News

Ontario Enhancing Public Reporting about COVID-19

TORONTO — Ontario is enhancing the public information it provides about the status of COVID-19. As the outbreak evolves, Ontario has launched a new dedicated web page and is changing how COVID-19 cases are being reported to provide a more relevant summary of data from Public Health Ontario that offers expanded information every day at 10:30 a.m.

This daily epidemiologic summary replaces the general information on the status of COVID-19 cases that was previously provided twice daily on the web page. The new summary provides more provincial and regional data on confirmed cases, including trends of cases since the outbreak began, geography, exposure and severity. 

"Ontario has been diligently monitoring and taking decisive action to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep Ontarians informed," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "We will continue to work with Public Health Ontario, public health units and the health sector to have and report on the best possible data to help us understand the scope of the COVID-19 outbreak in our province and inform our collective response to keep all Ontarians safe and healthy."

The daily summary is based on data recorded by local public health units in the province's integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS), as of 4 p.m. the day before the summary is posted. iPHIS is the Ministry of Health's disease reporting system, where data is regularly updated.

In addition to the daily update to the website, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, will continue to hold regularly scheduled daily media briefings via teleconference, to provide an update on the province's ongoing response to COVID-19.

Quick Facts

  • Everyone in Ontario should be practicing physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people. Avoid close contact (within 2 metres) with people outside of your immediate families.
  • If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and then use Ontario's Self-Assessment Toolto see if you need to seek further care.
  • On March 25, 2020, the federal government announced an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act, that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19. They should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days.
  • On March 28, 2020, Ontario issued a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people.
  • Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to COVID-19 and protect your health:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
    • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve;
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth;
    • Avoid contact with people who are sick; and
    • Stay home if you are sick.

Additional Resources

March 30, 2020

Ontario Stepping Up Measures to Limit the Spread of COVID-19 on Construction Sites

TORONTO — Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, issued the following statement today regarding health and safety on construction sites:

"The health and safety of construction workers is a top priority for our government. With the COVID-19 situation changing day by day, we are working to ensure that workers have the tools they need to help keep job sites safe. We must do everything possible to fight the spread of this disease.

Today, Ontario's Chief Prevention Officer announced updated guidance to help employers better understand their responsibilities and what is needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the job site.

The update follows an initial guidance document circulated on March 20, 2020, and addresses sector topics including:

  • providing better on-site sanitation, including a focus on high-touch areas like site trailers, door handles and hoists
  • communicating roles, responsibilities, and health & safety policies, by, for example, posting site sanitization schedules and work schedules
  • enabling greater distances between workers by staggering shifts, restricting site numbers and limiting elevator usage
  • protecting public health by tracking and monitoring workers

Under Ontario law, employers must take every reasonable precaution to keep workers safe. Workers have the right to refuse unsafe work. If health and safety concerns are not resolved internally, a worker can seek enforcement by filing a complaint with the ministry's Health and Safety Contact Centre at 1-877-202-0008.

Ministry inspectors are inspecting job sites today and every day. Employers and constructors should know: failure to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations could result in a stop work order.

Keeping job sites open during the current pandemic requires a heightened focus on health and safety.

We all have a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19."

Additional Resources

  • Read the Chief Prevention Officer’s guidance to the construction sector on health and safety related to COVID-19.
  • Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19

March 29, 2020

Ontario Prohibits Gatherings of More Than Five People with Strict Exceptions

TORONTO — Today, the Ontario government is taking immediate and decisive action to further stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and well-being of all Ontarians.

Based on the best advice of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is issuing a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people, effective immediately.

This order would not apply to private households with five people or more. It would also not apply to  operating child care centres supporting frontline health care workers and first responders provided the number of persons at each centre does not exceed 50 people. Funerals would be permitted to proceed with up to 10 people at one time.

"If we are going to stop the spread of COVID-19 now and keep our communities safe, we need to take extraordinary measures to ensure physical distancing," said Premier Doug Ford. "I strongly encourage everyone to do the responsible thing and stay home unless absolutely necessary. I can assure everyone that we will do everything in our power to stop this virus in its tracks."

"We are acting on the best advice of our Chief Medical Officer of Health and other leading public health officials across the province," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "These are extraordinary times that demand extraordinary measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect our people. Nothing is more important."

Organized public events include parades, events including weddings, social gatherings and communal services within places of worship. This order replaces a previous emergency order which prohibits organized public events of over 50 people.

