It will all make a positive difference to our most vulnerable citizens.”

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.

“Our seniors have dedicated their lives to making Ontario the great province it is today. During this very difficult period, we need to take every step possible to protect them and ensure they stay healthy both physically and mentally,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “I encourage everyone to stay in regular contact with a parent, grand parent or neighbour to make sure they have everything they need.”

This $10 million delivery coordination program for seniors living at home is in addition to the $20 million over two years the province has invested to protect seniors in retirement homes through increased infection control and active screening procedures and $243 million for long-term care homes to support 24/7 screening, additional staffing, enhanced cleaning and sanitation, and additional surge capacity.

“We must do everything in our power to care for and support Ontario’s most vulnerable population,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “I want to assure you that we are working around the clock to assist and care for Ontario’s seniors, especially those in long-term care, during this unprecedented time.”

The government is implementing a new emergency order to ensure that staffing and resources are available to help care for and protect long-term care residents, providing further flexibility and allowing homes to redirect their staffing and financial resources to essential tasks. This is in addition to implementing a new approach to redeploying highly qualified inspectors to support long-term care homes on the ground through staff supply, care coordination, and helping homes prevent and contain infections.

“It’s never been more important that all Ontarians heed the advice of our Chief Medical Officer of Health by staying home and practicing physical distancing,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This is especially true because it’s the only way to protect our seniors and the most vulnerable people in our province. All of us need to do our part to stop the spread of this virus.”

LEARN MORE

Posted April 1, 2020


Ontario Government News Release: Ontario Joins Forces with the Private Sector to Fight COVID-19

April 1, 2020

New $50 million Ontario Together Fund will support the development of essential equipment and supplies

TORONTO ― To stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe, the Ontario government is launching a new $50 million Ontario Together Fund to help businesses provide innovative solutions or retool their operations in order to manufacture essential medical supplies and equipment, including gowns, coveralls, masks, face shields, testing equipment and ventilators. This new Fund will support the development of proposals submitted by businesses and individuals through the Ontario Together web portal.

The announcement was made today by Premier Doug Ford, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

“Ontario has an army of innovators, entrepreneurs, and the hardest-working people in the world ready to roll up their sleeves, support our frontline healthcare workers, and beat this virus,” said Premier Ford. “This mass mobilization of government, business, communities and private citizens to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe and healthy represents one of the largest and most ambitious efforts undertaken by Ontario in generations.”

In addition, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade have worked closely with businesses across Ontario and the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association to ramp up production of ventilators to meet the need in Ontario and other parts of Canada. The government has recently placed an order with O-Two Medical Technologies who, with the support of Ontario’s world-class manufacturing sector, will produce 10,000 ventilator units.

“Our government is taking extraordinary measures to support businesses and organizations that are responding to COVID-19,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “It’s inspiring to see the Ontario business community respond to the call to action. Through the Ontario Together web portal and the Ontario Together Fund, we are making sure that companies have the resources and support they need to supply emergency products and innovative solutions quickly and efficiently to help address this challenging time together.”

The government will be looking for the most viable, innovative proposals that can quickly provide critical goods and services and the greatest benefit to the people of Ontario. The government is providing one-time funding of $50 million in 2020-21 during the COVID-19 outbreak. It is time-limited and will be available to companies and organizations across the province.

“The fight against COVID-19 presents significant challenges for small businesses, but their strength and ingenuity are key to weathering this storm,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. “The Ontario Action Plan gives families and small businesses the supports they need. Ontario Together will link the resources of government with the capacity and #OntarioSpirit of our small businesses ― to manufacture the resources Ontario needs.”

“Only by working together and harnessing the full potential of Ontario’s innovators will we be able to confront the growing challenge of COVID-19,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “The Ontario Together Fund will help enable our business community to provide the supplies and equipment our frontline heroes need as they continue to keep Ontarians safe.”

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

Posted April 1, 2020


Media Release: Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit

April 2, 2020

Outbreak found in Stoneridge Manor in Carleton Place

The Health Unit is working with Stoneridge Manor in Carleton Place to manage a COVID-19 outbreak. One staff member has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Infection control measures have been put in place to manage the outbreak and are being monitored by the Health Unit. Staff have been instructed to wear Personal Protective Equipment at all times and to self-monitor for symptoms. The staff member is at home on self-isolation.

“This outbreak reminds us that we all need to follow the recommended actions to decrease the risk of spread of COVID-19 in the community, says Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health. “This includes staying at home as much as possible, and staying 6 feet, or two arms lengths away, from others when in public places to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer for the Province, has recommended that all people over age 70 and people who have chronic illnesses stay at home as much as possible.

A quarantine period of 14 days is now mandatory for all Canadians returning from travel outside of the country. Returning travellers must go straight home upon their return to the country, and rely on help from family, friends, their municipality and local agencies for anything they need.

The best way to get reliable information about COVID-19 is by visiting www.healthunit.org. Please call the Health Unit if you have any questions at 1-800-660-5853 x 2499 from 8:30 to 4:30 every day. You can also get important public health updates by connecting with LGLHealthunit on Facebook and Twitter.

