IMPORTANT UPDATE- COVID-19Published on March 17, 2020
Based on the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario has declared a state of emergency. COVID-19 constitutes a danger of major proportions and the health and well-being of every individual and family must be our number one priority.
We are taking this extraordinary measure because we must offer our full support and every power possible to help our health sector fight the spread of this virus.
The first order under this declaration will be the prohibition of organized public events of over 50 people, including parades and events and communal services within places of worship until March 31st.
Secondly, the following establishments are closed effective immediately until March 31st:
- All facilities providing indoor recreational programs;
- All public libraries;
- All private schools as defined in the Education Act;
- All licensed child care centres;
- All bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery;
- All theatres including those offering live performances of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies, and
- Concert Venues
The vast majority of businesses will not be affected by this order. Essential services and essential needs will be available to every individual and family such as grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, manufacturing facilities, and public transit.
COVID-19 Relief Package
Our government is also announcing the first stage of our COVID-19 Emergency Relief Package. This is over $304 million committed to supporting the fight against COVID-19.
The $304 million will enhance the province’s response to COVID-19 by providing the following:
- $100 million for increased capacity in hospitals to assist with the effective treatment of COVID-19 patients both in critical care and medicine beds.
- $50 million for more testing and screening through public health, including additional funding to support extraordinary costs incurred to monitor, detect and contain COVID-19 in the province. This includes contact tracing, increased laboratory testing capacity and home testing.
- $50 million to further protect frontline workers, first responders and patients by increasing the supply of personal protective equipment and other critical supplies and equipment to protect them.
- $25 million to support frontline workers working in COVID-19 assessment centres, including the creation of a new fund to provide respite care, child care services and other supports as they are needed.
- $50 million for long-term care homes to support 24/7 screening, additional staffing to support infection control and one-time grants for homes for increased cost of supplies.
- $20 million for residential facilities in developmental services, gender-based services and protective care for children and youth to support additional staffing, respite for caregivers impacted by school closures, personal protective equipment and supplies and transportation costs to minimize client exposure and to support social distancing, as well as additional cleaning costs.
- $5 million to protect seniors in retirement homes through increased infection control and active screening procedures.
- $4 million for Indigenous communities to support transportation costs for health care professionals and the distribution of critical supplies.
This is the first stage of a larger Emergency Relief Package. In the coming days Ontario will face challenging times. We must come together as a province. Every Ontarian must support each other.
In order to continue to protect the health and safety of our staff and constituents, the constituency office at 750 Talbot St. Suite 201, St. Thomas is closed to walk-in appointments. Staff are still in-office and able to serve and assist Monday to Friday, 8:30-4:30 and all questions or concerns will be addressed by phone: 519-631-0666 and email: [email protected]
At this difficult and uncertain time, we must come together as a community and support those around us who may be feeling anxious or isolated. If you or someone you know is a senior, living with a disability, living in a remote location, or has other needs that aren’t being met, please call the office. We will do everything we can to help.
Many thanks to all of the frontline healthcare workers, first responders, and retail workers in Elgin-Middlesex-London who are working around the clock to support their fellow community members. Every day, but especially in times like these, we are incredibly lucky to be part of such a dedicated network.
- The increased funding includes investments from Ontario’s previously-announced COVID-19 Contingency Fund, as well as funding provided by the federal government.
- Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious respiratory infections like bronchitis, pneumonia or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
- There is no vaccine available to protect against the 2019 novel coronavirus, but there are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses. To find out more visit Ontario's website.
- Visit Ontario's website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.
- Learn about travel advisories related to the 2019 novel coronavirus.
- If you are a health care professional, learn how to protect yourself and your patients by reading our guidance documents.
- For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only)