COVID-19 Update for March 30, 2020 – 2:00pm
Premier Doug Ford’s daily briefing followed a statement by Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, who strongly encouraged individuals over 70 years of age, and those at increased risk because of underlying health conditions, to self-isolate.
Dr. Williams released updated recommendations, including that all Ontarians stay home except to:
- Access health care services
- Shop for groceries
- Pick-up medication at the pharmacy
- Walk pets when required
- Support the vulnerable
Plea for Time
When Premier Ford spoke, he noted that the province is in the process of securing “massive, massive amounts” of medical supplies and protective equipment. However, he cautioned that production of these supplies will take some time, and that a surge in COVID-19 patients in the interim could seriously challenge the supply lines. As such, he reiterated the need for all Ontarians to stay home and maintain social distancing when they do need to venture out.
In terms of when people leave their homes, Ford expressed dismay at the “packed streets” he saw during warm weather this past weekend. He warned that the government is prepared to take harder action if they don’t see a slowdown in the spread of the virus in the coming days.
The Premier acknowledged that the current lockdown will be extended for at least another two-week increment, and that any further steps will be on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the COVID-19 Command Table.
Protecting Ontario Seniors
A key focus of today’s briefing was keeping seniors safe. This concern was exacerbated by news of a rising number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in a long-term care home in Bobcaygeon, Ontario. [The story was originally reported by the Globe and Mail.]
The Premier announced a doubling, to $10 million, of funding to help community organizations coordinate subsidized deliveries of meals, medicines and other necessities to seniors, and that the government is also working with grocers and pharmacists to prioritize seniors’ delivery orders and establish seniors-only shopping hours.
He reiterated the province’s $243 million in funding for long-term care homes announced in the Ontario Action Plan, and vowed to put an “iron ring” around seniors and long-term care homes.
If you have any questions about this update, please let us know.
The Enterprise Team