Trudeau Wants Ontario Businesses to Pay For Sick Pay – Full COVID-19 Update

Trudeau Wants Ontario Businesses to Pay For Sick Pay – Full COVID-19 Update

Some health providers and the union leaders are denouncing the Ford government’s proposal to provide paid sick days for workers by enhancing the federal sick-leave benefit. The provincial government is offering to double the federal benefit for essential workers who contract COVID-19, if Ottawa can administer the program. Prime Minister Trudeau says Ottawa is in talks with Ontario, but stresses that such leave should be delivered directly through employers. CUPE Ontario and health-care providers including an emergency room physician say the province is just doubling down on a flawed federal program that is inaccessible. With the financial assistance Premier Ford is offering, the province would top up the federal sick leave pay to nearly $1,000 a week for 4-weeks.

A Quebec Woman Has Died From A Blood Clot After Receiving AstraZeneca:

A Quebec woman in her 50’s has died of a blood clot that occurred after she received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The province’s public health director says officials always knew that rare complications were possible with vaccines. Dr. Horacio Arruda says the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine still far outweigh the risks. Arruda notes there have been four reports of complications out of 400,000 people who have received the vaccines. He says Quebec will continue to offer the vaccine to residents between the ages of 45 and 79.

More Childcare Workers are Eligible for Shots:

Some child-care workers will be able to book COVID-19 vaccines this week. The province says appointments will be open to those working in licensed child-care settings. It says workers in unlicensed settings will be able to book a shot in the coming weeks. The government has also expanded vaccine eligibility in hot spot areas to anyone 45 or older.

Military Help Will Ramp Up Soon:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says military personnel will be mobilized over the coming days to help Ontario’s health-care system as it grapples with soaring COVID-19 hospitalizations. Trudeau says the Canadian Armed Forces have carried out an assessment of what Ontario needs. He says deploying members the military is a serious step, but the situation in Ontario requires it. The provincial government requested military and other support after turning down an offer from Trudeau last week to send in the the Red Cross.

Two Big Reports Being Released Today:

A couple of big reports are being released today. Ontario’s auditor general will issue a report on nursing homes that have been ravaged by COVID-19. The special report by Bonnie Lysyk is scheduled to be tabled in the legislature mid-morning. Plus, Ontario’s fiscal watchdog will issue a report today on the pandemic’s impact on insolvencies across the province. The Financial Accountability Office says it conducted the study at the request of an Ontario legislative committee. The Ontario government has introduced a series of measures to help small businesses survive several rounds of lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nova Scotia Goes Back Into Lockdown Today:

Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin says as of 8 o’clock this morning local time, all schools and non-essential indoor services will be closed across the province for the next two weeks as a matter of public health. Rankin says COVID-19 and its variants are on the move and spreading faster than ever before. The province yesterday reported its highest daily case count since the start of the pandemic, with 96 new infections — most of them in the Halifax area. The two-week shutdown will affect malls, gyms, retail stores, bars and restaurants, although curbside pickup and takeout will be allowed.

Here is yesterday’s announcement:

Toronto Shuts Down a Variety of Different Businesses:

Toronto Mayor John Tory says a diverse range of workplaces have been ordered to close or partially shut down due to COVID-19 outbreaks. A fast-food restaurant, a car dealership and a makeup manufacturer were ordered to temporarily shut down under new rules that took effect Friday. Seven businesses that were ordered to partially close include a construction firm, an aerospace manufacturer and a dry-goods packager. Tory says the range of workplaces shows it’s difficult to legislate what is considered an essential business.

New Report on Migrant Workers:

A new report finds temporary foreign workers at Ontario farms face a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 due to communal living and working conditions. The report by the province’s deputy chief coroner is based on a review of the COVID-19 deaths of three Mexican farm workers last year in southwestern Ontario. Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman says he’s reviewing the 35 recommendations in the report. They include putting isolation centres in place and setting up an anonymous phone line for reporting concerns.

Canada Counting on Biden for Shots:

Canada is counting on a US promise to share surplus COVID-19 vaccines. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is in close contact with the US about procuring more doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The US has promised to share 60-million doses with other countries — but it’s unknown how many of those will end up in Canada. The White House says it will share some of the stockpile with hard-hit India once the doses are cleared for export.

America is Preparing to Take Off Their Masks Outdoors:

More than one-third of Americans have been fully vaccinated and US health officials they don’t need to wear masks outdoors any longer. That is unless they are in a big crowd of strangers. Yesterday’s new guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says unvaccinated people also don’t have to wear masks in some cases.

India Update:

The COVID-19 death toll in India on Wednesday crossed the grim milestone of 200,000 people lost to the coronavirus as the country endures its darkest chapter of the pandemic yet. A devastating surge of new infections is tearing through cities and rural areas alike, and is overwhelming health-care systems. India reported nearly 3,300 COVID deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing its total fatalities to nearly 202,000. The country also reported 363,000 new daily infections — a new global record.

Canada Numbers:

There were nearly 7,100 new confirmed COVID-19 cases reported countrywide Tuesday, bringing the total number reported since the pandemic began to nearly 1,195,000 cases. There were 55 new reported deaths Tuesday for a national death toll of 24,065. The hot spots were Ontario with nearly 3,300 new infections, and Alberta reported over 1,500. No new cases were reported in Yukon or Northwest Territories, or in Newfoundland or Prince Edward Island. But Nunavut reported eight new cases, New Brunswick had another two-dozen and Nova Scotia set another new daily record of 96 new infections.

Ontario Numbers:

Across Ontario there were 3,265 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, based on 34,000 tests completed. The province also reported 29 new deaths and added 65 new patients to hospital. Despite that, there were 2 less patients in intensive care and 16 less on a ventilator. Active cases in the province continue to drop. There were 3,908 more resolved cases.

Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:

Yesterday Region of Waterloo Public Health announced 52 new cases. They were all variants of concern. For a third day in-a-row there was also a new death. The number of active cases dropped by four to 641. There is still 70 people in the Region hospitalized.

In Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, the Public Health unit confirmed just 12 new cases yesterday. There are now 528 active cases, which is fifty less than yesterday. There are still 27 people hospitalized with 7 in the ICU.

Contains files from The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot

 

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