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Archived 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

This article contains an archived collection of local, provincial and federal COVID-19 related information that we published to our website between March and September 2020. For the latest news and information, please view our 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information page.

Archived Updates

Archived Local Updates

Playgrounds and geocaching are back as Highlands East reopens in stage three

Published July 16, 2020

Municipal Office use will remain by appointment only, facility rentals will resume with limitations, playground equipment will reopen and geocaching will once again be allowed.

Learn more.

Health Unit makes face masks mandatory

Published July 8, 2020

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit has issued instructions to businesses requiring that people to wear a non-medical mask or face covering before entering their commercial establishment. The new rules take effect on Monday, July 13, 2020. 

Learn more.

Public water taps now on 24/7

Published June 30, 2020

The water taps in Wilberforce and Gooderham will be left on without restrictions for use by the public. Please follow safety guidelines and instructions on the signage that is posted at these locations.

Learn more.

Highlands East publishes guide for accessing municipal offices

Published June 19, 2020

We have published information on what services can now be accessed by the public in our municipal offices and how to make an appointment.

View the Guide

Highlands East to reopen public beaches

Published June 17, 2020

Public beaches in Highlands East are scheduled to reopen on Friday, June 19, 2020 with docks going into the water the following week. The public is asked to practice physical distancing and be safe and responsible.

Learn more.

Municipal offices to reopen by appointment only

Published June 17, 2020

The Wilberforce Municipal Office and the Building Department Office in Gooderham will reopen to the public by appointment only on Monday, June 22, 2020.

Learn more.

Highlands East Fire Department resumes issuing open air burn permits

Published May 20, 2020

Residents can now apply for daytime burn permits for fires larger than 24 inches. Special application and payment processes are in place to protect staff and clients. Please allow five business days for your permit to be issued.

Learn more.

Highlands East Building Department resumes issuing building permits

Published May 20, 2020

As of Tuesday, May 19, 2020 the provincial restrictions for the construction industry have been lifted and the Building Department will be issuing building permits in accordance with this recent announcement. The Building Department previously resumed issuing septic permits earlier in the month. Special protocols regarding office access, payments, inspections and permit pick ups have been put in place to protect staff and clients during the pandemic.

Learn more.

Highlands East eases restrictions on landfill sites, Glamor Lake Park and its boat launches

Published May 13, 2020

In light of the provincial government gradually beginning to open up the economy and ease restrictions, Highlands East will be easing restrictions on landfill sites as well as the Glamor Lake Park and its boat launches. These changes will be in effect for the Victoria Day long weekend.

Learn more.

Haliburton County municipalities to resume issuing permits for septic systems

Published May 8, 2020

Following provincial statements regarding the construction industry and efforts to begin re-opening certain business sectors, the municipalities of Haliburton County will resume issuing permits for septic systems on Monday, May 11, 2020.

Permits for building and/or demolition will continue to be accepted for review but will not be issued until the provincial government removes restrictions for such construction projects.

Learn more.

Highlands East modifies landfill operations to increase attendant safety

Published May 1, 2020

The municipality is asking that residents refrain from making frequent or unnecessary trips to waste disposal sites. We have placed limits of the amount of bulk items that can be dropped off per visit, have cancelled summer hours of operation until further notice and have issued a series of guidelines that we ask all visitors to abide by.

Learn more.

Highlands East extends property tax due dates to June 30

Published April 17, 2020

Interest and penalties for non-payment of property tax accounts are now deferred until June 30, 2020. Previously, the penalty and interested was deferred until May 1, 2020. With due dates being extended, we still encourage account holders to utilize the various payment methods available, and to submit payments as soon as reasonably possible.

Learn more.

Highlands East takes additional steps to stop the spread of COVID-19

Published April 16, 2020

In response to Ontario extending the Declaration of Emergency until May 12, 2020 we are implementing additional facility closures and programming cancellations in order to help slow the spread of the virus and to keep our community safe. We do not know when the emergency orders will be lifted but at this time we are being proactive and planning for worst-case scenarios.

  • The 2020 summer swim programs for the Cardiff Pool, Wilbermere Beach and Pine Lake Beach have been cancelled. Learn more.
  • The Information Centre will not be reopening for the summer season at this time. Learn more.

Read our media release.

HHHS expands acute care capacity and separates facilities for COVID and non-COVID needs

Published April 8, 2020

Haliburton Highlands Health Services has expanded the Acute Care Unit in Haliburton from 15 to 21 beds for COVID related needs and a new 9 bed Acute Care Unit has been created at the Minden site for non-COVID related admissions. 

No type of emergency will be turned away at either site, however HHHS is encouraging residents with respiratory symptoms who need to visit an Emergency Department to go to the Haliburton site. Residents with no respiratory symptoms should go to the Minden site.

If you suspect you might have COVID-19 symptoms and are not experiencing an emergency situation, the first step to take is to use the online self-assessment tool. If directed by the self-assessment, you may then call the Haliburton Family Medical Centre at 705-457-1212 (press 6) during regular business hours to book an appointment for testing. Residents can also contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

If you are in distress and require an ambulance, it is important that you tell the dispatcher of any respiratory symptoms you may have.

