COVID-19 Update for November 6 2020 – 2:30pm
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an extension to the National Research Council’s Innovation Assistance Program this morning, and Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced an investment to create more hospital beds and alternative health facilities in Ottawa. He also confirmed that effective tomorrow, Ottawa will be moving to the orange ‘restrict’ level and Peel region will be moving to the red ‘control’ level.
Government of Canada set to extend the National Research Council’s Innovation Assistance Program at the cost of $155 million.
Today the Prime Minister announced the extension of the NRC’s Innovation Assistance Program that benefits high-potential and innovative firms in Canada’s tech industry. This program was established in April 2020 and has kept some 24,000 Canadians employed during the pandemic.
The government is investing an additional $155 million into this program that ensure innovative small to medium enterprises in Canada are able to play their part in rebuilding the economy.
Trudeau also took the time to issue a stark message to Canadians that “winter is coming”. He urged Canadians to follow local public health measures as we try and get ourselves on proper footing before the upcoming winter months have us spending more time in enclosed spaces.
Dr. Tam and the Prime Minister expressed optimism that a vaccine could be widely available in Spring 2021. On top of the comments made during today’s announcement, the government has launched a pre-qualification process for businesses interested in the potential roll-out of a COVID-19 vaccine in the next three to five months.
Ottawa receiving provincial funding for healthcare
The provincial government also announced that $45 million will be allocated to create up to 254 beds in hospitals and other health facilities in Ottawa to increase hospital capacity and reduce wait times for patients in Ottawa, according to the news release. This funding, originally announced yesterday as a part of the Budget, will also address ambulance offload times in Ottawa and help hire more frontline staff.
Ottawa and Peel moving to orange and red levels of COVID-19 response framework
Ottawa’s restaurants, bars, and gyms received some welcome news today as Ford confirmed that they would be able to reopen as the provincial government lifts the most recent restrictions on the city. However, Peel will be moving into the red ‘control’ level. Using the new COVID-19 response framework unveiled on Tuesday, the red ‘control’ level, restrictions are a return to a modified stage two, “the most severe [level] available before widescale business or organizational closure”.