If you have respiratory symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who does, self-isolate at home and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool for their recommendations. If you need further assistance, call TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or your health care provider.

Visit Ontario’s website, www.Ontario.ca/coronavirus to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

Posted April 2, 2020


Ontario Government News Release: Ontario Increasing Public Health Units’ Capacity to Stop COVID-19

April 3, 2020

TORONTO — To support public health units’ extensive efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, Ontario is taking further action to redirect existing resources to focus squarely on the fight against this new virus while allowing for public health units to considerably increase their capacity.

Ontario has launched a new user-friendly online portal for the public to easily access their COVID-19 lab test results. By offering faster and secure access to test results on their computer or mobile device, this portal will help ease pressures on public health units and frontline workers to provide this information so that they can better focus on containing COVID-19.

“With this new portal, patients will be able to access their test results faster from the safety of their home,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “It will help reduce the burden on our public health units and frontline health workers, allowing them to focus their efforts where they are needed most during this challenging time.”

Ontario is also issuing a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, effective immediately, to provide public health units the authority and flexibility they need to make staffing decisions that support their ongoing fight against the outbreak of COVID-19, despite any collective agreements. As a result, public health units will be able to significantly expand their capacity to implement critical public health functions, such as case and contact management, through the use of volunteers, including the thousands of retired nurses and medical students who have signed up through the province’s website.

This latest order will support the recommendation made by Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, for all public health units to implement more aggressive contact tracing and management in response to the increase of community transmission. The province’s medical officers of health are also encouraged to use their authority under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act to ensure isolation of cases and contacts of COVID-19.

“We are at a critical juncture in our fight against COVID-19,” said Elliott. “Our success as a province depends on our ability to quickly and effectively stop the spread of this new virus. These actions offer considerable support to our local health units and give them the authority they need to act and contain COVID-19 in our communities.”

QUICK FACTS

  • Patients will be asked to verify their identity with the information on their photo health card. The portal will provide patients with their test results and offer guidance on next steps.
  • On March 30, 2020, Dr. Williams issued a statement to strongly encourage Ontarians to stay home, limit the number of essential trips and adhere to physical distancing.
  • If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care.
  • Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to COVID-19 and protect your health:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
    • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve;
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth;
    • Avoid contact with people who are sick; and
    • Stay home if you are sick.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

If you are a health care professional, learn how to protect yourself and your patients by reading our guidance documents

Posted April 3, 2020


Ontario Government News Release: Ontario Extends Business Closures to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

Posted April 3, 2020

Additional Measures Necessary to Protect the Health and Safety of the People of Ontario

TORONTO — Following the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is reducing the list of businesses classified as essential and ordering more workplaces to close. This measure is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of the people of Ontario, while ensuring that necessary goods and services remain available.

The government is ordering all businesses not covered by the updated Emergency Order to close effective as of Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days, with the possibility of an extension as the situation evolves. Teleworking, online commerce and other innovative ways of working remotely are permitted at all times and are strongly encouraged for all businesses. All supply chains necessary for the production of vital food and healthcare supplies are being protected and remain intact.

The updated essential businesses list can be found here.

“We are facing a critical moment in the fight against COVID-19 and we must do everything in our power to keep everyone safe and healthy and prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed,” said Premier Ford. “Everyone must do their part to stop the spread and flatten the curve. If you are not an essential business, you need to close your doors, work from home if possible and play a role to help contain this outbreak. This is a matter of life and death.”

As a temporary measure the Ontario government has revised the list of essential businesses. The updated list will direct additional businesses to close and restricts specified businesses to providing services by alternate methods such as curb side pick up and delivery, except in exceptional circumstances. This includes stores that sell hardware products, vehicle parts and supplies, pet and animal supplies, office supplies and computer products and repairs and safety supplies.

“We have now reached a critical time in our fight against COVID-19.” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health “Every step taken by the province and every effort made by each of us to avoid close contact with others are the key to our success as a province to stop the spread of this virus.”

Only critical construction projects will continue, including industrial projects such as refineries and petrochemical plants and infrastructure projects such as new hospitals, roads and bridges. New starts in residential projects will stop, while residential construction that is near completion will continue. Business-owners with questions concerning their essential business status are encouraged to call the Stop the Spread hotline at 1-888-444-3659. The hotline is available from 8:30 a.m.― 9:00 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8:30 a.m.— 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

“We recognize the toll this outbreak is taking on business owners and workers,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Ontario businesses are top of mind during this unprecedented time. We know that the only way to ensure the health of our businesses and our economy is to ensure the health of all Ontarians.”

The government is implementing additional measures to protect frontline workers in essential businesses by adding more than 60 special consultants and officers and doubling the number of phone agents at its Health and Safety Call Centre to 50 to make it easier for workers to report safety concerns. Workers worried their workplaces are unsafe can phone 1-877-202-0008 to speak with an agent.

“If you’re a worker on the frontlines of this outbreak, you should know we’re doing everything in our power to keep you safe at work,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “We’re beefing up our inspectors and making it easier for you to report your concerns. We’re working around the clock.”

