COVID-19 Update for February 19 – 2:35PM

Today, Prime Minister Trudeau provided an update on Canada’s vaccine rollout and announced the extension of several federal support programs. Premier Doug Ford provided an update on the province’s COVID-19 response and the extension of the stay-at-home order in Toronto, Peel and North Bay-Parry Sound for an additional two weeks.

Vaccine Update

Trudeau began today’s remarks by providing an update on Canada’s vaccine deliveries. Canada received 400,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this week, the largest shipment to date. Next week, the Government expects to receive nearly half a million doses, and by the end of March, 6 million doses total of both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will have arrived in Canada.

According to Trudeau, we are now in the “ramp up phase” of our vaccine plan and hundreds of thousands of doses will begin arriving each week. The Prime Minister also reiterated his promise that every Canadian who wants a vaccine by September will be able to receive one.

Extension of Federal Government Support Programs

Trudeau also announced that the federal government is extending the Canada Recovery Benefit and the Canada Recovery Care Giving Benefit by 12 weeks. This brings the new maximum an individual can claim the benefit to 36 weeks in total. The benefit is designed to support individuals while looking for a job, or who are taking care of family members while looking for a job.

The government also announced the extension of the $500-per-week Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, from the current two weeks to a new total of four weeks, and an increase in Employment Insurance benefits as well. Individuals can now claim regular EI for a maximum of 50 weeks, which is 24 more than the existing limit.

Ontario Launches Education Campaign to Help Workplaces Reopen

This morning, Ontario Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Monte McNaughton, announced that the provincial government is launching a new health and safety education campaign, that will focus on helping small and medium-sized businesses reopen safely. The initiative will include on-the-ground assistance for businesses, as well as support materials that will help businesses ensure they are compliant with public health regulations.

You can read the full announcement here.

Stay-at-Home Order Extended in Toronto, Peel and North Bay-Parry Sound

The Ontario government is maintaining the shutdown, the Stay-at-Home order and all existing public health and workplace safety measures for an additional two weeks in the Toronto and Peel Public Health Regions, along with the North Bay-Parry Sound District. These measures will continue to apply until at least Monday, March 8, 2021.

You can read the full announcement here.

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