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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: June 22nd, 2021

The Ontario government is investing $3.7 million to help people with disabilities get to and from vaccination sites.

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 providing accessible rides to COVID-19 vaccination sites

Building on recent success in getting millions of people vaccinated, the Ontario government is investing $3.7 million in a partnership with the Ontario Community Support Association to help people with disabilities, including seniors with mobility issues, get to and from vaccination sites so they can get their shot and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

This initiative will focus on helping people who do not have access to accessible transportation through family, neighbours or community organizations.


Ontario adding mental health workers to OPP communications centres

The Ontario government is investing $8.4 million over three years in a new Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Crisis Call Diversion Program. This program will help police offer the most appropriate response to calls from individuals experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis, which may include diversion to appropriate mental health services. This investment is part of the 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy.


Pelham sets 2022 budget schedule

The Pelham capital budget process has been scheduled for completion in December 2021 to enable staff to plan and prepare for 2022. The operating and water and wastewater budgets have been scheduled for completion in January 2022.

The Pelham Finance and Audit Committee will review the 2022 budgets prior to the Council presentation of the budgets.


Cruise ships set sights on Port Colborne

Viking Cruises and Victory Cruise Lines now have Port Colborne on their itinerary list, with Vantage Travel, Pearl Seas Cruises, PONANT Cruises, and Plantour Cruises also scheduled to pass through the Canal. Great Lakes cruise ships typically carry between 180 and 420 guests per vessel and are designed to navigate the narrow-gauge locks of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Strategies to develop the waterfront and Welland Canal lands in Port Colborne are in progress. This includes forming a project team comprised of Lakeshore Excursions and City of Port Colborne staff.

More information about the City of Port Colborne and its plans to welcome cruise ships to the city’s docks can be found here: www.portcolborne.ca/cruiseships.


Online shopping rose 50% in 2020

During a year when brick and mortar stores were not always an option, many Canadians turned to the Internet for their purchases. More than four in five Canadians (82%) shopped online in 2020, up from 73% in 2018. Online spending rose by approximately one-half over this period, from $57.4 billion to $84.4 billion, Statistics Canada reports.

Just over one in five Canadians (21%) said they shopped online for groceries more frequently than before the pandemic, and 45% shopped more frequently for other physical goods. In fact, 13% of Canadians ordered groceries online for the first time during the pandemic and 9% bought other physical goods for the first time.

In 2020, 38% of Canadians reported purchasing online goods or services from a business specifically because it was Canadian, compared with 29% in 2018. This type of behaviour was most pronounced among those in the 25 to 44 age group, with almost half (49%) reporting that they bought from businesses specifically because they were Canadian.


Niagara Public Health offers COVID-19 update


Reading Recommendations

After a year of pandemic prudence, Canadians likely eager to spend the billions saved

CBC News

Canadians have saved a record amount of money during the pandemic, resulting from the combined impact of reduced spending and collecting more money from government support programs.

Canadians amassed $212 billion last year, versus $18 billion in 2019, according to Statistics Canada. That works out to $5,574 per Canadian on average in 2020, compared to $479 in the previous year.

The average savings rate jumped from 1.3 per cent of disposable income in 2019, to 14.9 per cent in 2020. In April, May and June of 2020, the savings rate peaked at about 27 per cent.

As a result, credit card balances are down, fewer people are behind on payments and credit scores are up, according to credit rating agency Equifax Canada.


Trudeau says border restrictions will be further relaxed ‘in the coming weeks’ if all goes well

CBC News

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signalled today the government is likely to further relax some of the most stringent border measures this summer — but Ottawa has no qualms about keeping the crossing closed for longer if an influx of travellers threatens public health.

The federal government said Monday that fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents can skip the mandatory quarantine when returning from abroad starting the night of July 5. A negative PCR test taken 72 hours before departure is still required for all travellers. But the border will remain shuttered to all foreigners — regardless of their vaccination status.


Niagara COVID Stats Tracker (June 12)

 December 18December 25January 1January 8January 15January 22January 29
Reproductive number1.41.81.41.11.00.70.9
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%

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. Niagara Public Health has indicated that this number should be consistently below 1 for Section 22 orders to be lifted.

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. Niagara Public Health has indicated that this number should be consistently below 15 for Section 22 orders to be lifted.

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 22)

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: 396,356

Total doses administered in Niagara since yesterday: 4,987

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
Niagara82.7%78.2%
Ontario84.6%79.1%
Canada84.7%78.6%
United States75%64%
United Kingdom78%72%
Germany76%74%
France80%77%
Italy83%76%
Japan80%79%
World63%53%

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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