October 13, 2020, Premier Doug Ford and Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, Prabmeet Sarkaria, outlined measures that have been introduced by the province to support restaurants and other small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures include the $300 million announced last week to help local restaurants and small businesses offset fixed costs, as well as the government’s Main Street Recovery Plan.
Earlier today, the Ontario government and the Government of Canada jointly announced an investment of $26.6 million to help farmers better protect the health and safety of agri-food workers in the province and reduce the spread of COVID-19 on farms.
Also this morning, the Ministry of Long-Term Care issued a Mandatory Management Order at Simcoe Manor Home for the Aged to help contain an outbreak of COVID-19 at the facility. Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre will manage the facility for 90 days from October 9th, the date that the Order was issued.
On Friday afternoon, Ontario also set out increased precautions for congregate care settings in areas with high rates of community spread of COVID-19.
Investment to Increase Health and Safety Measures for Farms and Form Workers
Earlier today, the Ontario government and the Government of Canada jointly announced an investment of $26.6 million to help farmers better protect the health and safety of agri-food workers in Ontario.
As a result of a new agreement between Ontario and the federal government, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will invest an additional $11.6 million to support Ontario producers in stopping the on-farm spread of COVID-19. Eligible expenses will include building physical barriers for worker separation, upgrading HVAC systems, and enhancing hand-washing facilities.
The federal funding announced will be delivered by Ontario, in addition to the Ontario government’s pre-existing commitment of up to $15 million to support COVID-19-related workplace safety enhancements in the agriculture sector. All funding will be delivered through the Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program.
Increased COVID-19 Precautions for Congregate Care Settings
On Friday afternoon, Ontario also set out increased precautions for congregate care settings in areas of the province with high rates of community spread of COVID-19. Affected settings include homes serving adults with developmental disabilities, shelters for survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking, children’s residential settings, youth justice facilities and Indigenous Healing and Wellness Strategy residential programs.
Residential care settings located in communities where there is a high risk of COVID-19 transmission will be contacted by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services regarding the implementation of further public health precautions, including:
- Enhanced infection prevention and control protocols including screening;
- Enhanced visitor and home visit restrictions;
- Increased restrictions to client participation in community day programs.
Where possible, essential visits that are necessary to maintain the health, wellness and safety of a resident will be permitted to continue unless the local public health unit directs otherwise as part of outbreak management.
A list of regions in which congregate care settings have been asked to follow additional and/or enhanced precautions is posted on the Ministry’s website.