COVID-19 Update for April 3, 2020 – 3:30pm

April 3, 2020

Two news conferences were delivered in Ontario today, the first by public health officials, who released projections driving COVID-19 decisions. They were followed by Premier Doug Ford and Deputy Premier and Health Minister Christine Elliott, whose main announcement was a reduction in the types of businesses considered essential services.

Projections

Public health officials Matthew Anderson (President and CEO of Ontario Health), Adalsteinn Brown (Dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto), and Dr. Peter Donnelly (President and CEO of Public Health Ontario) provided projections and scenarios based on currently-available data. Highlights:

  • The Ontario government is projecting between 12,500 and 80,000 COVID-19 cases in the province, with between 3,000 and 15,000 deaths over the course of the entire pandemic.
  • The low end of this prediction is if full intervention is taken while high end of the number is based on the measures currently in place.
  • Without actions, Ontario would have faced upwards of 100,000 deaths over the same period.
  • Ontario’s mortality rate for populations aged 60-79 is projected at 2.9%. For people 80 and over it’s 15.9%.
  • The backlog of tests is now eliminated. COVID-19 testing can now be used strategically and focus on forward planning.

You can read the full data report here.

Essential Business List Reduced from 74 to 44 categories

Premier Ford thanked everyone who has listened to the advice of health professionals, noting, “It’s working so far.” He announced that Ontario is taking a number of steps to further enhance prevention measures, including reducing the number and types of essential workplaces from 74 to 44. The new list will go into effective at 11:59pm on Saturday, April 4th.

Notably removed from the list are cannabis stores and most construction projects, including non-critical industrial construction. Only necessary infrastructure projects like hospitals and transportation will continue and no new residential construction will start.

You can see the revised list here.

Trump’s Blockade

Ford also touched on his conversation with the US Ambassador to Canada, Robert Lighthizer, this morning. The Premier reiterated his disappointment with the US administration’s decision to hold back medical supplies from Canada and was planning for a call with the President of 3M later this afternoon.

Ford vowed to never rely on “President Trump or the Prime Minister or President of any other country ever again,” in regards to the manufacturing of essential health care supplies.

What’s Next

In their presentation, the public health officials noted that there will be a number of additional prevention measures put in place in the coming days. These include:

  • Enhanced focus on enforcement and fines for non-compliance.
  • Expanded direction/guidance on physical distancing, including retail settings.
  • Enhanced support for the elderly, homeless and other vulnerable populations and communities.
  • Considering entry restrictions in some communities including First Nations.
  • Changes in human resource management (the movement of health care workers between settings).
  • Use of technology to reinforce self-isolation (including alerts).
  • Further public education and communication – emphasizing shelter-in-place with few exceptions.

If you have any questions about this update please let us know.

The Enterprise Team

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