Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
Online Bulletin for Municipal Partners
May 11, 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 have 42 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 (one case was transferred to a separate public health jurisdiction due to their primary area of residence) and 185 probable cases, with 24 lab-confirmed cases having recovered and 5 deceased.
- Approximately 4,336 COVID-19 tests have been conducted, with a 1% positivity rate.
- Facilities experiencing COVID-19 outbreak can be found online.
- More details are available on our website hpePublicHealth.ca.
- In Canada, there are 69,156 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 resulting in 4,906 deaths. To date, over 1,119,026 individuals have been tested.
Summary of cases of COVID-19: Ontario, January 15, 2020 to May 10, 2020
| ||Number ||Percentage |
|Number of cases ||20,546 ||N/A |
|Change from previous report (Sunday) ||308 ||1.5 increase |
|Resolved ||15,131 ||73.6 |
|Deceased ||1,669 ||8.1 |
|Demographics || || |
|Male ||8,615 ||41.9 |
|Female ||11,768 ||57.3 |
|19 and under ||538 ||2.6 |
|20-39 ||4,857 ||23.6 |
|40-59 ||6,287 ||30.6 |
|60-79 ||4,411 ||21.5 |
|80 and over ||4,439 ||21.6 |
|Testing || || |
|Total tests completed ||447,964 ||N/A |
|Total tests completed in the previous day ||13,970 ||N/A |
|Currently under investigation ||9,018 ||N/A |
|Hospitalizations || || |
|Number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 ||1027 ||N/A |
|Number of patients in ICU with COVID-19 ||194 ||N/A |
|Number of patients in ICU on a ventilator with COVID-19 ||147 ||N/A |
Note: 163 cases did not specify male or female. 14 cases had an unknown age.
- There are 20,546 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario reported to date. 41.9% of cases are male, 57.3% are female.
- 43.1% of cases are 60 years of age and older.
- Greater Toronto Area public health units account for 61.8% of cases.
- 12.5% of cases were hospitalized.
- 1,669 deaths have been reported (please note there may be a reporting delay for deaths).
- 245 outbreaks have been reported in long-term care homes.
Extending Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
- Prime Minister Trudeau announced Friday that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWB) will be extended beyond June with more details to come next week. The extension of CEWB comes after Statistics Canada revealed that almost two million people lost their jobs in April due to COVID-19. The Prime Minister encouraged businesses to apply for CEWB and "help keep your employees on the payroll".
- CEWB is the first federal aid program during COVID-19 pandemic to receive an extension. When asked about other benefit extensions, Prime Minister Trudeau said that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) was already planned to last longer than the wage subsidy. Ideally, the CEWB will encourage more employers to re-hire staff and enable Canadians to transition away from receiving the CERB.
Industry Strategy Council, Vulnerable Workers and Gender Gap
- Prime Minister Trudeau indicated that relief measures for seniors and other sectors (e.g. tourism, energy and aviation) is coming. He acknowledged that some sectors of the economy have been disproportionately affected and said that Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Bains will head an Industry Strategy Council that will "take deeper dive into how the pandemic is hurting specific sectors."
- In addition, the Statistics Canada report revealed that vulnerable workers who tend to have part-time or temporary work, or in low-paying jobs have been particularly impacted with heavy job losses amid COVID-19. Moreover, women have also seen larger job losses in March and April. When asked by the media about how the federal government will help disproportionately affected populations such as vulnerable workers, women and young people - Trudeau said that the pandemic has highlighted long standing inequities that need to be addressed.
Federal Benefit Programs
- In Prime Minster Trudeau's Saturday update, he emphasized the various ways the federal government is supporting employers so they can stay in business and keep their employees on the payroll during this crisis.
- He noted that through the Canadian Emergency Business Account more than 500,000 small businesses have been supported with a loan. Both small and larger companies have applied for the wage subsidy such that this program is now supporting some two million employees.
- He also referenced the funding Canada is providing to support global efforts to collaborate on research, testing and the development of treatments and a vaccine.
Impact of COVID-19 on Small Businesses in Canada
- As a result of COVID-19, the Canadian economy changed dramatically in March 2020. The situation has had a profound impact on the ability of businesses in Canada to operate. In order to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on businesses, employers and employees, communities and our economy, Statistics Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce collaborated to launch the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions.