QUICK FACTS

  • Everyone in Ontario should stay home unless absolutely necessary and practice physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people. Avoid close contact (within 2 metres) with people outside of your immediate families.
  • If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care.

Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health: wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer; sneeze and cough into your sleeve; avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; avoid contact with people who are sick; and stay home if you are sick.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

Posted April 3, 2020


Media Release: Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit

April 3, 2020

Province orders public gatherings to be of 5 or less people

On March 28, 2020 the Provincial Order made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act was amended.  The amendments strengthen the order issued on March 17, 2020 to include the prohibition of “organized public events including parades, events including weddings, social gatherings and communal services within places of worship”. It prohibits gatherings of more than 5 people.

Physically distancing ourselves right now is critical in controlling the spread of COVID-19 and will keep our loved ones healthy. Premier Ford said during his daily press conference on April 1, 2020 “We know a surge is coming (referring to COVID-19).  The hard truth is, right now, today, there is very little separating what we will face here in Ontario from the devastation we’ve seen in Italy and Spain. Thousands of lives are at stake. The actions we take today, what we do as a government and as a people, will determine what we face tomorrow.”

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit recognizes that faith communities provide support during difficult times; however drawing people together either inside or outdoors increases the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Significant religious holidays are quickly approaching and often these are accompanied by practices, ceremonies, rituals, and celebratory gatherings.  The provincial order does include these in the prohibition of organized public events.  Activities such as Easter meals, egg hunts and ceremonies cannot take place; these types of activities encourage social gatherings. Community meals providing food to our vulnerable populations may continue on a takeout and delivery basis provided they have received Health Unit approval.

Getting out for a walk is completely acceptable at this time (as long as you are not under quarantine or self-isolation due to illness or exposure).  Fresh air and exercise will help your body manage stress.  Be sure to keep your distance from others (2m/6ft) and don’t forget to do a tick check. Warmer days are upon us and ticks are active; this may increase the risk of contracting Lyme disease.

For more information, visit the Health Unit website at www.healthunit.org or call 1-800-660-5853 or connect with LGLHealthUnit on Facebook and Twitter.

April 3, 2020


Media Release: Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit

April 3, 2020

Outbreak found in Lanark Lifestyles in Perth, Ontario

The Health Unit is working with Lanark Lifestyles in Perth to manage a COVID-19 outbreak. One staff member has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Infection control measures under the Long Term Care Home Act have been put in place to manage the outbreak and are being monitored by the Health Unit.  Dr. Neel Chadha of Lanark Lifestyles reports no residents and no other staff are ill at this time. The staff member is home under self-isolation and all staff have been instructed to report any symptoms to public health immediately.

“The number of outbreaks in the last week in long-term care homes and retirement homes in the area serves as a reminder that we all need to follow the recommended actions to decrease the risk of spread of COVID-19 in the community, says Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health. “This includes staying at home as much as possible, and staying 6 feet, or two arms lengths away, from others when in public places to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

The best way to get reliable information about COVID-19 is by visiting www.healthunit.org. Please call the Health Unit if you have any questions at 1-800-660-5853 x 2499 from 8:30 to 4:30 every day. You can also get important public health updates by connecting with LGLHealthunit on Facebook and Twitter.

If you have respiratory symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who does, self-isolate at home and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool for their recommendations. If you need further assistance, call TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or your health care provider.

Visit Ontario’s website, www.Ontario.ca/coronavirus to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

Posted April 4, 2020


Media Release: Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit

April 4, 2020

Outbreak declared in Van Horne and Willowdale Retirement Residences in Smiths Falls

The Health Unit is working with both Van Horne and Willowdale Retirement Residences in Smiths Falls to manage a COVID-19 outbreak. One staff member has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Infection control measures under the Long Term Care Home Act have been put in place to manage the outbreak and are being monitored by the Health Unit.  The staff member is home under self-isolation and staff at both sites been instructed to report any symptoms to public health immediately.

The safety and security of our staff and residents in these sites are a primary concern for us as is minimizing the risk of transmission,” says Sharon Ranalli, Vice President of Marketing & Communications for Chartwell Retirement Residences. “We remain vigilant in our efforts to manage this outbreak and thank our staff, residents and family members for their compliance and support of our efforts. We continue to follow heightened COVID-19 infection control and screening protocols and all recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Health Unit.”

“The number of outbreaks in the last week in long-term care homes and retirement homes in the area serves as a reminder that we all need to follow the recommended actions to decrease the risk of spread of COVID-19 in the community;” says Dr. Paula Stewart, Medical Officer of Health, “this incudes staying at home as much as possible keeping a distance of 2m or 6ft away from other people.”

The best way to get reliable information about COVID-19 is by visiting www.healthunit.org. Please call the Health Unit if you have any questions at 1-800-660-5853 x 2499 from 8:30 to 4:30 every day. You can also get important public health updates by connecting with LGLHealthunit on Facebook and Twitter.

If you have respiratory symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who does, self-isolate at home and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool for their recommendations. If you need further assistance, call TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or your health care provider.

Visit Ontario’s website, www.Ontario.ca/coronavirus to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

Posted April 4, 2020