Download the press release.

Municipality asks that residents stay home for Easter

Published April 9, 2020

We encourage residents to stay connected with friends and family this Easter weekend by hosting virtual dinners, through telephone or through online video chatting services. It will not look or feel the same as a traditional dinner but protecting everyone’s safety now ensures we will have future gatherings to attend.

Learn more.

Highlands East reminds property owners that short term accommodations are restricted during the pandemic

Published April 9, 2020

Issued under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, the ruling stipulates that as of 11:59 p.m. on April 4, 2020 short-term rentals are only permitted for individuals who are in need of housing during the emergency period. 

Learn more.

Construction limitations in Haliburton County due to COVID-19

Published April 9, 2020

Ontario's Essential Services list limits the types of allowed construction during the pandemic. Municipalities within the County of Haliburton will not be issuing new building or septic permits except in specific circumstances.

Learn more.

HHHS launches new Haliburton Cares website for local COVID-19 information

Published April 3, 2020

Haliburton Highlands Health Services has created a new website dedicated to acting as a hub for location information on the coronavirus pandemic. Residents can find out what to do if they are feeling unwell, how they can access regular care if they require it and access a list of community supports and mental health services. People can also find out how they can help by donating supplies or just sharing a thoughtful message for our local frontline health care workers.

Visit the website at www.haliburtoncares.ca

Highlands East closes geocaching and mineral collection sites, will not open public docks and beaches

Published April 2, 2020

Water access points (boat launches) will remain open, however docks will not be put into lakes in an effort to prevent groups from forming. Mineral collection and geocaching sites are closed to the public due to difficulties with physical distancing and sanitization.

Learn more.

No daytime burning permits being issued within Haliburton County

Published April 1, 2020

In addition to regular daytime burning restrictions between April 1 and October 31, the Municipality of Highlands East along with the other municipalities in Haliburton County will not be issuing daytime burning permits due to COVID-19 safety measures.

Learn more.

Haliburton County's COVID-19 Assessment Centre opens March 31, 2020

Published March 30, 2020

The Haliburton County COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre is staffed by health care providers who will complete a phone assessment and advise as to appropriate next steps, which may include self-monitoring instructions, self-isolation instructions, or further assessment and possible testing in the drive-through facility.

Learn more.

Haliburton County's doctors ask seasonal residents to remain at primary residence

Published March 29, 2020

Our local physicians have written a letter to seasonal residents of Haliburton County requesting that they consider remaining at their primary residence because the county has a limited ability to handle a larger number of patients during the pandemic.

Learn more.

Highlands East closes park and playground equipment

Published March 27, 2020

We have implemented additional safety measures that involve the closure of playground structures and equipment, basketball and tennis courts and ask that appropriate physical distancing be observed when enjoying green spaces in public parks.

Learn more.

Haliburton Highlands Health Services issues proactive appeal for health care workers to assist with COVID-19 response

Published March 24, 2020

HHHS is looking for local health care workers such as nurses, home support workers/personal care attendants, dental hygenists etc. who may be retired, relocated or currently otherwise employed to come forward to assist with the COVID-19 response. Training and orientation will be provided.

Learn more.

Highlands East issues essential service update

Published March 24, 2020

The Municipality of Highlands East continues to operate as an essential service to the public. In order to adhere to the directive put in place by the Ontario government, the Emergency Operations Centre for the Municipality of Highlands East continues to plan for enhanced safety measures for the both community and our staff members.

Learn more.

List of local services for those self-isolating or affected by the pandemic

Published March 22, 2020

The Municipality of Highlands East will be keeping a list updated with local agencies like food banks and businesses providing services such as grocery delivery to help those self-isolating and who are otherwise in need and at risk.

Learn more.

Highlands East stresses the importance of social distancing and self-isolation

Published March 21, 2020

It is imperative that we do all that we can to slow the spread of this virus and "flatten the curve". There is no need to panic but there is a need for everyone to take this matter very seriously in order to limit the potential of an outbreak in our community and beyond.

Learn more.

Highlands East declares State of Emergency

Published March 19, 2020

A State of Local Emergency has been declared in Highlands East as of 12:30 p.m. on March 19, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Learn more.

Highlands East activates Emergency Operations Centre

Published March 18, 2020

We have activated our Emergency Operations Centre that allows us to effectively respond to emergencies, deploy resources and provide services in the best interests of residents. Learn more.

HCDC announces Emergency Loan Program

Published March 17, 2020

The Haliburton County Development Corporation has announced an Emergency Loan Program to assist local businesses impacted by the pandemic. HCDC is also encouraging their existing loan clients to contact them to discuss options.

Download the HCDC News Release

HKPR Health Unit's COVID-19 Workplace Resources

Published March 14, 2020

The heath unit has an extensive collection of videos on Youtube specifically to help local businesses deal with COVID-19 and keep customers and employees safe. They have also made a collection of posters available for businesses to use.

