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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: September 21st, 2020

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Public Health Measures Table, reduced limits on the number of people permitted to attend unmonitored and private social gatherings across the entire province
Information on government grants, resources, and programs, and how to apply for them, is available here.
The Government of Canada has a support page with summaries of current programs and application portals.

Vital updates:

  • Over the weekend, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Public Health Measures Table, reduced limits on the number of people permitted to attend unmonitored and private social gatherings across the entire province, effective immediately. A minimum fine of $10,000 will be levied against anyone hosting an event in contravention of this legislation. Last week, the government imposed these restrictions in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa. The new limit on the number of people allowed to attend an unmonitored private social gathering across the province is:
    • 10 people at an indoor event or gathering (previous limit of 50); or
    • 25 people at an outdoor event or gathering (previous limit of 100).
  • Businesses and other organizations should note that these new limits apply only to unmonitored and private gatherings. The new limits will not apply to events or gatherings held in staffed businesses and facilities, such as bars, restaurants, cinemas, convention centres, banquet halls, gyms, places of worship, recreational sporting or performing art events. Current rules concerning physical distancing, mask-wearing, and so forth should be adhered to as before.
  • The Government of Ontario has issued a statement expressing their satisfaction that the Ontario Emissions Performance Standards (EPS) program has been accepted as an alternative to the federal output-based pricing system. Businesses should review the program and evaluate whether they are required to register, or may opt in. The program is aimed at large industrial emitters and will not affect the carbon tax on gasoline, for instance. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court will hear appeals in three cases this week to determine if the federal carbon tax is constitutional. Appeals courts in Saskatchewan and Ontario had previously upheld the law, while the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled it unconstitutional.
  • Tomorrow at 10:30am, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority and Grimsby Library will present Finding nature in your backyard, an interactive Zoom presentation on the work of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, focused on special projects, ecology, species at risk, volunteering and partnerships for everyone who supports and appreciates Niagara’s natural heritage. Register here.
  • Niagara Health has announced a significant increase in the number of people seeking testing over the past week at Niagara Health’s three COVID-19 Assessment Centres, with 3,484 tests performed between Sept. 11 to 17, which is an average of nearly 500 people per day. This total includes a record 665 tests on Sept. 16. As a result, walk-in patients are experiencing longer than normal wait times, and may not be seen on the day they arrive. Addresses and opening hours of Niagara’s three assessment centres are available here. Patients are encouraged to book an appointment by calling 905-378-4647 ext. 42819 (4-CV19).

Reading recommendations:


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.

Remember that a COVID-19 test is only a snapshot of your health on the specific date and time the swab was taken. No testing is perfect and a negative result doesn’t mean you haven’t been exposed to COVID-19. You can still develop symptoms days after your test was taken.

It is important that everyone practice physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Maintain a 2-metre distance from other people. When maintaining distance is impossible, wear a mask or face covering. Wash hands frequently and thoroughly. Avoid touching the face. 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.