For Municipal Partners

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
Online Bulletin for Municipal Partners

March 27, 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 Prince Edward Public Health received lab confirmation last night, March 26, of a 6th individual testing positive for COVID-19 in our community. The individual contracted the virus through travel, is self-isolating at home and being monitored by health authorities.
  • Canada currently has 4,018 confirmed cases with 39 deaths.

Status of Cases in Ontario (Ministry of Health)

Negative 26,727
Currently under investigation 10,965
Confirmed positive 835
Resolved 8
Deceased 15
Total number of patients approved for COVID-19 testing to date      38,550



Quarantine Act Highlights

  • The Government of Canada is now implementing an Order under the Quarantine Act that legally requires persons entering Canada, whether by air, sea or land, to self-isolate for 14 days in order to limit the introduction and spread of COVID-19.
  • The Government of Canada will use its authority under the Quarantine Act to ensure compliance with the order. Failure to comply with this Order is an offense under the Quarantine Act. Maximum penalties include a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months.
  • Spot checks will be conducted by the Government of Canada to verify compliance.
  • Individuals displaying symptoms of COVID-19 after arriving in Canada may not use public transportation to travel to their place of isolation. They also may not isolate in a place where they will be in contact with vulnerable people, such as seniors and individuals with underlying health conditions.
  • Oversight and enforcement will be done by Peace Officers and the RCMP. This will include randomized contact (emails, texts, drop in visits) with returning travellers to ensure compliance.


Summary of Ontario's March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update and Action Plan for Responding to COVID-19

Ontario's Finance Minister noted that this plan aims to "ensure the necessary resources are in place to protect the health of our people and our economy" in collaboration with its partners and other levels of government. The Action Plan includes:

  • $7 billion for health care and direct support for people and jobs, including $160 million in public health funding to support COVID-19 monitoring, surveillance, and laboratory and home testing as well as for virtual care and Telehealth Ontario.
  • $10 billion for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve cash flow and protect jobs.
  • A $1 billion COVID-19 contingency fund.
  • A $20.5B projected deficit in 2020-21, up from an estimated deficit of $9.2 billion in 2019-20, and a $2.5B reserve.

Listed below is a summary of the breakdown of these planned expenditures and measures.


  • $2.1 billion overall in new measures to support the COVID‑19, $1.2 billion to meet demand for services in the health and long-term care sector and $1.0 billion in a COVID-19 contingency fund for emerging needs.

Specific investments include:

  • $935 million for hospitals including:
    • $594 million to address capacity issues.
    • $341 million for 1,000 acute care and 500 critical care beds and more assessment centres.
  • $160 million in public health funding to support COVID-19 monitoring, surveillance, and laboratory and home testing as well as for virtual care and Telehealth Ontario of which $100M is targeted for public health.
  • $61 million for publicly funded vaccines to support the province's immunization program to maintain high immunization rates and help prevent disease outbreaks.
  • $243 million for surge capacity in long-term care, 24/7 screening, more staffing to support infection control, and supplies and equipment.
  • $70 million for infection control measures in retirement homes, residential facilities (e.g. for children and youth in care, children with complex needs and people with developmental disabilities, retirement homes, youth justice facilities) and emergency shelters.
  • $62 million to provide more health care workers in assessment centres, hospitals and communities, particularly in rural and remote communities.
  • $75 million to supply personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies to front-line staff, including first responders and front-line staff in the justice sector.
  • $80 million for ambulance and paramedic services.
  • $23.8 million to enable more physicians to conduct video, email or phone visits for patients.
  • $20 million in research and innovation funding to develop tools and resources to combat COVID‑19 and related diseases.
  • $35 million to increase access to blood products, support Canadian Blood Services and establish a new plasma site in Sudbury.


  • 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 for additional costs while schools are closed (e.g. the purchase of educational materials).
  • Emergency child care options for those working on the front lines (e.g. health care workers, police officers, fire fighters and correctional officers).


  • $75 million to double the Guaranteed Annual Income System payment for 194,000 low-income seniors for six months.
  • $5 million to support the coordination of subsidized deliveries of meals, medicines and other essentials, by working with local businesses and charities as well as existing health services.


  • Temporarily suspension of loan repayments under the Ontario Student Assistance Program for students between March 30, 2020 and September 30, 2020.
  • $25 million in permanent funding for approximately 180 mental health workers in secondary schools to serve students with mild to moderate mental health issues.

Indigenous Communities:

  • $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.

Employees and Vulnerable Individuals:

  • New legislation passed to protect the jobs of those employees in isolation, quarantine or caring for children.
  • $100M in skills training through Employment Ontario for those effected by COVID-19.
  • Support for apprenticeships to be developed with the federal government.
  • $52 million to expand access to the emergency assistance program through Ontario Works to help with basic needs (e.g. food and rent).
  • $9 million in direct support to families for their energy bills by expanding eligibility for the Low-income Energy Assistance Program and ensuring electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected for nonpayment during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • $200 million in new funding to provide temporary emergency supports for people in financial need as well as funding to municipalities and other service providers so they can quickly respond to local needs.


  • $355 million tax reduction for 57,000 employers through a proposed temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption.
  • Five months of interest and penalty relief for businesses to file and make payments on provincially administered taxes.
  • $1.9 billion in savings from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board by allowing employers to defer payments for up to six months.

Electricity Relief:

  • $9M in direct support to families by expanding eligibility for the Low‑income Energy Assistance Program and by ensuring that electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected for nonpayment.
  • $5.6 billion for electricity cost relief programs in 2020-21, including setting electricity prices for residential, farm and small business at the lowest rate, off-peak price, 24 hours a day for 45 days for those paying time of use.


  • Over $1.8 billion by deferring the June 30 quarterly municipal remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days, so that municipalities can provide property tax deferrals to residents and businesses, while ensuring school boards continue to receive their funding.
  • $148 million directly to Consolidated Municipal Service Managers and District Social Service Administration Boards to enhance funding for charitable and non-profit social services organizations (e.g. for example food banks, homeless shelters, churches and emergency services).
  • Postponement of the planned property tax reassessment for 2021.
  • A new Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit to support regions lagging in employment growth.


  • Yesterday, March 26, Hastings County, Quinte West and Prince Edward County declared a state of emergency in response to the confirmation of the presence COVID-19 on these communities. Community leaders hope this will reinforce the gravity of the current situation to residents and access as many resources as are available to help combat the spread of COVID-19.
  • The United Way and Volunteer and Information Quinte are conducting a community assessment to identify local needs with regards to COVID-19 response and formulate a strategy for how to best support local agencies, communities and vulnerable populations.
  • Quinte Waste Solutions reminds residents that they will not collect recycling containing tissues, sanitary wipes or medical waste.

Public Health

  • The HPEPH COVID-19 website pages have experience a surge of traffic, with more than 2000 views per day. This signals that our community is seeking and receiving accurate, current information and recommendations to inform their actions and help fight the spread of COVID-19. 
  • HPEPH staff answered 1,904 calls on the COVID-19 information line in the week of March 16. Call numbers this week have been similar. The busiest one-day call volume occurred on Sunday March 16, when 494 people phoned to ask questions, access advice, and conduct CVOID-19 risk assessments.

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