What Highlands East residents should do to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Published March 13, 2020

Health partners in Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland and Peterborough City and County are working together proactively to encourage safe practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Don't go to the ER, call the HKPR

If you have fever and/or cough, have traveled to one of the affected countries in the past 14 days or have had close or confirmed contact with a probable case, self-isolate at home, do not go to the Emergency Department. Contact your local Public Health Unit or Telehealth Ontario for additional direction: 

  • HKPR District Health Unit – 1-866-888-4577 ext. 5020 
  • Peterborough Public Health – 705-743-1000 ext. 401 
  • Telehealth Ontario – 1-866-797-0000 
All residents of the region are asked to: 
  • Avoid going to hospital or other healthcare settings for non-essential reasons. This includes visitors as well as patients with elective (non-urgent) appointments or procedures. Some hospitals have started screening visitors for illness and travel history at all public entrances; others have plans to begin this practice soon. If you need to go to a healthcare environment for investigation of respiratory symptoms, wear a disposable face mask as prompted. 
  • Follow the recommended rules of social distancing to avoid close contact with others who may be sick. Avoid crowds, gatherings and events and maintain a two-metre distance between people in public environments. Today, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health recommended an immediate suspension of gatherings of more than 250 people. The Canadian government has also advised Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada. 
  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Hands should be cleaned for at least 15-20 seconds. Cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow, and throw used tissues in the garbage. 
  • Clean frequently-touched areas in your home environment, including toilets, bedside tables, light switches, door handles and personal devices such as phones and tablets. 
  • Contact your local public health unit or Telehealth Ontario if you have concerns about COVID-19. 

As cases of COVID-19 are confirmed in the region, this information will be shared with the public in partnership with local public health and the provincial government’s daily reporting updates. 

Thank you to everyone for doing their part to help contain and prevent the spread of illness in our communities as our healthcare partners work hard to meet additional demand on the system.

Archived Provincial Updates

Ontario updates to visitor’s policy with easy-to-follow guidelines for accommodating caregivers

Published September 3, 2020

The updated visitor policy outlines that:

  • Each resident and/or their substitute decision maker may designate a maximum of two caregivers.
  • Caregivers can visit, without time limits.
  • If a home is not in outbreak, and the resident is not self-isolating or symptomatic, caregivers can visit together. If a home is in outbreak, or the resident is self-isolating or symptomatic, they must visit one at a time to limit risk of transmission and follow direction from the local public health unit.

Read the press release.

Province announces outings now possible for long-term care home residents

Published August 28, 2020

Effective immediately, residents can spend time away from their long-term care homes for day trips or overnight absences. For 'short-stay' absences — those that do not include an overnight stay — homes must provide residents with a medical mask to be worn at all times when outside of the home, if tolerated, and remind them of the importance of public health measures, including physical distancing. When they return, residents must be actively screened but are not required to be tested or to self-isolate.

Read the press release.

Ontario supporting the safe reopening of more spaces at gyms and recreation centres

Published August 14, 2020

Province is applying a capacity limit on a per room basis to help more businesses reopen their doors, get more people back to work and promote the return to a healthy and active lifestyle for all Ontarians. Beginning August 15, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., these facilities can have up to 50 patrons for each indoor sport or fitness room, while ensuring physical distancing of at least two metres.

Read the press release.

Ontario takes additional steps to better protect students and staff

Published August 14, 2020

Government makes further investments to ensure a safe return to school in September.

Read the press release.

COVID Alert app now available for download

Published July 31, 2020

The Ontario government is encouraging everyone to download the new COVID Alert app on their smart phone from the Apple and Google Play app stores. This app, which is available beginning today, lets users know if they may have been exposed to the virus. It is free, easy and safe to use. The more people who download the app, the more effective it will be in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Read the press release.

Ontario supporting non-profits as province recovers from COVID-19

Published August 5, 2020

The Ontario government is investing $83 million through the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to provide grants to help eligible non-profit organizations, including food banks, child and youth programs and Royal Canadian Legion branches, recover from COVID-19 and continue the delivery of vital programming in their communities.

Read the press release.

Ontario releases plan for reopening of schools

Published July 30, 2020

The government has unveiled a plan that prioritizes the health and safety of students and staff, and provides school boards with unprecedented resources and flexibility, while accommodating regional differences in trends of key public health indicators. This plan was developed in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the COVID-19 Command Table and paediatric experts.

Read the press release.

Ontario continues to gradually and safely reopen child care for working parents

Published July 30, 2020

The Ontario government has announced its plan to allow licensed child care centres across Ontario to open at full capacity starting September 1, 2020. This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the COVID-19 Command Table. As a result, parents will be able to return to work knowing their children are in a safe and supportive care setting.

Read the press release.

Nearly all Ontario businesses and public spaces to reopen in stage three

Published July 13, 2020

The Ontario government announced nearly all businesses and public spaces will reopen in Stage 3 of the province's reopening framework with public health and workplace safety measures and restrictions in place and public gatherings will increase in size as the province continues its path to economic recovery.

Read the press release.

Ontario extends emergency orders

Published July 9, 2020

The extension was made to ensure the province maintains the necessary flexibility to protect public health and safety as more businesses reopen and people go back to work.

Read the press release.

Ontario launches online training to promote safe workplaces

Published July 3, 2020

As the province safely and gradually reopens, the Ontario government is investing $3 million to provide free online health and safety training for the first time. These virtual courses will make it easier for job seekers and workers to get essential qualifications, while practising physical distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Read the press release.