- While the majority of businesses in Canada have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears that small businesses have been hit particularly hard by this crisis.
- 32% of businesses with 500 or more employees reported declines in revenue of 20% or more. This figure almost doubles for smaller businesses, where nearly 60% of those with 1 to 4 employees and nearly 56% of those with 5 to19 employees reported declines in revenue 20% or more.
The Impact of Reopening the Economy on Seniors
- The Prime Minister expressed his concern about loosening restrictions too soon, especially in areas where there have been outbreaks in long-term care and indicated that he's "very worried", for example about residents of Montreal.
- In speaking about the toll that COVID-19 has had on older persons, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Tam, referred it to as "a national tragedy." Her Deputy Chief, Dr. Njoo said, "I'm afraid of more people dying and more outbreaks if restrictions are lifted too soon. While long-term care residents account for only one in five cases, they represent more than 80% of deaths caused by the virus across Canada."
Reopening the Economy
- This past weekend, garden centres, plant nurseries, hardware and safety supply stores opened up for in-store payment and purchases.
- Effective last night at 12:01am, non-essential retail businesses with a street entrance that can offer curbside pickup and delivery are able to resume operation.
- The Premier reminded Ontarians that the Ontario government continues to prepare for the next phase of its Framework for Reopening our Province, which is centred around 3 phases: to protect and support, to restart, and to recover.
- The Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee is working based on the Framework, as well as core public health criteria necessary to move towards reopening. Minister Phillips said he's "confident we'll soon be in a position to take another significant step."
- As things start to open up, Dr. Williams, the Chief Medical Officer of Health emphasized that the messaging continues to be, if you need to go out, "spread out and keep COVID out [of your home and of your life]".
- Businesses working to retool their operations to produce health-related products, or those struggling to operate in this new environment of physical distancing, are reminded they can submit potential roadblocks though the COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers website.
Commercial Rent Assistance
- The government plans to unveil more details soon about the launch of the new Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA), that will open up next week. This program incorporates contributions from the federal government to subsidise rent by 75 percent to commercial landlords who would then only collect 25 percent of the rent from their tenants.
- When faced with questions about a freeze on commercial evictions in the cases where landlords don't want to apply for the program, the government is taking a wait-and-see approach to give the program a chance to get up and running and have a chance to start working.
Employment and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- On Friday, Statistics Canada released its monthly job numbers, which showed a 689,200 decrease in jobs in Ontario. With a decrease of around 400,000 jobs last month, over a million job losses emphasize how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Ontario's economy.
- With the death of another staff working in a long-term care (LTC) home (bringing the total to 4 deaths), the Premier and Minister Elliott faced many questions about the ability of employees in LTC settings to access N95 masks. The government continues to work with organizations around the flow of PPE particularly as N95 masks are in limited supply.
- The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing $2.25 million in provincially licensed meat processing plants to better protect employees and ensure the continued supply of healthy products for consumers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Sports and Recreation
- Questions were posed by the media today around the opening of practise facilities for professional athletes, and the Premier cautioned that the same physical distancing rules would apply to sports teams.
- With regards to recreational sports programs, the Premier is heeding the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and reopening will depend on safety. However, the Premier is looking to raise the issue of golf and tennis for starters.
- Premiers across different provinces (notably Ontario and Quebec) are urging that people stay within their provinces and are also urging for the Canada-US border to remain closed at this time.
Looking at the Data
- Ontario's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Williams, noted that Ontario's cases were higher today than they have been in the past week; he explained that variations are expected and it is the overall downward trend that continues to matter most.
- Increases in testing could also result in more cases being reported depending on the percent positivity, which was 3.5% for May 7, a change of -0.6% from the previous day. Today's report had the lowest positivity rate compared to the number of tests conducted.
- The transmission rate for the overall province is 0.9 percent (with variations in some areas as high as 1.3% and some as low as 0.8%), signalling that the we are staying steady and the province appears to be in a "slow plateau". Dr. Williams noted that the case numbers aren't coming down as quickly as he'd like to see, but they are moving "in the right direction".
- The province is continuing to focus on testing in LTC and has a goal of reaching 50% by the end of this week.
- The process of obtaining race-based data is still under review for approval, and would be done on a voluntary basis.
