COVID-19 Update for April 8, 2020 – 2:00pm
This afternoon Premier Doug Ford, alongside Minister of Labour Monte McNaughton, announced that Ontario is extending construction hours for essential construction projects, like critical projects in the health-care sector, to 24 hours a day.
Minister McNaughton again offered assistance to essential workers who are working in unsafe conditions; instructing any concerned workers to call 1-877-202-0008 to report infractions.
Minister McNaughton also announced a number of initiatives to keep workers safe on the job. These include:
- Extending an invitation to recently retired workplace inspectors to temporarily come back on the job and help keep jobsites safe.
- Deploying an additional 30 employment standards officers to help businesses understand and comply with health and safety requirements.
- Hiring an additional 30 specialists from health and safety associations to support employers and workers in the field.
- Additional health and safety guidance notes to support specific sectors.
- Doubling capacity of health and safety call centre from 25 lines to 50 lines.
You can read the full news release here.
Ford addressed the growing concern for the substantially low amounts of COVID-19 testing being done in Ontario. On Tuesday, April 7, fewer than 3,000 tests were completed across the province, even though Ontario has a capacity to deliver more than 13,000. Ford called these numbers, “absolutely unacceptable,” saying he wants to see every patient or resident and front line health-care workers in Ontario hospitals and long-term care facilities tested. Ford also wants to see first responders, such as police, fire and paramedics, tested as well.
Long Weekend Business Hours
Ford circled back on whether or not he would keep essential businesses like grocery stores open over the long weekend, as a means to prevent long lines and hoarding of food. Ford announced that stores will be open on Thursday, Saturday and Monday, and will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday to give front line heroes a much needed and deserved break.
Health Workforce Matching Portal
Premier Ford thanked the 8,000 individuals who signed up for the Health Workforce Matching Portal and announced that more than 1,000 have already been matched to a job. Workers and organizations can register for the Workforce Matching Portal here.
If you have any questions about this update please let us know.
The Enterprise Team