- Today, Stage One of the provincial re-opening framework began. Full details are here. Most importantly, retail stores with a separate street entrance (not in malls) may re-open for business while following physical distancing guidelines.
- The Government of Ontario stresses that businesses have the option to re-open to foot traffic, not the obligation. Businesses should only re-open if they are confident that they can do so without endangering their employees or their customers.
- The GNCC is encouraging the public to continue using curbside pickup and delivery options. These are the safest way to shop during the COVID-19 crisis.
- The crisis is by no means over. New cases are being reported every day (and under-reporting is likely). The only way to proceed to Stage Two is through vigilance and an overabundance of caution.
- If you reopen your retail store, ensure that physical distancing guidelines are laid out for customers and that you limit the number of people in your space to the number who can be accommodated with 2 metres of space around them. Consider allowing shopping by appointment only, strictly limiting the number of people in-store, and requiring customers to wear masks. Other guidelines are available here. If in doubt, contact the GNCC or call the Government of Ontario’s business hotline at 1-888-444-3659.
- The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended all emergency orders currently in force until May 29, 2020. The provincial state of emergency is currently in effect until June 2nd. It is likely that both of these will be extended again.
- Ontario’s schools will now remain closed for the rest of the school year. Emergency childcare is available to frontline and essential workers.
- The Prime Minister today announced an expansion to the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include many owner-operated small businesses. To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:
- a business operating account at a participating financial institution
- a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
- eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.
- Life would be better if we added this line to every email, Leah Fessler, Quartz at Work
- I Enrolled in a Coronavirus Contact Tracing Academy, Megan Molteni, Wired
- “Immune to Evidence”: How Dangerous Coronavirus Conspiracies Spread, Marshall Allen, ProPublica
- Disease modelers are wary of reopening the country. Here’s how they arrive at their verdict, Harry Stevens and John Muyskens, The Washington Post
If you are showing symptoms, you must self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days. Call a public health authority immediately. Do not visit any healthcare provider in person before you have been directly advised to by public health authorities.
It is important that everyone practice physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Remain at home unless absolutely necessary. Minimize contact with other people. Wash hands frequently and thoroughly. Avoid touching the face. Maintain a 2-meter distance from others if you are required to be out in public. If you have recently traveled outside the country, you are legally required to self-isolate for 14 days.
Previous updates can be accessed here.
Stay safe and be vigilant. The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.