Ontario declared a provincial state of emergency on March 17, 2020 and has issued orders to close non-essential workplaces, recreational programs, libraries, publicly funded schools, private schools, daycares, provincial parks, churches and other faith settings, as well as bars and restaurants, except those that may only offer takeout or delivery. Essential services, such as grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, public transit, manufacturing facilities, and supply chain companies remain open and operational.

Quick Facts

  • Everyone in Ontario should be practicing physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people. Avoid close contact (within 2 metres) with people outside of your immediate families.
  • On March 25, 2020, the federal government announced an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19. They should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days.
  • Take everyday steps to reduce exposure to COVID-19 and protect your health: wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer; sneeze and cough into your sleeve; avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; avoid contact with people who are sick; stay home if you are sick.

Additional Resources

March 28, 2020

Ontario Taking Emergency Measures to Support Long-Term Care Homes During COVID-19

Today, the Government of Ontario is implementing a new emergency order to ensure that staffing and resources are available to help care for and protect long-term care residents during the COVID-19 crisis. These temporary measures provide further flexibility for long-term care homes and allow homes to redirect their staffing and financial resources to essential tasks.

In addition, the Ministry of Long-Term Care is also implementing a new approach to redeploying its highly qualified inspectors. These nurses, dieticians, and physiotherapists will be supporting long-term care homes on the ground through staff supply, care coordination, serving as point-people with Public Health, helping homes to prevent and contain infections, and many other tasks necessary to the safety and security of residents.

"The COVID-19 global pandemic presents challenges the likes of which we have not seen before," said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. "I want to assure you that we are working around the clock to keep your loved ones safe and we will not stop acting to keep long-term care residents and staff safe and secure. I want to thank the dedicated staff of these homes who are working tirelessly during these unprecedented times."

Critical funding for the long-term care sector was recently announced in Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19. A $243 million fund will create additional surge capacity in homes, while supporting 24/7 screening, more staffing and supplies and equipment to help with prevention and containment of this COVID-19 outbreak. This builds on an immediate injection of funding that long-term care homes have already received.

Quick Facts

  • A new emergency order will help homes tackle a COVID-19 outbreak by addressing restrictions around staffing, reporting complaints, and documentation to help ensure there are enough staff to care for residents.
  • Redeploying inspectors to help with critical areas of need was also done in the long-term care sector during SARS in 2003. This model was effective in supporting homes through that pandemic.
  • Several enhanced measures have been introduced in long-term care homes to enforce social and physical distancing and contain the spread of COVID-19. These include increased bed availability to ensure homes are able to provide isolation rooms, ensuring sufficient nursing and personal support care staff are available and a temporary order that gives homes the flexibility they need to deploy staff when and where they are needed.

Additional Resources

March 28, 2020

Ontario Protecting Consumers from Price Gouging

TORONTO — Today, Premier Doug Ford announced new penalties to combat price gouging and hold offenders accountable for raising prices significantly on the necessary goods Ontarians need to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19.

Effective immediately, the government has issued an emergency order that retail businesses and individuals in Ontario cannot charge unfair prices for necessary goods.

Individual offenders can face a ticket of $750, or, if summoned to court and convicted, could face a maximum penalty of a $100,000 fine and one year in jail. If convicted, a company director or officer could face a fine of up to $500,000 and up to a year in jail, and a corporation could face a fine of up to $10 million.

"Starting today, we are taking serious steps to ensure our frontline workers, our families and our most vulnerable citizens have what they need to stay safe," said Premier Doug Ford. "We are putting an end to those trying to profit off of one of the darkest periods in our province's history. If you're engaging in price gouging on necessary goods, we are going to slap you with a ticket or you could face fines or jail time."

Necessary goods include:

  • Masks and gloves used as personal protective equipment in relation to infections.
  • Non-prescription medications for the treatment of the symptoms of the coronavirus.
  • Disinfecting agents intended for cleaning and disinfecting objects or humans.
  • Personal hygiene products, including soap products and paper products.

"As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve provincially and globally, we are seeing a shortage of necessary goods available to the public, such as hand sanitizers and household cleaners," said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. "We will not tolerate those taking advantage of these difficult times to charge unfair and unreasonable prices. It is not right and our government is taking swift and decisive action to put an end to it with extremely stiff penalties."

Consumers can report an individual who is price gouging by filing a complaint at 1-800-889-9768 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, or by filing a report online.  