Ontario courts gradually resuming in-person proceedings

Published June 30, 2020

Ontario courts will begin resuming in-person proceedings across the province on Monday, July 6, 2020. The gradual reopening of courtrooms will include strict health and safety protocols to protect staff and everyone required to attend a courthouse from COVID-19.

Read the press release.

Ontario celebrating Canada Day with free parks admission and extended free family fishing

Published June 30, 2020

The Ontario government is celebrating Canada Day by offering free day use at all provincial parks, and beginning on July 4, 2020, the province is offering free fishing for two weeks, double the length of last year. In addition, numerous Ontario attractions have special virtual experiences and events planned for July 1, 2020 which will help showcase Ontario's artistic and musical excellence.

Read the press release.

Ontario extends declaration of emergency to July 15

Published June 24, 2020

This extension, approved by the Ontario Legislature, provides Ontario with the additional time, flexibility, and the necessary tools to safely and gradually allow more places to reopen, while continuing to support frontline health care providers in the fight against COVID-19.

Read the press release.

Ontario preparing for the safe reopening of schools

Published June 19, 2020

The Ontario government has released its safety plan for the resumption of class for the 2020-21 school year, outlining scenarios for how students, teachers and staff can safely return to classrooms in September. The plan also provides choice to parents, enhanced online learning, and additional funding. While the decision to return to the normal school day routine will continue to be based on medical advice, boards and schools are being asked to plan for alternative scenarios that may need to be implemented in September depending on the province's COVID-19 situation.

Read the press release.

Province enhancing COVID-19 case and contact management

Published June 18, 2020

As the province safely and gradually reopens, the Ontario government is enhancing case and contact management to quickly test, trace and isolate cases of COVID-19 to stop the spread of the virus and prepare for any potential future waves. These additional measures include a comprehensive case and contact management strategy, Protecting Ontarians through Enhanced Case and Contact Management, and, in partnership with the federal government, a new made-in-Ontario national app called COVID Alert.

Read the press release.

Ontario pauses commercial evictions

Published June 18, 2020

The Protecting Small Business Act, temporarily halts or reverses evictions of commercial tenants and protects them from being locked out or having their assets seized during COVID-19. The legislation applies to businesses that are eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance for evictions from May 1, 2020 until August 31, 2020.

Read the press release.

Province extends emergency orders

Published June 17, 2020

Current emergency orders will remain in place until the end of June, the government will continue to review each one on an ongoing, case-by-case basis to determine when and if they can safely be adjusted or lifted, as part of the province's framework to safely reopen the province.

Read the press release.

Ontario eases restrictions on weddings and funerals

Published June 15, 2020

Attendees required to practice physical distancing. Indoor services are limited to a maximum of 30 percent capacity of the venue and outdoor ceremonies are limited to 50 attendees.

Read the press release.

Ontarians encouraged to establish social circles

Published June 15, 2020

The provincial government is suggesting that people form social circles of up to 10 people that you can come into close contact with, starting with those you already live with or see regularly. This change is being made to help combat social isolation and improve mental health. Please keep in mind the following points when taking part in your social circle:

  • Anyone who is ill or feeling sick should immediately stop contact with anyone in their social circle.
  • Individuals at higher risk, including those over 70 and individuals with compromised immune systems and/or underlying medical conditions should take additional care when making the decision to expand their circle.
  • While physical distancing does not need to be practised inside the social circle, other public health advice, including frequent hand washing, respiratory etiquette, and not touching your eyes, nose or mouth should be maintained.

Read the press release.

Ontario supports children and youth during COVID-19

Published June 12, 2020

The Ontario government is investing $1 million to improve access to healthy meals and snacks for school-age children and youth during the COVID-19 outbreak. As a result of the province-wide school closures, the Student Nutrition Program has had to find new ways to support families experiencing increased food insecurity.

Read the press release.

Beaches and campsites to open at provincial parks

Published June 10, 2020

People encouraged to enjoy the outdoors responsibly during COVID-19 as more facilities and services will be available at provincial parks in certain regions beginning on June 12, 2020. Gradually over the next several weeks, Ontario Parks will start opening campgrounds, providing more washrooms and drinking water, along with roofed accommodations, park store and rental operations, visitor centres, and sports fields. It's important to check what facilities and services are available before visiting a provincial park.

Read the press release.

Province reveals plan for reopening postsecondary education

Published June 10, 2020

The Ontario government has developed a plan for the gradual and safe resumption of in-person instruction at postsecondary institutions across the province for the summer term. The plan was developed in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Read the press release.

Province helps parents return to work by reopening child care centres

Published June 9, 2020

The Ontario government announced its plan to reopen child care centres across the province to support the next stage of the province's reopening framework. Developed in consultation with Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and medical leaders at The Hospital for Sick Children, the plan will require child care operators to follow strict health protocols to ensure the safety of child care staff and children.

Read the press release.

Ontario permits more businesses and services to reopen in the coming days

Published June 8, 2020

On Friday, June 12, 2020 province will ease restrictions in communities where it is safe to do so, based on trends of key public health indicators such as lower rates of transmission, increased capacity in hospitals, and progress made in testing.

