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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: January 5th, 2021

The Ontario government has announced a commitment to ensure that all residents, health care workers and essential caregivers at long-term care homes in the priority regions of Toronto, Peel, York and Windsor-Essex receive a COVID-19 vaccination by January 21, 2021
Information on government grants, resources, and programs, as well as policies, forms, and posters for download and use, are available here.
The Government of Canada has a support page with summaries of current programs and application portals.

Vital updates

  • The Ontario government has announced a commitment to ensure that all residents, health care workers and essential caregivers at long-term care homes in the priority regions of Toronto, Peel, York and Windsor-Essex receive a COVID-19 vaccination by January 21, 2021. To date, 44 vaccine sites have been established. Over 50,000 people have been administered the Pfizer vaccine, including over 26,000 vaccinations administered to health care workers in long-term care homes and retirement homes, over 20,000 vaccinations administered to health care workers and nearly 1,000 vaccinations administered to residents. Nearly 3,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine were administered to 24 long-term care homes between December 31, 2020 and January 3rd, 2021.
  • Prices for products manufactured in Canada, as measured by the Industrial Product Price Index (IPPI), fell 0.6% in November, driven mainly by lower prices for lumber and other wood products. Prices of raw materials purchased by manufacturers operating in Canada, as measured by the Raw Materials Price Index (RMPI), increased 0.6%, mostly because of higher prices for crude energy products and crop products.
  • The largest downward contributor to the monthly decline was the lumber and other wood products (-10.7%), driven mostly by a steep drop in the price of softwood lumber (-21.2%)—the largest monthly decrease on record. The price of softwood lumber exhibited a correction in October and November, after increasing dramatically (+95.9%) from April to September. In spite of the decline, softwood lumber prices in November were 34.4% higher than in November 2019.
  • Prices for meat, fish and dairy products fell 1.6% in November, mostly as a result of a 15.1% decrease in prices for fresh and frozen pork. Also within the category, prices for fresh and frozen beef and veal increased 5.7%. Energy and petroleum product prices were up 4.0%. The rise was mostly due to an 8.2% increase in the price of diesel and biodiesel fuels; prices for these products were nonetheless down 32.8% on a year-over-year basis. The increase in diesel was attributable to seasonal demand for heating fuel, to demand from transportation, as well as to a rise in the price of crude oil.
  • The value of Canada’s dollar approached 79 cents US for the first time in almost three years today, as higher oil prices helped the loonie soar. The loonie was changing hands at 78.95 cents US early in the afternoon, its highest level since April 2018. The biggest catalyst for the move was the higher price of a barrel of oil, as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to not flood the market with cheap oil for a little while longer.

Reading recommendations

Face masks reduce the spread of viruses passed on from respiratory secretions. While cloth masks are imperfect, widespread use of an imperfect mask has the potential to make a big difference in transmission of the virus. Although mask use has been widely adopted, many people still have questions about them.

A red-hot trend in the car industry is for new entrants such as Fisker Inc. to hand over the complicated and capital-intensive work of engineering and building vehicles to a contract manufacturer. Increasingly, cars are judged on their software and electronics so why bother wasting time and money on metal bashing? There’s at least one big contract manufacturer ready to take advantage of these seismic industry changes: Canada’s Magna International Inc.

Niagara COVID status tracker

Niagara’s most up-to-date COVID statistics, measured against the targets for the various stages of the Ontario COVID-19 Response Framework, are presented below. These do not represent or predict government policy, but are offered to give you an idea of where Niagara is situated and how likely a relaxation (or further restrictions) may be. This data is drawn daily from Niagara Region. The Grey-Lockdown level does not have specific metrics, but is triggered when the COVID-specific measurements in a Red-Control region have continued to deteriorate.

Note that the Provincewide Shutdown is not the same as the Grey-Lockdown level listed in the Ontario COVID-19 Response Framework, which has been suspended for the duration of the shutdown. Additional restrictions for businesses apply during the Shutdown. Businesses should not use the Response Framework as a guide during this time, but should instead refer to the Shutdown guidelines.

 December 18December 25January 1January 8January 15January 22January 29
Reproductive number1.
New cases per 100,000101.2267.3469.8575.8507.1295.5250.6
New cases per day (not including outbreaks)60.7178.7311.7376.9325.4182.7145.7
Percent of hospital beds occupied97%95.2%98.2%103.2%104.5%103.6%106%
Percent of intensive care beds occupied78.8%77.3%87.9%87.9%90.9%89.4%93.9%
Percentage of positive tests6.1%15.6%28.1%28.6%26.6%21.2%16.2%


  • Weekly Incidence Rate: the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people per week
  • Percent Positivity: the number of positive COVID-19 tests as a percentage of all COVID-19 tests performed
  • Rt: the reproductive rate, or the number of people infected by each case of the virus

 If you are showing symptoms, contact your health care provider, call the Public Health Info-Line at 905-688-8248, or chat to Public Health online. For testing, call 905-378-4647 ext. 42819 (4-CV19) for information on test centres in Niagara and to book an appointment.

Previous updates can be accessed here.

The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.

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