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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: June 10th, 2021

Free rapid COVID-19 testing kits are now available to businesses

Visit gncc.ca/workplace-self-screening-kits to learn more and reserve kits for your organization.

Ontario will move to Step One of the Roadmap to Reopen on June 11, 2021

Visit gncc.ca/roadmap-to-reopen-step-one-what-you-need-to-know for a guide on what to expect and what your obligations are.


Niagara Health gradually lifting COVID-19 emergency measures

Niagara Health inpatient COVID-19 activity is at its lowest since April 8. ICU capacity is stabilizing, which enables the surgical program to ramp up services postponed during the third wave. The system will be at approximately 70% capacity with surgical procedures by the end of next week. Based on provincial direction, Niagara Health is planning to reintroduce inpatient non-emergent and non-urgent surgeries and procedures.

“The demands and stresses on our staff, physicians and the community have been significant, especially during the third wave,” says Dr. Johan Viljoen, Chief of Staff at Niagara Health. “We’d like to acknowledge the hard work and compassion of our staff and physicians during this uniquely challenging time as well as the support and commitment from the community by following public health measures and getting vaccinated.”

Note: Niagara Health and Niagara Public Health are separate organizations. This announcement does not affect public health restrictions related to COVID-19.


Feds to lift 14-day quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated Canadian travellers

The federal government has announced that fully vaccinated Canadian travellers will no longer need to spend 14 days in quarantine upon arriving home, the Canadian Press and 680 News have reported.

It will apply to Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have had a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu made the announcement during a news conference, saying affected travellers will still have to take a COVID-19 test on arrival — and stay in isolation until the test comes back negative.


Ontario launches applications for 2021-22 Seniors Community Grant

The Ontario government is investing $5 million in the 2021-22 Seniors Community Grant program to help enable municipalities and local organizations to deliver programs for older adults to stay active in their communities.

This funding is an increase of $1 million from last year’s grants, allowing the province to help more grass-roots organizations positively impact the lives of older adults. Beginning Friday, June 11th, applicants can apply through Transfer Payment Ontario (formerly Grants Ontario) online at Ontario.ca/GetFunding. The deadline for all applications is July 15, 2021 at 5PM EST.


Ontario Further Accelerates Second Doses in Delta Hot Spots

As Ontario prepares to move to Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021, the province is further expanding eligibility for accelerated second doses in Delta hot spots to ensure a strong level of protection against COVID-19 and variants.

Beginning 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 14, 2021 individuals who live in Delta hot spots in Halton, Peel, Porcupine, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph and York public health units and also received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine on or before May 9, 2021 will be eligible to book their accelerated second dose appointment through the provincial booking system (for Peel and Toronto public health units), directly through public health units that use their own booking system and through participating pharmacies.


Employment programs from social assistance to be merged into Employment Ontario

A new provincial system will combine employment programs from social assistance, such as Ontario Works Employment Assistance and Ontario Disability Support Program Employment Supports, into Employment Ontario.

This new approach includes the establishment of service system managers, who will oversee the planning, design and delivery of employment services in each catchment areas. This initiative builds on the success of three prototype regions in Peel, Hamilton-Niagara and Muskoka-Kawarthas, which began in 2020.


Niagara Region confirms membership of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee

Niagara Regional Council has appointed two councillors and eight community members to its new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee (DEIAC). They will be joined by representatives from the Women’s Advisory Committee and the Accessibility Advisory Committee.

Canadian Chamber raises alarm on potential for wave of closures after COVID is beaten

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has cautioned that Canada’s travel, hospitality, and tourism industry sectors will remain unable to reach their full activity for many quarters. Several factors are converging to limit their recovery, including the likely uneven rollback of travel restrictions; public health regulations that limit capacity in venues; and the need to build customer confidence after a long campaign by governments to encourage Canadians to stay home and avoid large gatherings. The runway to recovery is much longer for businesses in these sectors than for others that no longer need government support.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce provided a 12-point plan (PDF link) to help policymakers tailor their supports for these sectors.


Investment in building construction increases again in April

Total investment in building construction increased 6.3% to $19.9 billion, Statistics Canada reports. Residential construction investment performed strongly in April, rising for a 12th consecutive month. In contrast, non-residential construction has not fully returned to pre-COVID-19 levels. However, it increased by 0.9% this month.

Residential construction reported an 8.1% gain, bringing total investment to $15.3 billion in April.

Investment for single-family homes was up 8.9%, as all provinces except Nova Scotia posted increases. Ontario accounted for the majority of the growth (+12.8%), driven by renovation projects in the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Toronto and new construction in the CMA of Hamilton.