Opening Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves
- On Saturday, May 9, Premier Ford and Environment, Conservation and Parks Minister Yurek announced the opening of provincial parks and conservation reserves for limited use. This means that:
- 520 provincial parks and conservation reserves will be open for day use starting today (Monday) and another 115 parks and reserves will open on May 15.
- Visitors will be welcome to walk, hike, bike and birdwatch but not camp overnight; park amenities will remain closed.
- Access will be free for the rest of the month.
- While the Premier encouraged Ontarians to go out and enjoy the outdoors, he expects everyone to do so responsibility, practising physical distancing and other measures to stop the spread of this virus.
Protecting Child Care for Parents When They Return to Work
- Education Minister Lecce announced a plan to protect licensed child care to ensure parents retain access to local licensed child care, EarlyON Child and Family Centres when they are able to return to work.
- In recognition that child care centres are not able to charge parents, the plan includes:
- Support for fixed operating costs for eligible child care and EarlyON Centres, with funding delivered through municipalities.
- A requirement that all child care centres maximize all available government support (e.g. wage and rental subsidies).
- The waiving of all child care licensing applications, renewals and revision fees to save costs and reduce the administrative requirements.
- Protecting funding for licensed home child care agencies and providers who have remained active during the emergency closure.
- The Education Minister is also expected to comment this week about what the province plans for the remainder of this school year.
School Board Employees to Be Voluntarily Redeployed to Congregate Care Settings
- The Ontario government has approved an emergency order that would enable school board employees to be voluntarily redeployed to work in congregate care settings (e.g. hospitals, long-term care homes, retirement homes and women's shelters) during the COVID-19 pandemic. This order would help address the needs of congregate care settings who are short staffed in areas such as custodial and maintenance workers.
- Those who agree to be voluntarily redeployed would maintain their employment relationship with the school board continue to receive their compensation and other employment benefits and also be eligible for the provincial government's pandemic pay and emergency child care.
School Boards Encouraged to Celebrate Student Achievement When It Is Safe
- This morning, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued a statement encouraging school boards to proceed with celebrations of student achievement subject to health and safety limitations during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Minister Lecce said "I firmly believe Ontario students deserve this positive conclusion to their academic journey, even if ceremonies are delayed. Despite this uncertainty, I am encouraging boards to reschedule these events based on input from local medical officers of health. In some cases, this might mean facilitating graduation ceremonies and proms during the summer or fall when it is safe to do so."
The City of Quinte West is reminding residents that sterilization of facial masks through a 2-3 minute cycle in the microwave should be avoided, as it can lead to serious injury. Please do no attempt this. Recently, some social media outlets have been recommending the sterilization of facial masks through a 2-3 minute cycle in the microwave. DO NOT DO THIS.
The City of Quinte West has closed the new waterfront trail extension for maintenance. The Trail will be closed from May 11-22, 2020, to allow for the completion of the project. Please stay off the trail during this time.
The Belleville City Council meeting will be held today at 2:15 p.m. It is Council’s second electronic meeting and is closed to the public and media.
Youth Belleville is encouraging students in Grades 10 and 11 to apply for a student trustee position. The deadline to apply is May 25. Visit http://hpedsb.on.ca/2020/apply-to-become-a-student-trustee/ to learn more.
- A free community mental health program sponsored by Quinte Health Care is offering 24-hour telephone counselling by calling 613-969-7400 or 1-888-757-7766 ext. 2753. Assistance is available to any adult (16 years and older) experiencing a psychological, emotional or situational crisis requiring immediate, short-term assistance.
- Prince Edward Learning Centre’s Good Learning Anywhere has a series of distance technology skills courses this May and June. For details or for registration assistance, call Contact North/Contact Nord's hotline at 1-877-999-9149 or e-mail email@example.com.
- The Town of Bancroft will be working with Farmers' Markets Ontario and Open Food Network to offer a 2020 Virtual Farmers' Market. To find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 613-332-3331 for details on how to join a vendor information session on May 13 at 1:00 pm or May 14 at 10:00 am.
- HPEPH will be closed Monday, May 18 (Victoria Day) for all services, including well water testing and COVID-19 telephone lines.
- This week, well water test bottles will be accepted until Thursday, May 14 at 4 pm at the Belleville office and Tuesday and Thursday between 8:30 am and noon at the Bancroft office. Regular service resumes on Tuesday, May 19.
- HPEPH staff will remain available 24/7 for urgent issues throughout the Victoria Day long weekend.
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