September 9, 2020
Here are links to some COVID-19 resources/information you may find useful. Many of these items are available on the GBHU website and may be shared publicly. If you have any questions, please call the Help Line At: 519-376-9420 ext 3000
Please note: the COVID-19 section of the Grey Bruce Public Health website has been recently updated to include a page focused on school reopening. This page includes information for both parents and school staff. Please see the link included below
1. Return to School FAQ for Parents and Guardians
2. School Reopening MoH Live Event August 28, 2020
3. Poster – Return to School Information for Parents
4. OPHA COVID-19 Summary of Key Developments for August 31 – September 4th, 2020 (below Social Media links)
For additional school reopening resources please visit:
For information from your local school board visit:
Bluewater District School Board https://www.bwdsb.on.ca/Parents/Return_to_School
Bruce Grey Catholic School Board https://www.bgcdsb.org/
If you have any questions, please call the Help Line At: 519-376-9420 ext 3000
Follow the Grey Bruce Health Unit on Social Media:
OPHA COVID-19 Key Developments August 31 – September 4
- In response to criticisms about the safety of school reopening plans, Premier Ford emphasized, "we have done absolutely everything... every idea possible, we're putting into the classrooms. If you compare the report card with all the other provinces, it's night and day."
- The Premier also noted that, "PSWs walked into long-term care homes like firefighters walking into the burning buildings, and they [didn't] say a word...the teachers unions just want to fight, ...with everyone," he added, distinguishing between the unions and the actual teachers, who he praised and said will "do a great job."
- Dr. Yaffe encouraged parents to go over various public health measures with their kids to prepare them for returning to in-class learning (e.g. pre-screening before school, staggered lunches and hand hygiene).
- Asked about the possible risks of large class sizes, Dr. Yaffe said, "Physical distancing is an important measure, but it's not the only measure," adding masks, handwashing, staying home if sick and cohorting can all make a difference when it comes to minimizing the risk of infection.
- Premier Ford said he would act quickly to shut down schools that experience an outbreak of COVID-19. "If it really starts taking off, I will not hesitate for a second to close schools down."
Calls for Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health's Resignation:
- When asked by the media about the CEO of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario's call for the CMOH's resignation, Premier Ford emphasized that "I have all the confidence in the world in [him] ... and take personal offense." Premier Ford noted that, "this man doesn't sleep. He is out there protecting the people and the numbers speak for themselves ...Dr. Williams is an absolute champion... I'll stand beside Dr. Williams any day, any pandemic."
- In response to questions about Ontario's Coroner, Dr. Huyer, and whether he would be considered for the role of CMOH, the Premier Ford did not respond.
Changes to Long-Term Care Visitor Rules:
- The province released this week an updated visitor policy for long term care that included requirements such as residents being able to designate two caregivers who can visit without time limits; if the home is in outbreak, or the resident is symptomatic care givers can only visit one at a time and need to follow the direction from the local public health unit.
- For general visitors, the scheduling of visits will be up to individual homes' discretion, as long as residents are assured at least one visit per week.
Changes to Federal Emergency Business Loan Programs:
- The Canada Emergency Business Account is extended to October 31, 2020, with plans to expand eligibility for some business owners and the Business Credit Availability Program is extended to June 2021;
- The Commercial Rent Assistance Program has expired and will not be extended into September. Finance Minister Freeland called on landlords to "step up" to support small businesses with rent relief.
- The Government of Canada signed two new agreements with American companies to obtain 38 million and 76 million doses of vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and Novavax respectively.
- The Government of Canada is investing $126M to establish a new biomanufacturing facility at the Human Health Therapeutics Research Centre in Montréal.
- When asked by the media about whether a COVID-19 vaccine would be mandatory, Health Minister Hajdu said "We believe that people have a choice in Canada...but...we have an important responsibility as Canadians to take vaccinations to protect our communities."
Canada's Chief Public Health Officer's Guidance on Physical Intimacy:
- Dr. Tam released a statement providing guidance on inmate relationships and some steps that can be taken to reduce COVID-19 risks (e.g. avoid face-to-face contact and consider using a mask). She noted that "by taking these precautions... Canadians can find ways to enjoy physical intimacy while safeguarding the progress we have all made containing COVID-19."
