Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
Online Bulletin for Municipal Partners
August 4, 2020
To ensure everyone has current information during this quickly evolving outbreak, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health will be providing regular COVID-19 updates over the next several weeks.
For more information please review our website or call 613-966-5500.
- Hastings and Prince Edward Counties is reporting 44 cumulative lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 38 having recovered and 5 deceased. Over 17,575 tests have been completed to date.
- There are no local facilities experiencing COVID-19 outbreak; additional outbreak details can be found online.
- More information is available on our website hpePublicHealth.ca.
- In Canada, there are 117,031 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 resulting in 8,947 deaths. To date, over 4,178,195 individuals have been tested.
Summary of cases of COVID-19: Ontario, January 15, 2020 to August 3, 2020
Number of Cases
Change from yesterday’s report (new cases)
Change from previous report
Total number of deaths
Total tests completed
Total test completed in the previous day
Currently under investigation
Government of Canada Invests in Measures to Boost Protections for Temporary Foreign Workers and Address COVID-19 Outbreaks on Farms
- The Government of Canada is taking additional action to reduce the incidence and impact of COVID-19 outbreaks on farms. With an investment of $58.6M, the Government is strengthening the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program and making further investments to safeguard the health and safety of Canadian and TFW from COVID-19 by:
- Investing $7.4M to increase supports to TFW, including $6.0M for direct outreach to workers delivered through migrant worker support organizations;
- Strengthening the employer inspections regime, particularly on farms, and making improvements to how tips and allegations of employer non-compliance are addressed (such as by initiating an inspection) through an investment of $16.2M; and
- Investing $35M to improve health and safety on farms and in employee living quarters to prevent and respond to the spread of COVID-19. This will go toward direct infrastructure improvements to living quarters, temporary or emergency housing (on- or off-farm), as well as PPE, sanitary stations, and any other health and safety measures. Non-repayable contributions will be cost-shared 50:50 with the applicants.
Transfer of CERB Recipients to Employment Insurance
- The federal government is getting ready to transfer the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) recipients to Employment Insurance (EI). The federal government plans to move out-of-work Canadians into the employment insurance system when a key emergency benefit runs out in the fall, and provide an EI-like support for millions who can't qualify under existing rules.
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the goal is to move everyone receiving CERB to employment insurance, and cover anyone looking for work "with a better, 21st-century EI system". More details will be shared in the coming weeks.
- The government's most recent CERB figures show $62.75B in benefits to 8.46 million people. About half of those recipients have gone to EI-eligible workers.
Government Announces New Extension of Rent Relief for Small Businesses
- The Government of Canada is taking strong, immediate and effective action to protect Canadians and businesses from the impacts of the global pandemic through its COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.
- Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, announced that the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) will be extended by one month to help eligible small business pay rent for August. All provinces and territories continue to participate in this initiative, and collaborate with the federal government to provide rent supports to those small businesses most in need.
Passport Services in Canada Resuming by Mail and by Appointment for Travel in Less than 30 Days
- The Government of Canada has started the gradual resumption of some passport services in Canada.
- Canadians can now apply for a passport by mail. If Canadians have an immediate need for a passport or are travelling in less than 30 days with proof of travel, they can request in-person appointments. Applicants can visit Canada.ca/passport to learn more and find out how to apply.
- If Canadians do not have travel plans, they are asked that they wait before applying for a passport. Processing times are expected to be longer than normal due to high demand and measures to safeguard the health and safety of our employees and Canadians.
- As Service Canada Centres begin to gradually and safely reopen, passport services will be limited to appointment only.
Windsor-Essex Remains in Stage 2
- In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the local medical officer of health, other health experts, and local authorities, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit will remain in Stage 2 as the province continues to monitor local transmission of COVID-19 and support efforts to contain its spread.
- Ontario is also implementing a three-point plan to support Windsor-Essex County Health Unit in reducing the risk of transmission on farms and throughout the community. This plan includes ongoing and expanded on-site testing, access to employment benefits and supports, and public health guidance specific to the agri-food setting. Local public health officials are assisting with the implementation of plans to ensure essential workers in the sector are able to return to work safely.
Toronto and Peel Region Moved to Stage 3
- Additional businesses and public spaces reopened as the provincial government allowed the City of Toronto and Peel Region to move into Stage 3 of reopening the province on Friday, July 31 at 12:01 a.m.
- This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local medical officers of health. It is based on positive local trends of key public health indicators, including lower transmission of COVID-19, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity to conduct rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing.
COVID Alert Available for Download
- As Ontarians continue to do their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Ontario is encouraging everyone to download the new COVID Alert app on their smart phone from the Apple and Google Play app stores. This app lets users know if they may have been exposed to the virus. It is free, easy and safe to use. The more people who download the app, the more effective it will be in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Support for Small Business Tenants and Landlords Extended
- The Government of Ontario, in partnership with the federal government, extended the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses by one month to help eligible small business pay rent for August. To find out how much rent support you may be eligible for, visit Ontario.ca/rentassistance.