Quick Facts

  • The Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act establishes the province’s legal framework for managing emergencies.
  • The order will be in effect for the duration of the declared provincial emergency.
  • Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), the order prohibits persons, including retailers, from selling necessary goods for unconscionable prices. “Unconscionable prices” would be defined as a price that grossly exceeds the price at which similar goods are readily available to like consumers, which is consistent with well-established principles from the Consumer Protection Act.
  • Violating the order can result in a ticket in the amount of $750, or a charge under the EMCPA, with the possibility of a court imposed fine of up to $100,000 and up to a year imprisonment for an individual. A director or officer of a corporation could face a fine of not more than $500,000 and a term of imprisonment of not more than one year. In the case of a corporation, to a fine of not more than $10,000,000 may be imposed.
  • Businesses and organizations who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions to support the government’s response to COVID-19 can visit Ontario.ca/OntarioTogether.
  • The government is currently consulting on other ways to improve consumer protections in Ontario. Those interested can take part in a survey at the following link: Share your feedback to help us improve the rules under Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act.

Additional Resources

March 28, 2020

Ontario Protecting Supply Chains To Support COVID-19 Emergency Response

TORONTO - Ontario continues to take important steps to protect the province's supply chain and make sure the heroes on the front lines have the essential goods and services they need in the fight against COVID-19 like ventilators, masks and swabs.

"COVID-19 is impacting supply chains across Canada, and around the world," said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. "That's why we are proclaiming the Supply Chain Management Act to make sure we can deploy critical supplies, equipment and services to where they are needed most."

These regulations will enable the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services and the Ministry of Health to centrally manage public sector supply chains. It will allow the collection of key data on inventories, orders and supply constraints and the development of a virtual inventory tool so that demand for crucial supplies are visible and trackable. With these measures in place, the government can prioritize buying what is needed most, deploying them, and allocating them on a priority basis to support the delivery of essential services to Ontarians.

Support will also be available to other public entities, such as publicly funded social service agencies and municipalities if they choose to participate.

"Ontario is implementing critical and necessary measures to ensure that we are able to protect the health and well-being of Ontarians," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "This includes working with innovators and businesses across the province who can supply emergency products and cutting-edge solutions to support ongoing efforts to contain COVID-19."

Ontario has also launched Ontario Together, a new website that is helping businesses work with the province to meet the challenges of COVID-19. This removes barriers allowing Ontario's manufacturing sector to redeploy capacity towards the production of essential equipment.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario declared a state of emergency on March 17, 2020 in the fight against COVID-19.
  • As part of Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, Ontario has announced $935 million for the hospital sector, to address capacity issues, an additional 1,000 acute care and 500 critical care beds, and for additional assessment centres.
  • The government launched Ontario Together to invite businesses and their employees to supply emergency products and innovative solutions in the battle against this disease.

Additional Resources

  • Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

March 28, 2020

Ontario Provides $3.3 Billion More to Increase Health Care Capacity

TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing an additional $3.3 billion to support frontline health care workers and increase health care capacity in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This funding will allow the province to take immediate action to increase the number of assessment centres, add more acute care and critical care beds, improve testing and provide more protective equipment for frontline workers.

Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID‑19 includes $2.1 billion in new and urgent funding to combat and contain the spread of COVID-19, as well as $1.2 billion to continue the government's long-term plan to build a health care system that is there for patients when and where they need it.

"Our government will spare no expense to protect the health and safety of our frontline health care workers," said Premier Doug Ford. "They're always looking out for us and our government is looking out for them. We'll do everything within our power to ensure our frontlines workers have the necessary resources to take down COVID-19 and keep individuals and families safe."

"These are extraordinary times that demand extraordinary measures," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "Ontario's historic investments to dramatically expand hospital capacity and support the heroes working on the frontlines of our health care system will ensure we are able to respond to the growing challenge of COVID-19 and protect the health and wellbeing of all Ontarians."

"COVID-19 is an extraordinary threat to the health and economy of Ontario - the greatest we've faced in my lifetime," said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance. "Our number one priority is, and will remain, the health and safety of the people of Ontario, which is why our government will allocate an additional $3.3 billion dollars for health care this year. We are all so proud of the health care professionals on the frontlines of this global pandemic. They can be confident that, whatever happens, they will have the resources they need to protect the people of Ontario."