Details and Links to Other Announcements this Week:
- Seniors Dental Care: $25M in one-time funding is being provided for new dental clinics in underserviced areas, including eight new mobile dental buses and an increased number of dental suites.
- Child Care Funding: $147M to help licensed child care providers and EarlyON child and family centres in 2020-21.
- Masks: $2M to make lighter, breathable, and more comfortable face masks in Bracebridge Ontario.
- Actions to Restore the Great Lakes: $7.47M is supporting projects that address environmental challenges (e.g. increased pollutants, excess nutrients and invasive species) and another $5.8M for 65 projects that improve the health of the Great Lakes.
- Residential Schools: The national historic significance of the Residential School System and former Portage La Prairie Indian Residential School in Manitoba and former Shubenacadie Indian Residential School in Nova Scotia are now designated as national historic sites.
- Accessibility Standards Canada launched public consultations: Canadians are invited to share their views on priorities for research and accessibility standards by September 25, 2020.
- The Government of Canada launches Call for Applications through: Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Program: $4M will help cultural and religious organizations better protect themselves against hate-motivated crimes.
- Labour standard protections for interns and student interns: These changes strengthen protections and regulations for internships in federally regulated workplaces.
- Agricultural Youth Council: 25 members were selected from over 800 applicants to share their perspectives on ways to achieve a sustainable national agriculture and agri-food sector.
- Anti-Carbon Stickers Unconstitutional: The Ontario Superior Court has struck down Premier Ford's mandatory anti-carbon tax stickers. Gas stations are free to keep or remove the stickers from their gas pumps.
- Training Programs: $37M to help more than 15,000 people train in high-demand skills (e.g. information technology, advanced manufacturing, truck driving, construction, horticulture).
Trends and Cases in Ontario, Canada and First Nations on Reserve:
COVID-19 Update for Indigenous Peoples and communities:
As of September 3, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is aware of these confirmed cases of COVID-19 for First Nations on reserve:
- 459 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19
- 38 hospitalizations
- 417 recovered cases
- 17 confirmed positive cases in Nunavik, Quebec, and all have recovered.
Trends in Ontario Cases:
- Ontario reported an additional 148 new cases on Friday; Of those, 72 are in Peel Region, 41 are in Toronto and 13 are in Ottawa.
- Premier Ford said he's concerned about virus spread in the Peel Region, primarily in Brampton stressing that "something is broken when you have three per cent of the population with 40 percent of the cases."
- Dr. Williams said he's concerned by Ontario's COVID-19 trends and indicated some of the recent outbreaks are tied to clusters of infections at workplaces and gatherings of large groups against public health advice. He noted that "we were well under 100 for a week or so and then we bumped up higher...I'm hearing from health units...they're dealing with clusters around social events."
Summary of Cases in Ontario and Canada
Cases in Ontario: (August 27- September 3)
- Total number of cases: 42,834; an increase of 899 cases since last Thursday
- Resolved: 38,741 (90.4%); 718 new cases resolved
- Deaths: sadly, 2,811 people have died; an increase of 2
- Hospitalized: 66 people were hospitalized; 13 were in intensive care and of those, 8 were on a ventilator
- Long-term care homes (according to iPHIS): 17 active outbreaks; 10 confirmed cases in residents; 32 confirmed cases in staff; 1,848 deaths among residents and 8 among staff.
- Lab testing: 3,068,781 completed; 28,591 tests reported Friday; 25,945 under investigation
Cases in Canada: (August 26 -September 4 as of 7pm August 3rd)
- Total number of cases: 130,493; an increase of 3,645 since last Wednesday.
- Resolved: 115,444 (88.5%); an increase of 2,619
- Deaths: 9,141 (7.%); an increase of 39
- People tested per million: 150,008
- Percent Positivity: 2.2%
Dr. Ian Arra, MD MSc FRCPC ACPM ABPM
Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer
Grey Bruce Health Unit
101 17th Street East
Owen Sound ON N4K 0A5
Phone: (519)376-9420, Ext. 1241 Fax: (519)376-0605
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