Ontario Implementing Additional Measures at Bars and Restaurants to Help Limit the Spread of COVID-19
- The Government of Ontario, in consultation with the Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, has amended orders O. Reg 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 and O. Reg. 263/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 2, under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, implementing additional measures for restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments, as the province carefully and gradually reopens.
- These additional measures will help reduce close contact between individuals in these settings, and support case and contact tracing, thereby limiting the spread of COVID-19.
- In order to keep patrons of restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments safe, the amended orders will implement the following measures:
- All patrons will be required to be seated at all times, in both indoor and outdoor areas, with limited exceptions; and
- Bars and restaurants (and also tour boat operators) in Ontario will be required to keep client logs for a period of 30 days and to disclose the client logs to the medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request, which will support case and contact tracing.
Work with Government on a Stage 3 Reopening Plan
- Nearly all businesses and public spaces have been allowed to reopen as many regions have entered Stage 3, with public health and workplace safety restrictions in place, while some high-risk venues and activities will remain closed until they can safely resume operations.
- For businesses and sectors that are either not able to reopen in Stage 3 or who are experiencing significant challenges opening with restrictions in Stage 3, the provincial government has committed to working with them.
- The Government of Ontario has a web page where anyone seeking exemptions or falling outside the regulation can submit their reopening plans for approval via the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Ontario Encourages All Residents to Take the Ontario Parks 30x30 Challenge
- If you are looking for great reason to get outside, you can take up the annual Ontario Parks 30x30 Challenge. It is part of provincial government's Healthy Parks Healthy People initiative and runs for the month of August. To meet the 30x30 Challenge, participants must spend 30 minutes outside in nature each day for 30 days.
- The 30x30 challenge can be a fun way to kickstart healthy new habits or renew old ones and take advantage of the life-long benefits. Spending time in nature can have a profound impact on our health and well-being, improve our overall mood, boost our immune system and reduce stress.
Ontario Safely and Gradually Reopens DriveTest Centres
- People will be able to access more drive testing services as the provincial government moves DriveTest centres into the second phase of its reopening plan. Beginning on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 road testing for class G2 and all motorcycle licences will resume and the number of locations offering commercial driver road tests will expand.
Ontario Building A Safer and Stronger Long-Term Care System
- Ontario has released two reports and announced new initiatives that further deliver on recommendations made by the Honourable Eileen E. Gillese, Commissioner of the Long-Term Care Homes Public Inquiry, that will make long-term care safer and stronger, now and in the future.
- The "Report Back on the Gillese Inquiry" provides an update on accomplishments in four key areas recommended by Justice Gillese: increasing awareness, prevention, deterrence and detection of intentional harm in long-term care homes. The Gillese Inquiry provided a thorough analysis and recommendations for making the long-term care system safer, and to date, 80 per cent of the recommendations are complete or underway.
- The province is investing in a $10M annual training fund to help frontline care staff acquire new skills, including the flexibility and resiliency needed to adapt to changing practices.
- Delivering on Justice Gillese's recommendations, Ontario has entered into a three-year, $1.8M partnership with the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada to help long-term care homes strengthen medication safety practices. Ontario also plans to launch a Medication Safety Technology program next spring to help homes adopt new technologies to strengthen medication dispensing safety and consistency.
Ontario Launches Independent Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission
- The provincial government launched an independent commission into COVID-19 and long-term care.
- Three commissioners will investigate how COVID-19 spread within long-term care homes, how residents, staff, and families were impacted, and the adequacy of measures taken by the province and other parties to prevent, isolate and contain the virus.
- The commission will also provide the government with guidance on how to better protect long-term care home residents and staff from any future outbreaks.
- This independent commission has the power to conduct an investigation, including compelling persons to give or produce evidence, issuing summons, and holding public meetings.
- The commission's findings are delivered within the timeframes set out by the Minister of Long-Term Care in the Terms of Reference, allowing investigations to be completed in months, rather than years. The commissioners are expected to deliver their final report by April 2021.
Ontario Continues to Gradually and Safely Reopen Child Care for Working Parents
- The Government of Ontario announced its plan to allow licensed child care centres across Ontario to open at full capacity starting September 1, 2020. This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the COVID-19 Command Table. As a result, parents will be able to return to work knowing their children are in a safe and supportive care setting.
- EarlyON Child and Family Centres will also be permitted to reopen with in-person programming along with before- and after-school programs for school aged children which will be permitted to operate with standard ratios and maximum group size requirements. All of these programs will be subject to health and safety protocols in order to keep kids safe.