Read the press release.

Ontario extends Emergency Orders to support reopening efforts

Published June 8, 2020

The province has extended all emergency orders currently in force under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until June 19, 2020. Extending these emergency orders will give employers of frontline care providers the necessary flexibility to respond to COVID-19 and protect vulnerable people and the public as the province gradually and safely reopens.

Read the press release.

Province allows Short Term Rentals to resume operations

Published June 5, 2020

Owners, operators and guests must adhere to public health and safety advice and guidelines.

Learn more.

Ontario improving broadband and cell service for rural communities

Published June 3, 2020

Connecting residents and businesses deemed essential for recovery after COVID-19 as Ontario safely and gradually begins to reopen, the provincial government is investing $150 million in reliable broadband and cellular service. This funding will help create even more economic and educational opportunities in rural, remote and underserved areas of the province.

Read the press release.

Province extends Declaration of Emergency until June 30, 2020

Published June 3, 2020

In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario is extending the provincial Declaration of Emergency to June 30. The decision supports the government's efforts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and protect the health and safety of Ontarians as the province reopens in a measured and responsible way. 

Read the press release.

Ontario outlines new initiatives to help people struggling with electricity bills

Published June 2, 2020

Initiatives include a one time payment for those that need to pay down electricity bill debt due to the pandemic, support for small businesses struggling to make payments and the extension of the winter disconnection ban.

Read the press release.

Province extending infectious disease emergency leave for workers during COVID-19

Published June 1, 2020

The Ontario government announced that it has enacted a new regulatory amendment that will put non-unionized employees on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave during the COVID-19 outbreak any time their hours of work are temporarily reduced by their employer due to COVID-19. This will ensure businesses aren't forced to terminate employees after their ESA temporary layoff periods have expired.

Read the press release.

Ontario introduces COVID-19 Recovery Rate for electricity prices

Published May 30, 2020

A fixed  rate of of 12.8 cents per kWh, which will be automatically applied to all time-of-use customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This fixed electricity price will be in place from June 1 to October 31, 2020 and is based on the average cost of electricity.

Read the press release.

Backcountry camping available at Ontario parks and on crown land

Published May 30, 2020

The Ontario government is gradually reintroducing camping in Ontario Parks and recreational camping on Crown land, starting June 1, 2020, to give people more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, while staying safe and practicing physical distancing.

Read the press release.

Ontario opens up COVID-19 testing across the province for general public, frontline workers, first responders and workplaces

Published May 29, 2020

As the province carefully and gradually reopens the economy, the Ontario government is implementing the next phase of its COVID-19 testing strategy to detect and quickly stop the spread of the virus. Testing will now be available to more people in more locations across the province.

Read the press release.

Support for small business tenants and landlords now available

Published May 29, 2020

All commercial landlords in Ontario can now apply for rental assistance to help their small business tenants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative will keep more small businesses in operation and more people employed as the province gradually and safely restarts the economy.

Read the press release.

Ontario extending emergency orders during COVID-19 outbreak

Published May 27, 2020

Current emergency orders include the closure of outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, public swimming pools and outdoor water facilities, as well as bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery. Additionally, there continues to be restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and staff redeployment rules remain in place for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women's shelters.

Read the press release.

As Ontario reopens, people urged to continue following public health advice

Published May 20, 2020

As the Ontario government carefully and gradually reopens the province, those taking public transit, returning to work or going out shopping are being urged to continue to adhere to public health advice as the best line of defence against COVID-19. To assist the public, the Ministry of Health today released specific recommendations on how to choose, wear and care for appropriate face coverings used in public where physical distancing is not possible, along with additional safety measures for provincial transit agencies.

Read the press release.

Ontario makes Health and Safety a top priority as schools remain closed

Published May 19, 2020

The Ontario government is protecting the health and safety of students during the COVID-19 outbreak by keeping schools closed for the rest of this school year. This decision was made after consulting with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, health experts on the COVID-19 Command Table, and medical experts at The Hospital for Sick Children. At the same time, the government is planning for the reopening of schools for the 2020-21 school year, the gradual reopening of child care, and the opening of summer day camps subject to the continuing progress in trends of key public health indicators.

Read the press release.

Province ready to respond to wildland fire season

Published May 15, 2020

At 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2020, Ontario is lifting the Restricted Fire Zone (RFZ) designation that was put in place last month across Ontario's fire region. The province will continue to assess forest fire hazard conditions and an RFZ designation may be reinstated in higher risk areas if conditions deteriorate. These restrictions are put in place in order to reduce the number of preventable human-caused fires and lower the risk of wildfires impacting the public.

Read the press release.

Ontario announces additional workplaces that can reopen

Published May 14, 2020

The Ontario government announced the retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers who will be permitted to open or expand their services on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., provided that the general trend on health indicators continues to improve as part of the first stage of the government's reopening framework. The workplaces opening as part this stage are well-positioned to put workplace safety measures in place and get more people back to work, while not overburdening public transit and other services.

Read the press release.