The new investments in Ontario's health care system include:

  • Investing $935 million more in hospitals, including $594 million to continue working on expanding capacity and $341 million to prepare for COVID-19 with an additional 1,000 acute care and 500 critical care beds and to fund assessment centres.
  • Increasing public health funding by $160 million to support COVID-19 monitoring and testing, including investments in virtual care and Telehealth Ontario.
  • Investing $243 million for surge capacity in long-term care facilities, 24/7 screening of staff and visitors, more staffing to support infection control and additional supplies and equipment.
  • Investing $75 million to supply personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies to frontline staff.
  • Dedicating $1 billion COVID-19 contingency fund, as part of the additional health care investments.

Quick Facts

  • This $3.3 billion investment includes the government’s initial $304 million announcement to immediately respond to the outbreak, including funding for new assessment centres, screening and testing, and protection for frontline workers and first responders.
  • A new website, Ontario Together, will help the government partner with Ontario’s manufacturing sector to meet the challenges of the COVID 19 outbreak and redirect resources towards the production of essential equipment such as ventilators, masks and swabs.

Additional Resources

March 26, 2020

Ontario Enabling Financial Relief for Businesses

TORONTO - The Ontario Government is enabling $1.9 billion in relief for employers to reduce the financial strain on business brought on by COVID-19. The measure, which will run through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), will see premium payments deferred for six months for all businesses in the province.

"During this unprecedented period of uncertainty and hardship, our government is doing everything possible to support businesses and protect jobs," said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. "By making this change today, we are building upon the substantial financial help we are providing business owners and workers. The top priority is to keep people safe."

All employers covered by the WSIB's workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the provisions of the relief package and can defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. They will not be required to opt in to receive this benefit.

Additionally, the WSIB will cease interest accrual on all outstanding premium payments. They will not charge penalties during this six-month deferral period. There will be no negative consequences for businesses who defer premium reporting and payments. The WSIB will continue to fully cover workers at eligible workplaces.

"We have worked closely with the Government of Ontario to help Ontario businesses as they face this unprecedented challenge," said Elizabeth Witmer, Chair of the WSIB. "We're here to help."

The relief program is part of a $17 billion package included in Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.

The government's action plan will make available $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flow, protecting jobs and household budgets.

Additionally, through the WSIB, the government reduced costs to employers by a new rate framework and the elimination of the unfunded liability charge, putting more than $2 billion back into the economy.

"Our government is working day and night to provide Ontarians with certainty and support during this difficult time. This Relief Package being implemented by the WSIB will help sustain businesses, protect our economy and save jobs," said Minister McNaughton.

The new measure builds on the government's previous actions to support business and protect jobs.

Quick Facts

  • The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board covers over five million people in more than 300,000 workplaces across Ontario.
  • Businesses are not required to inform the WSIB that they will be taking advantage of this financial relief package.
  • The deferred premiums will amount to an average $1,760 for approximately 275,000 Ontario businesses.

Additional Resources

March 26, 2020

Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19

TORONTO — Today, Finance Minister Rod Phillips released Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 (March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update).

The government's action plan is a first step in its response to COVID-19 and includes $7 billion in additional resources for the health care system and direct support for people and jobs. It also will make available $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flow, protecting jobs and household budgets.

This $17 billion response is a critical first step to ensure our health care system, communities and economy are positioned to weather the challenges ahead. The plan includes historic levels of prudence, including a dedicated $1 billion COVID-19 contingency fund, as part of the additional health care investments, as well as an unprecedented $2.5 billion reserve and an increased contingency fund of $1.3 billion to provide continued flexibility to respond to changing global circumstances.

The plan includes $3.3 billion in additional health care resources to protect the health and well-being of the people of Ontario.

"As Finance Minister, my number one priority right now is ensuring that our front-line health care professionals have the resources they need to fight the COVID-19 outbreak," said Minister Phillips. "The people of Ontario can have confidence that we will do whatever it takes to protect their health and well-being. These additional resources will enhance hospital capacity, protect our loved ones in long-term care, and support our public health officials' work to flatten the curve and slow the spread."

Health

  • Committing to a dedicated $1.0 billion COVID-19 contingency fund for emerging needs related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Investing $935 million for the hospital sector, including $594 million to accelerate progress on the government's commitment to address capacity issues, as well as $341 million for an additional 1,000 acute care and 500 critical care beds and additional assessment centres.
  • Increasing public health funding by $160 million to support COVID-19 monitoring, surveillance, and laboratory and home testing, while also investing in virtual care and Telehealth Ontario.
  • Investing $243 million for surge capacity in the long-term care sector, as well as funding for 24/7 screening, more staffing to support infection control, and supplies and equipment to help tackle the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Investing $75 million to supply personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies to front-line staff to tackle COVID-19.

