COVID-19 UPDATE FOR MAY 29, 2020
Below you will find today’s updates on the COVID-19 situation.
My team and I are monitoring the situation closely and sharing resources and information here in our daily newsletter, on our COVID-19 Information Hub, on Facebook, and on Twitter.
Our goal is to help you have the latest facts at your fingertips during this challenging time.
- Ottawa Public Health FAQ on seniors homes
- Transit riders need to wear a mask starting June 15
- Keeping people in the loop about physical distancing – literally
- New COVID-19 testing strategy for Ontario
- Premier Ford considering regional approach to reopening economy
- Feds looking into reuniting families separated by US border closure
- Support for Indigenous communities
- REMINDER: Hotline for Ontario businesses
- Your feedback wanted: pawnshops
- LRT Public Notice
Ottawa Public Health FAQ on seniors homes
- Do you have questions about COVID-19 in long term care and retirement homes?
- Ottawa Public Health has a new FAQ section providing information on outbreaks and testing in long term care and retirement residences.
- Click here for more information.
Transit riders will need to wear a mask starting June 15
- OC Transpo has released its COVID-19 Transit Service Recovery Plan.
- Starting June 15, masks will be required for anyone on buses, trains, Para Transpo minibuses and contracted taxis as well as anyone in a transit station. This applies to staff and customers.
- Front door boarding on buses will resume; barrier shields will be in place for operator cabs.
- OC Transpo management will present the plan to a special meeting of the transit commission Monday, and the strategy goes to full council for approval on June. 11.
Keeping people in the loop about physical distancing – literally
- You may have seen pictures of physical-distancing circles in parks in New York, San Francisco and Toronto.
- Now, they are in Ottawa – at Mooney’s Bay.
- The circles help people keep a safe two-metre distance from other park-goers.
- You simply enter an unoccupied circle, lay out your blanket or pop-up your lawn chair, and catch some rays or a nice breeze coming off the Rideau River.
- City news release here
New COVID-19 testing strategy for Ontario
- Ontario public health officials released a new testing strategy today.
- The strategy says that anyone who is concerned they may have COVID-19 should not to be refused a test.
- There will be "targeted campaigns" aimed at testing employees in key sectors including the agri-food, auto, and retail industries. Officials are working with employers to put those campaigns in motion.
- Ontario will also establish mobile testing units — buses or vans equipped with supplies and staffed by health-care workers — that could be used to test those living in particularly hard-hit communities.
- Government news release
Premier Ford considering regional approach to reopening economy
- Premier Ford said today he's now considering a regional, phased approach to reopening the province.
- "It's an option that we are looking at. I know other jurisdictions have done this. I want to know how this has gone in other areas, what lessons we can learn."
- The Premier said that the province's expanded testing guidelines (see article above) will help public health officials better understand trends and hot spots.
- "Now that our testing is getting to where we need it, I am now comfortable with asking our officials to look at a regional approach for a staged reopening."
Feds looking into reuniting families separated by US border closure
- The Canada-U.S. border is closed to non-essential travel until at least June 21 – meaning no recreational visits. It is only open to commercial traffic and essential workers who cross for work.
- Stories have come out about families stuck on opposite sides of the border, including expectant parents.
- Prime Minister Trudeau said today the government is looking into possible tweaks to the current border restrictions to allow immediate families to reunite.
- Premier Ford said today he is in support of this.
- "We have been looking at ways at perhaps allowing close family members — children, spouses or parents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents — to be able to reunite under strict conditions through a slight modification of the directives for the Canadian Border Services Agency," Prime Minister Trudeau said today.
- More to come.
Support for Indigenous communities
- The Federal government has announced $600 million for Indigenous communities.
- The support announced today will be split between three different programs:
- $285.1 million to support the ongoing public health response to COVID-19 in Indigenous communities.
- $270 million to supplement the On-Reserve Income Assistance Program to address increased demand on the program.
- $44.8 million over five years to build 12 new shelter to help protect and support Indigenous women and girls experiencing and fleeing violence.
- Government news release
REMINDER: Hotline for Ontario businesses
- Ontario businesses with questions about how COVID-19 emergency measures impact them can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
- Help is available Monday-Sunday, from 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
- More information here
Your feedback wanted: pawnshops
- Have you ever used a pawn shop or shopped at a second-hand goods store? Tell us about that by completing this survey here.
- Your input will help improve Ottawa’s regulation of these businesses.
- The City of Ottawa is conducting a review of its licensing regime and regulations of pawnshops and second-hand goods shops.
LRT Public Notice