- The enhanced health and safety procedures that were put in place as part of the re-opening plan will remain in place, and in some instances strengthened, to protect children, staff and families, including:
- Requiring all child care staff to wear masks at all times, effective September 1;
- Ensuring frequent cleaning of child care centres;
- Screening of children and staff before entering a childcare facility;
- Maintaining attendance records for rigorous contact tracing and coordination with local public health authorities;
- Ensuring frequent hand washing and proper hand hygiene for children and staff; and
- Establishing clear and rigid case management protocols in the event a staff member or child becomes ill, or tests positive for COVID-19.
Ontario Releases Plan for Safe Reopening of Schools in September
- The Government of Ontario has announced the safe reopening of schools for in-class instruction beginning this September.
- The government has unveiled a plan that prioritizes the health and safety of students and staff, and provides school boards with unprecedented resources and flexibility, while accommodating regional differences in trends of key public health indicators. This plan was developed in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the COVID-19 Command Table and paediatric experts.
- Elementary schools (Kindergarten to Grade 8) will reopen provincewide, with in-class instruction five days a week. Secondary schools with lower risk will reopen with a normal daily schedule, five days a week, while most secondary schools will start the school year in an adapted model of part-time attendance with class cohorts of up to 15 students alternating between attending in-person and online. Students from Grade 4-12 and school staff will be required to wear masks.
- Parents will continue to have the option to enroll their children in remote delivery, which respects their fundamental role in making the final determination of whether they feel safe with their children returning to school.
- Belleville Public Library will re-open to the public starting on Monday, August 10. There will be strict limits to the number of customers allowed into the building at one time, and face coverings will be mandatory for anyone entering the building. Customers who wish to continue picking up their hold requests at curbside are asked to contact the library to arrange a pickup time.
- Belleville Transit is reminding all residents who can wear a mask to do so while using public transit and any time physical distancing is a challenge.
- Quinte Sports & Wellness Centre has added an additional time for Stretching in the Park in August! Register today for the 11:00 am time slot online or by phone (Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm) at 613-966-4632.
- The City of Quinte West has announced that children will have more places to play as the City plans to reopen all of its playgrounds over the next two weeks. For a full schedule of park reopenings, visit their website.
- The City of Quinte West is reminding residents they may see an increase in unfamiliar license plates in the area. Posting season is happening at the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton. As a result, many military families across the country will soon be calling Quinte West home.
- Hastings County is accepting applications from landlords for the Ontario Renovates Program to access funding to renovate multi-residential rental properties into becoming affordable housing. Qualifying Landlords will be required to complete an application process and meet the requirements of the Ontario Renovates Component as well as demonstrate that rent levels are at or below CMHC Average Market Rents (AMR) for the County of Hastings. Applicants must also identify client group to be supported, i.e. seniors, low to moderate income families. For full details please visit their website.
- The Township of Carlow/Mayo is reminding residents that it does not have a fire department. However, there is a Municipal Forest Fire Management Agreement with the Ministry of Natural Resources to extinguish grass, brush and forest fires. If you have or see a fire, please call 9-1-1 for the appropriate authorities to be notified.
- Loyalist College, in partnership with North American Business College, has established campuses overseas that will allow first-year international students to start the in-person requirements of Biotechnology, Chemical Engineering, or Environmental Technician/Technology programs. This move will help prepare students to understand and experience course content so that they can seamlessly integrate into their in-person classes in Canada when it is safe to do so.
- Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board and Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board are reminding parents and guardians that registration is still open for all students, Kindergarten to Grade 12. Families should register as soon as possible so they can best prepare the schools for the Fall. For more details, please visit their respective websites.
- Ontario Public Health Laboratory tests have confirmed a new case of COVID-19 in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, the first positive case in HPEC since May 18. A resident of Quinte West has tested positive for the virus after returning from travel. The individual is in self-isolation at home and all close contacts have been identified and assessed. Visit our media release for more details.
- HPEPH is reminding residents that COVID-19 testing is available. Individuals who are concerned that they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms should contact their health care provider, TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000, or their local COVID-19 Assessment Centre. Individuals who are concerned about accessing an assessment centre or who have questions about COVID-19 are encouraged to call the HPEPH COVID-19 information line at 613-966-5500 / 1-800-267-2803. Visit our Getting Tested web page for more information.
- HPEPH and KFL&A Public Health are working together with local school boards to provide a safe and welcoming learning environment for students and staff this September. Visit our media release for more information.
- Food Recall: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a food recall warning for red, yellow, white, and sweet yellow onions grown by Thomson International Inc. and imported from the USA recalled due to Salmonella.
- As recommended by federal public health agencies, HPEPH would like to remind residents to not eat, use, sell or serve any red, white, yellow, and sweet yellow onions from Thomson International Inc., Bakersfield, California, USA, or any products made with these onions. For more information, please visit Public Health Agency of Canada's web page.
- HPEPH continues to remind local businesses and tourist establishments to make visitors aware of the HPEPH Digital Guestbook, as part of regular registration, welcome, or payment procedures, to help improve infection control efforts. The Guestbook can be accessed at hpePublicHealth.ca/guestbook
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