As part of the action plan, the Province also announced $3.7 billion to directly and urgently support people and to protect jobs.

"During this global pandemic, I want the people of Ontario to be focused on their health — not worrying about losing their job or how to make ends meet as they deal with unexpected additional expenses," said Minister Phillips. "We are helping make life a little more manageable for every person in Ontario, while providing additional support to those who need it the most."

Key initiatives in the government's plan to strengthen its response to the COVID-19 outbreak and support people, families, workers and employers include:

People and Jobs

  • Helping families pay for the extra costs associated with school and daycare closures during the COVID-19 outbreak by providing a one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those with special needs, including children enrolled in private schools.
  • Proposing to double the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment for low-income seniors for six months.
  • Supporting more affordable electricity bills for eligible residential, farm and small business consumers, by providing approximately $5.6 billion for electricity cost relief programs in 2020-21, which is an increase of approximately $1.5 billion compared to the 2019 Budget plan.
  • Further supporting more affordable electricity bills by setting electricity prices for residential, farm and small business time-of-use customers at the lowest rate, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day for 45 days to support ratepayers in their increased daytime electricity usage as they respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, addressing concerns about time-of-use metering.
  • Cutting taxes by $355 million for about 57,000 employers through a proposed temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption.
  • Providing $9 million in direct support to families for their energy bills by expanding eligibility for the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and ensuring that their electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected for nonpayment during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Providing emergency child care options to support parents working on the front lines, such as health care workers, police officers, firefighters and correctional officers.
  • Expanding access to the emergency assistance program administered by Ontario Works to provide financial support to people facing economic hardship and help more people meet basic needs such as food and rent during this public health emergency.
  • Enhancing funding by $148 million for charitable and non-profit social services organizations such as food banks, homeless shelters, churches and emergency services to improve their ability to respond to COVID-19, by providing funding directly to Consolidated Municipal Service Managers and District Social Service Administration Boards who would allocate this funding based on local needs.
  • Providing six months of Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loan and interest accrual relief for students, leaving more money in people's pockets.
  • Helping to support regions lagging in employment growth with a proposed new Corporate Income Tax Credit, the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit.
  • Providing additional supports of $26 million to Indigenous peoples and communities, including emergency assistance for urban Indigenous people in financial need, and costs for health care professionals and critical supplies to reach remote First Nations.

The government's plan also includes measures that will make available $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flows over the coming months, including:

  • Making available $6 billion by providing five months of interest and penalty relief for businesses to file and make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes.
  • Over $1.8 billion by deferring the upcoming June 30 quarterly municipal remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days, which will provide municipalities the flexibility to, in turn, provide property tax deferrals to residents and businesses, while ensuring school boards continue to receive their funding.
  • Making available $1.9 billion by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) allowing employers to defer payments for up to six months.

"We're taking responsible steps to lessen the burden for businesses and people," said Minister Phillips. "Together, these actions can free up as much as $10 billion in cash flows for businesses and people in these uncertain times, helping protect jobs and household budgets."

Quick Facts

  • The March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update provides planning assumptions for the year ahead. The government will provide regular updates of the Province’s fiscal and economic outlook throughout the year.
  • The Province is projecting a deficit of $9.2 billion in 2019–20, an improvement of $1.1 billion relative to the 2019 Budget. As a result of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the government is planning for a deficit of $20.5 billion in 2020–21.
  • Ontario’s $2.5 billion reserve in 2020–21 is the highest ever in history.
  • The government will release a multi-year provincial Budget by November 15, 2020. This responsible approach will allow the government to continue assessing the economic situation and put forward a long-term outlook based on the most recent and reliable data.

Additional Resources

March 25, 2020

Stop the Spread Business Information Line Now Open at 1-888-444-3659

The province has launched a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province's recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health.

On Monday, the province issued an emergency order to close at-risk workplaces and encourage non-essential businesses to find ways to help their employees work from home. The government also reminded businesses to put in place protocols for physical distancing and regular hand-washing in order to protect the health and safety of employees and the general public.

Businesses who have questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. 

Help is available from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 a.m.―5:00 p.m.

A complete list of essential services is available on the Government of Ontario's website.

Additional Resources

  • Visit Ontario's website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19 and how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

March 25, 2020