February 19 2021
Stay-at-Home Order Extended in Toronto and Peel Public Health Regions Along with North Bay-Parry Sound

York Region to Return to Strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework

TORONTO — In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the local medical officers of health, the Ontario government is maintaining the shutdown, the Stay-at-Home order and all existing public health and workplace safety measures for an additional two weeks in the Toronto and Peel Public Health Regions, along with the North Bay-Parry Sound District. The York Public Health Region will transition out of the shutdown and into the revised and strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open.

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Ontario Launches Education Campaign to Help Workplaces Reopen Safely

A full suite of resources is available to prevent the spread of COVID-19

TORONTO — The Ontario government is launching new health and safety education campaigns, with a particular focus on helping small businesses across the province reopen safely. The on-the-ground assistance includes a comprehensive suite of resources business owners can access at no cost to ensure they are helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

Starting next week, provincial offences officers will be visiting businesses in regions opening into grey, red and orange zones, such as the regions of Wellington-Dufferin Guelph, Durham and Eastern Ontario, with a focus on businesses that were closed during the provincial shutdown. The officers will be carrying out inspections to ensure businesses are complying with the Reopening Ontario Act and adhering to capacity limits, appropriately screening workers and customers, enforcing masking requirements and having adequate safety plans in place. Businesses visited will include stores, gyms and personal care services.

The full suite of government educational supports available includes:

  • Provincial Employment Standards Call Centre (webes@ontario.ca) and Occupational Health and Safety Contact Centre (webohs@ontario.ca) to answer small business health and safety questions.

For more information on these tools, visit:

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Ontario Deploys Rapid Tests to More Essential Workplaces and Settings

Innovative Testing Options to Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19 in Key Sectors

TORONTO — Based on the successful use of rapid tests in select settings across the province the Ontario government is deploying test kits to more essential workplaces and sectors in order to quickly identify and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

To enhance protection against COVID-19 variants and support a safe and gradual return to the COVID-19 Response Framework, Ontario has deployed approximately two million rapid antigen tests and 175,000 rapid diagnostic tests to essential workplaces and highly vulnerable settings like long-term care homes and retirement homes.

In addition to essential workplaces, Ontario is providing rapid antigen tests to other targeted settings across the province as part of its Provincial Antigen Screening Program. This includes:

  • 170,000 rapid tests have been sent to over 160 workplaces, including 30 essential industry sites. As Ontario begins to safely and gradually transition to a revised and strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework the province will continue to deploy rapid testing in workplaces, including up to 300,000 COVID-19 tests per week for asymptomatic staff in key sectors such as manufacturing, warehousing, supply chain, mining, construction and food processing.

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Ontario Investing in Wearable Contact Tracing Technology to Help Protect Workers from COVID-19

Innovative Made-In-Ontario technology will help stop the spread of COVID-19 while creating skilled jobs

The Ontario government is providing Facedrive Inc. with $2.5 million through the Ontario Together Fund to accelerate the deployment of its wearable contact tracing technology, TraceSCAN, which alerts users within a workplace who have been in close contact with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. The company anticipates manufacturing about 150,000 devices under this project and creating 68 new jobs, including software, firmware and hardware engineers and machine learning specialists.

The technology is designed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 for workplaces and settings where smartphone use is limited or prohibited, such as airlines, schools, construction sites, and long-term care homes...

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Building for Recovery campaign urges governments to ‘get funds flowing now’

The Building for Recovery coalition says now is the time for provincial and federal governments to deliver on billions of dollars of infrastructure investments so the construction industry can rebuild Canada’s economy in the wake of COVID-19.

Launched last year, Building for Recovery, coalition of construction sector associations, includes Associated Equipment Distributors, the CCA, the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Canada and the National Trade Contractors Council of Canada.

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WSIB finances remain strong despite COVID-19: Witmer

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) chair Elizabeth Witmer said in a recent interview that the agency remains financially sound despite having to pay out almost 15,000 COVID-19 claims since the start of the pandemic.

The strong position stems from the board’s efforts to eliminate the WSIB’s unfunded liability (UFL), which in 2012 sat at $14.1 billion, Witmer said. The fund has been in a surplus since 2019 and even with additional COVID pressures, as of Sept. 30, 2020, the WSIB had a sufficiency ratio of 116.6 per cent, which is up from 111.6 per cent at the close of 2019.

As of Feb. 5, the WSIB had allowed 14,823 COVID-19 claims, 121 of which have come from the construction industry.

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Find financial help during COVID-19

The Government of Canada launched an interactive website dedicated to helping individuals and businesses find financial support with the ongoing struggles brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Practical Guide to Return to Work for Employers (Construction)

The Practical Guide to Return to Work for Employers (Construction) webinar explains the benefits of having a return to work program, your legal obligations under the WSIA, key steps for implementing a return to work program and plan, as well as resolution strategies for disputes in return to work.

The webinar will take place on March 4, 2021, at 10:00 PM. Click here to register.
TCA Resources on COVID-19

To access TCA dedicated Covid-19 Updates, click here.