Ontario making prescription drugs more affordable during COVID-19

Published May 13, 2020

Effective today, people using the Ontario Drug Benefit Program will not be required to pay any co-payment until July 1, 2020 for any prescription of 30+ days that is now being dispensed in installments. In addition, existing and new Trillium Drug Program households can apply for an income reassessment to help reduce the financial burden for families during the outbreak.

Read the press release.

Declaration of Emergency extended while Ontario gradually reopens the economy

Published May 12, 2020

The Declaration of Emergency has been extended until June 2 and will allow Ontario to continue to enforce current emergency orders, such as restricting retirement and long-term care home employees from working in more than one facility and prohibiting events and gatherings of more than five people. This additional time will ensure the province has the necessary tools and health care capacity to contain COVID-19, while gradually reopening businesses, services, and amenities safely.

Read the press release.

Ontario retail stores open for curbside pickup and delivery

Published May 11, 2020

Starting today, more people will be returning to work across the province as the Ontario government allows retail stores with a street entrance to offer curbside pickup and delivery. Over the weekend, garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores began offering in-store purchasing. All retailers should follow available safety guidelines in order to protect staff, consumers and the general public during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Read the press release.

Ontario opening Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves

Published May 11, 2020

The Ontario government is opening provincial parks and conservation reserves for limited day-use access. The first areas will open on Monday May 11, 2020, with the remaining areas opening on Friday May 15, 2020. At this time, recreational activities will be limited to walking, hiking, biking and birdwatching.

Read the press release.

Ontario supports job creators as people start returning to work

Published May 8, 2020

Government continues to prepare for the next stages of reopening the economy.

Read the press release.

Province releases plan to resume scheduled surgeries and procedures

Published May 7, 2020

The Ontario government has developed a comprehensive framework to help hospitals assess their readiness and begin planning for the gradual resumption of scheduled surgeries and procedures, while maintaining capacity to respond to COVID-19. Timelines will vary from hospital to hospital and be conditional on approval by regional oversight tables involved with planning and coordinating Ontario's response to COVID-19.

Read the press release.

Ontario further eases restrictions on retail stores and essential construction

Published May 6, 2020

The province is allowing all retail stores with a street entrance to provide curbside pickup and delivery, as well as in-store payment and purchases at garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores. The business owners should review the health and safety guidelines developed by the province and its health and safety association partners.

Read the press release.

Ontario extends electricity rate relief

Published May 6, 2020

The Ontario government is extending emergency electricity rate relief to families, farms and small businesses until May 31, 2020 during the COVID-19 outbreak. Customers who pay time-of-use electricity rates will continue to be billed at the lowest price, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Read the press release.

Ontario significantly increases daily lab testing for COVID-19

Published May 4, 2020

Ontario has significantly increased testing and contact tracing capacity, allowing health experts to identify cases of COVID-19 and support efforts to stop the spread of the virus in the community, long-term care homes, and other congregate settings. In partnership with Ontario Health, Public Health Ontario, local public health units, and hospital and community laboratories, the Ontario government has developed an integrated laboratory system which has established the province as a national leader in daily testing volumes per capita.

Read the press release.

Province issues emergency orders to help better manage health care resources

Published May 1, 2020

Ontario issued new temporary emergency orders under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to support the immediate needs of the province's hospitals and health care workers so they can better manage critical health care human resources during COVID-19.

Read the press release.

Certain businesses allowed to reopen under strict safety guidelines

Published May 1, 2020

The Ontario government is allowing certain businesses and workplaces to reopen as long as they comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak. Those permitted to start up include seasonal businesses like marinas and garden centres and some essential construction projects.

Read the press release.

Province releases new 511 app to help trucking industry

Published May 1, 2020

The Ontario government is offering a new free 511 app which will provide truck drivers immediate access to the information they need to stay safe, fed and rested while delivering essential goods across the province during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Ontario 511 pilot app is available for free on the App Store and Google Play.

Read the press release.

Ontario providing employers with workplace safety guidelines

Published April 30, 2020

The province is ensuring employers have the safety guidelines they need to protect workers, customers, and the general public from COVID-19 as it prepares for a gradual reopening of the provincial economy.

Read the press release.

More frontline workers eligible for emergency child care

Published April 29, 2020

People who work in the food supply chain, retirement homes, grocery stores and pharmacies, and certain federal employees, including the military will now be eligible to receive emergency child care.

Read the press release.

Province launches new website to help businesses overcome the challenges of COVID-19

Published April 28, 2020

The Ontario government is launching the COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers website to help businesses overcome the unique challenges created by the global pandemic. Businesses working to retool their operations to produce health-related products, or those that want to continue their operations in this new environment of physical distancing, can submit any potential roadblocks to the website. The province is prepared to allow temporary changes to provincial rules and regulations in order to remove any barriers that are hindering business and negatively impacting Ontario's supply chain.

Read the press release.

Ontario unveils guiding principles to reopen the province

Published April 27, 2020

The Ontario government has released A Framework for Reopening our Province, which outlines the criteria Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will use to advise the government on the loosening of emergency measures, as well as guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces.

Read the press release.