Brock updates Stages of Recovery, will move to new stage Monday

With the Province of Ontario moving into Step 1 of its new Roadmap to Reopen plan on Friday, June 11, Brock University has updated its own reopening procedures. The updated Brock Stages of Reopening/Recovery (PDF link) document better aligns with the new provincial framework and follows all current regulations set by Niagara Region Public Health.

The document also supports the University’s continued planning for a significant return to campus in September, with most classes offered in person and some offered online or in a hybrid format. Brock is also planning for the reopening of student residences, dining facilities and other amenities on campus.


Reading Recommendations

The Globe and Mail

Forget about “one-dose summer, two-dose fall.” It was already out of date when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau coined the phrase less than a month ago, and with Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand’s announcement on Wednesday of pending deliveries of millions of Moderna doses, it’s now ancient history.

This country is on the verge of having enough juice to give a first and second shot to every Canadian who wants it by early August, or even late July.

Canada’s vaccination campaign leads the G7, the G20 and the OECD in the share of population with a first dose. That remarkable performance is because of this country’s early focus on first shots, and the eagerness with which Canadians have lined up to get them. The United States has a far larger vaccine supply – enough to have double-dosed everyone weeks ago – yet suffers from a debilitating shortage of willing arms.


Ontario to introduce legislation invoking notwithstanding clause Thursday

CTV News

The Progressive Conservatives are set to introduce legislation Thursday that would invoke the notwithstanding clause, giving the Ontario government the ability to restore changes to election finance law that a judge had declared unconstitutional.

The notwithstanding clause is a rarely-used power that gives government the ability to override certain laws in the charter for a five-year term.

MPPs are being called back to the Legislature from their summer break so the government can introduce the bill.

The government is expecting to pass the bill, with the notwithstanding clause, as early as Monday, marking the first time in Ontario‘s history that section 33 of the Canadian charter will be used to override a court ruling.


Four things we need to get right for the reopening of offices

Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Canadians all want to return to a semblance of normal as quickly as possible, and for many, that includes going back to the office. The nature of work has changed significantly in the last 18 months however, and our workplaces need to adapt quickly.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce today released a 21-point plan to provide guidance for businesses and policy recommendations for governments on four key areas for the re-opening of the economy: health/safety, teleworking, skills/training and the future of customer engagement.


Niagara COVID Stats Tracker (June 5)

 May 22May 29June 5
Reproductive number0.70.80.9
New cases per 100,00063.448.037.2
New cases per day (not including outbreaks)39.33122.4
Percent of hospital beds occupied72.8%78.3%78.2%
Percent of intensive care beds occupied83.6%77.6%79.1%
Percentage of positive tests4.8%4.1%3.5%

These data show the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Niagara. The Province of Ontario is now using a provincewide approach to reopening, and these data no longer have any influence on Niagara’s restrictions.

Data are drawn from Niagara Region Public Health.

Guide

Reproductive number: the average number of new cases each case causes. If each person infects one other person, the rate is 1; if each person infects two people, the rate is 2. Under the outdated COVID-19 response framework, the target for “green-prevent” was less than 1.

New cases per 100,000: the total number of new cases per week identified per 100,000 population. Under the outdated COVID-19 response framework, the target for “green-prevent” was less than 10.

New cases per day: the total number of new cases identified per day over seven days using a rolling average. This number does not include identified outbreaks.

Percent of hospital beds occupied: the total percentage of the Niagara Health System’s hospital beds currently in use. The average occupancy rate of both acute care beds and total hospital beds in Ontario was 96 per cent in 2018-19. It should be noted that this rate was the highest (worst) in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Percent of intensive care beds occupied: the total percentage of the Niagara Health System’s intensive care hospital beds currently in use. The average occupancy rate of both acute care beds and total hospital beds in Ontario was 96 per cent in 2018-19. It should be noted that this rate was the highest (worst) in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Percentage of positive tests: the percentage of COVID-19 tests that were positive. Under the outdated COVID-19 response framework, the target for “green-prevent” was less than 0.5%.


Niagara COVID vaccination tracker (June 10)

Niagara’s most up-to-date vaccination numbers are presented below, along with comparison data from Ontario, Canada, and G7 countries.

Total doses administered in Niagara: 334.334

Total doses administered in Niagara since yesterday: 5,016

Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen will begin when Ontario has vaccinated 70% of adults with one dose, 20% of adults with two doses, has positive public health indicators, and has been in Step One for at least 21 days.

 Percentage of population with one dosePercentage of population fully vaccinated
Niagara62.6%8.4%
Ontario (all)63%10.4%
Ontario (adults)74.3%12.8%
Canada64%9.9%
United States52%43%
United Kingdom61%43%
Germany48%25%
France44%20%
Italy46%23%
Japan13%4.3%

Data are drawn from Niagara Region, the Government of Ontario, and Oxford University’s Our World in Data project.


Information on government grants, resources, and programs, policies, forms, and posters for download and use, are available here.The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.
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