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.
Ontario Chamber Network ramps up deliveries of rapid test kits to small businesses provincewide
Today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Government announced that the Ontario Chamber Network has supported the delivery of 2.4 million free rapid test kits in over 105 communities across the province through the COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative in partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Ontario and Canadian governments.
Through this initiative, local chambers of commerce and boards of trade are rolling out free rapid tests for small- and medium-sized businesses. The program is helping small businesses keep their employees and families safe by curbing the spread of COVID-19 at work so that we can get on the path to economic recovery faster.
Ontario creates Venture Ontario Fund for high-potential technology companies
Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, announced today that the Ontario government is providing $100 million in venture capital funding to assist high-potential technology companies innovate and grow, boosting the province’s long-term competitiveness, helping to create jobs and driving economic growth.
The Venture Ontario Fund will be overseen by the Ontario Capital Growth Corporation (OCGC), the province’s venture capital agency. The fund will invest in venture capital funds focussing on in-demand, high-growth sectors where Ontario has a competitive advantage including life sciences, medical devices, clean technology, information technology and artificial intelligence.
Bank of Canada to hold current level of policy rate
The Bank of Canada today held its target for the overnight rate at the effective lower bound of ¼ percent, with the Bank Rate at ½ percent and the deposit rate at ¼ percent. The Bank is maintaining its extraordinary forward guidance on the path for the overnight rate. This is reinforced and supplemented by the Bank’s quantitative easing (QE) program, which continues at a target pace of $3 billion per week.
Canada on Wednesday took a cautious first step toward easing COVID-19 border restrictions, saying it was prepared to relax quarantine protocols for fully vaccinated citizens returning home starting in early July.
Canada’s air and land borders have allowed for only essential travel since March of last year, and Canadians coming home are currently required to quarantine for 14 days. If they arrive by air, they also must stay in a designated hotel until they receive a negative COVID-19 test.
Canadian businesses, especially airlines and those that depend on tourism, have been lobbying for Ottawa to relax restrictions as more and more people are vaccinated. But Health Minister Patty Hajdu made clear that Ottawa would act slowly.
Asked about calls from businesses to lift restrictions starting on June 22, Hajdu said: “We do want to be cautious and careful on these next steps to be sure that we are not putting that recovery in jeopardy.”
As restrictions begin to lift in some parts of the country, restaurants are dusting off their patios or reopening their dining rooms and calling back staff — but not all employees are returning. As restaurants in Ontario prepare to reopen patios on June 11, competition for staff is heating up.
In May, there were still 364,000 fewer people working in the accommodation and food services sector compared to February 2020, according to Statistics Canada’s labour force survey. Economists expect that many of the lost job positions will return as restrictions lift, but filling them is the new challenge.
Niagara COVID Stats Tracker (June 5)
|May 22||May 29||June 5|
|New cases per 100,000||63.4||48.0||37.2|
|New cases per day (not including outbreaks)||39.3||31||22.4|
|Percent of hospital beds occupied||72.8%||78.3%||78.2%|
|Percent of intensive care beds occupied||83.6%||77.6%||79.1%|
|Percentage of positive tests||4.8%||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.
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 9)
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: 329,300
Total doses administered in Niagara since yesterday: 4,915
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 dose||Percentage of population fully vaccinated|