School closures extended to May 31 to keep students, staff and families safe

Published April 26, 2020

Students will still be able to complete the school year.

Read the press release.

Ontario supporting frontline heroes with pandemic pay

Published April 25, 2020

The temporary payment will provide four dollars per hour worked on top of existing hourly wages, regardless of the qualified employee's hourly wage. In addition, employees working over 100 hours per month would receive lump sum payments of $250 per month for each of the next four months. The extra payment will be given to staff working in long-term care homes, retirement homes, emergency shelters, supportive housing, social services congregate care settings, corrections institutions and youth justice facilities, as well as those providing home and community care and some staff in hospitals.

Read the press release.

Ontario parks to remain closed until May 31, 2020

Published April 25, 2020

Extension required to keep people safe and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Read the press release.

Governments invest $2.5 million to grow agri-food e-business during COVID-19

Published April 24, 2020

The Agri-Food Open for E-Business initiative will help food producers, farmers markets, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries, and agricultural associations develop online business, providing consumers with greater access to a wide variety of food and agriculture products.

Read the press release.

Ontario provides urgent relief for small businesses and landlords

Published April 24, 2020

Rent assistance in addition to billions in measures to support business during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Read the press release.

Ontario extends emergency orders

Published April 23, 2020

On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is extending all emergency orders that have been put in place to-date under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until May 6, 2020. This extension will help protect the health and well-being of people across the province and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Read the press release.

Ontario delivers action plan to increase protection for vulnerable people and those who care for them

Published April 23, 2020

This plan builds on the government's previous actions to protect people living in high-risk settings, including homes serving those with developmental disabilities, shelters for survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking, children's residential settings, and those residential settings supporting vulnerable Indigenous individuals and families both on and off reserve.

Read the press release.

Ontario takes immediate steps to further protect long-term care residents and staff during COVID-19 outbreak

Published April 22, 2020

The government has introduced more aggressive testing, screening, and surveillance, deployed specialized teams from hospitals, public health and the home care sector, recruited additional frontline staff, and increased personal protective equipment.

Read the press release.

Ontario providing additional relief to the province's most vulnerable

Published April 21, 2020

The Ontario government is delivering much-needed support to Ontario's most vulnerable citizens, including seniors and persons with disabilities, during the outbreak of COVID-19. The province is investing $11 million to help deliver meals, medicines and other essentials to those in need and doubling the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments.

Read the press release.

Health experts say the COVID-19 outbreak has likely peaked in Ontario

Published April 20, 2020

Modelling shows physical distancing still needed to prevent further spread.

Read the press release.

Ontario school boards to provide iPads with data plans to students in need

Published April 17, 2020

The Ontario government has partnered with Rogers Communications and Apple to help meet the educational needs of students and families during the COVID-19 outbreak. iPad devices are being purchased and distributed by Ontario school boards, pre-equipped with free Rogers LTE wireless data. Apple is providing ongoing support in French and English to teachers, parents and students, with a collection of resources to support learning and working from home.

Read the press release.

Province offers emergency child care to more frontline staff

Published April 17, 2020

The Ontario government is expanding the list of essential workers eligible to receive emergency child care. This will help additional frontline staff during the COVID-19 outbreak. An emergency order was issued which will offer support to those providing a variety of critical services including people who assist vulnerable communities, emergency response and law enforcement sector staff, more health and safety workers, and certain federal employees.

Read the press release.

Ontario takes further action to protect vulnerable people from COVID-19

Published April 17, 2020

Province makes it easier to reassign staff where they are needed most and allow for greater flexibiliy in who is hired during this critial time.

Read the press release.

Ontario enables auto insurance companies to provide driver rebates during pandemic

Published April 16, 2020

The Ontario government is enabling auto insurance companies to provide temporary insurance premium rebates to drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The province has amended a regulation under the Insurance Act to help ease the financial pressure on working people and families during this public health crisis.

Read the press release.

Province adds more than 2,000 acute care and critical care beds and enacts pandemic staffing plans

Published April 16, 2020

Ontario has added 1,035 acute care beds and 1,492 critical care beds and taken steps to ensure hospitals have the staff available to care for a sudden surge in patients.

Read the press release.

Ontario ramping up protection for long-term care residents

Published April 15, 2020

In order to better protect the most vulnerable and stop the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care homes, the Ontario government has developed a robust action plan with key measures to be implemented within hours. In addition, the province has issued a new emergency order restricting long-term care staff from working in more than one long-term care home, retirement home or health care setting.

Read the press release.

Province extends Emergency Declaration until May 12, 2020

Published April 14, 2020

On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and with the approval of the Ontario legislature, the Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act for a further 28 days. This will allow the government to continue to use every tool at its disposal to protect the health and safety of the people of Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the press release.

Ontario extends Emergency Order for another two weeks

Published April 11, 2020

To help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of people across the province, the Ontario government has extended all emergency orders that have been put in place to-date under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until April 23, 2020, including the closure of outdoor amenities in parks and recreational areas, non-essential workplaces, public places and bars and restaurants, along with restrictions on social gatherings and the prohibition of price gouging.

Read the press release.

