March 29, 2020 – COVID-19 Updates
COVID-19 Updates – March 29, 2020
Over the past week, I have received many complaints regarding littering on neighbourhood streets and in parking lots. In particular, I have noticed that masks and gloves are being disposed of in parking lots immediately after use. Littering is completely unacceptable and puts our collection workers at greater risk of infection from COVID-19 and other diseases.
City of Toronto
- Whether in self-isolation or practising physical distancing, it is important to connect with friends and family over the phone or online and try to eat well and stay rested. Everyone is encouraged to check in by phone or other means that maintain physical distancing on family, friends, and colleagues who may be struggling.
- Individuals looking for additional crisis supports should reach out to Crisis Services Canada or Toronto Public Health. Crisis Services Canada is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at https://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/, by phone at 1-833-456-4566 or by text message at 45645. In an emergency, always call 911.
Government of Ontario
- Premier Doug Ford announced new penalties to combat price gouging and hold offenders accountable for raising prices significantly on the necessary goods Ontarians need to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19.
- Necessary goods include:
- Masks and gloves used as personal protective equipment in relation to infections.
- Non-prescription medications for the treatment of the symptoms of the coronavirus.
- Disinfecting agents intended for cleaning and disinfecting objects or humans.
- Personal hygiene products, including soap products and paper products.
- Individual offenders face a ticket of $750, or, if summoned to court and convicted, could face a maximum penalty of a $100,000 fine and one year in jail. If convicted, a company director or officer could face a fine of up to $500,000 and up to a year in jail, and a corporation could face a fine of up to $10 million.
- The Ontario government is prhibiting organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people, effective immediately.
- Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer announced updated guidance to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the job site and addresses sector topics including:
- providing better on-site sanitation, including a focus on high-touch areas like site trailers, door handles and hoists
- communicating roles, responsibilities, and health & safety policies, by, for example, posting site sanitization schedules and work schedules
- enabling greater distances between workers by staggering shifts, restricting site numbers and limiting elevator usage
- protecting public health by tracking and monitoring workers
- If health and safety concerns are not resolved internally, a worker can seek enforcement by filing a complaint with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development ‘s Health and Safety Contact Centre at 1-877-202-0008.
- Failure to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations could result in a stop work order.
Government of Canada
- Prime Minister pledged $7.5 million in funding to Kids Help Phone to provide mental health support to children and youth impacted by school closures and reduced access to social support and community resources.
- The federal government will also boost aid for Canadian seniors, contributing $9 million through United Way Canada to help the country’s older population get groceries, medication and other critical items.