Ontario accelerates essential construction projects during pandemic

Published April 8, 2020

Work on new hospital builds, expansions, and COVID-19 assessment centres will be able to continue any time of the night or day in order to help accelerate the construction of these important projects.

Read the press release.

Province launches online portal to match available health care workers with employers

Published April 7, 2020

The new Health Workforce Matching Portal will enable health care providers including retired or non-active health care professionals, internationally educated health care professionals, students, and volunteers with health care experience get matched to the employers in need of assistance to perform a variety of public health functions.

Read the press release.

Province creates partnership with volunteer hub to help seniors

Published April 9, 2020

The Government of Ontario is partnering with SPARK Ontario to help seniors and the most vulnerable stay connected and healthy as they self isolate during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Read the press release.

Ontario starts planning for economic recovery

Published April 9, 2020

The new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee will focus on getting businesses up and running and people back to work after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

Read the press release.

Ontario providing families with additional financial assistance during school and child care closures

Published April 6, 2020

The new Support for Families initiative offers a one-time payment of $200 per child 0 to 12 years of age, and $250 for those 0 to 21 years of age with special needs.

Read the press release.

Province releases COVID-19 modelling

Published April 3, 2020

Ontario is providing the public with full transparency about the consequences should everyone but non-essential workers fail to stay home and practise physical distancing. Projected number of cases and deaths can be significantly reduced if people stay home.

Read the press release.

Ontario extends business closures

Published April 3, 2020

The Ontario government is reducing the list of businesses classified as essential and ordering more workplaces to close. All businesses not covered by the updated Emergency Order must close as of Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days, with the possibility of an extension as the situation evolves.

Read the press release.

Ontario increasing public health units' capacity to stop COVID-19

Published April 3, 2020

Ontario has launched a new user-friendly online portal for the public to easily access their COVID-19 lab test results to ease pressure on public health units. The province has also issued an emergency order that will allow public health units to implement critical public health functions, such as case and contact management, through the use of volunteers, including the thousands of retired nurses and medical students who have signed up through the province's website.

Read the press release.

MPAC issues COVID-19 update

Published April 3, 2020

The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation has published updates on delays to 2020 assessments and other deadlines and services.

Learn more.

Ontario-wide fire ban in effect

Published April 2, 2020

The MNRF has issued an Ontario-wide fire ban. Due to ongoing safety measures relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be issuing any permits or exceptions to this ban. No burning of any kind is allowed.

Learn more.

Province announces additional funding for mental health support, victims services and justice staff

Published April 2, 2020

Ontario announced $4 million in emergency funding to support victims of domestic violence, other violent crimes and front-line justice staff. Additionaly, they have increased funding for mental health supports during the COVID-19 crisis providing additional resources to improve access to online and virtual supports.

Ontario calls for additional support for truckers

Published April 2, 2020

In addition to keeping all 23 ONroute travel plazas open for take-out, grab and go and drive-through services, including washrooms with enhanced cleaning and providing portable washrooms at 32 truck inspection stations so trucks have a place to stop and rest safely, the province is calling for all businesses who rely on truck drivers to provide necessary facilities to make sure drivers can keep doing their jobs safely.

Read the press release.

Public required to identify themselves if charged with breaching an emergency order

Published April 1, 2020

People who are being charged with an offence under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) will be required to identify themselves if asked by a provincial offences officer, which includes police officers, First Nations constables, special constables and municipal by-law enforcement officers.

Read the press release.

Ontario extends school and child care closures

Published March 31, 2020

Schools and child care centres will remain closed to protect the health and safety of students and staff. Public schools will remain closed to teachers until Friday, May 1, 2020, and to students until Monday, May 4, 2020. As these dates come closer, this decision will be re-evaluated based on public health advice. The closure may be extended if necessary to protect the health and safety of students, families and staff.

Read the news release.

Province enabling postsecondary students to complete the academic year

Published March 31, 2020

The government of Ontario is easing the financial burden on students and making sure they can complete their studies during the COVID-19 outbreak by temporarily deferring payments for Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loans and making online learning supports, including year-end exams, available to postsecondary institutions.

Read the news release.

Ontario issues two week extension to Emergency Declaration to stop the spread of COVID-19

Published March 31, 2020

Emergency Declaration has been extended until April 13, 2020 and now includes mandatory closure of all outdoor recreational amenities across the province.

Read the news release.

Ontario increasing health and safety measures to better protect frontline nurses from COVID-19

Published March 30, 2020

Directive addresses the ongoing stewardship and conservation of the current level of PPE supplies as the government aggressively pursues all available efforts to increase this supply to ensure the appropriate health and safety control measures are in place to mitigate the transmission of infections. 

Read the news release.

Province urges those over 70 to self-isolate, investing $10 million to support efforts to protect seniors

Published March 30, 2020

Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health is strongly urging those over the age of 70 or those with compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions to stay at home. The government is investing $10 million to help community organizations with the coordination of subsidized deliveries of meals, medicines and other necessities to seniors.

Read the news release.

Ontario enhancing public reporting about COVID-19

Published March 30, 2020

Dedicated website at covid-19.ontario.ca includes expanded information of confirmed cases across the province with updates every day at 10:30 a.m.

Read the news release.

Ontario stepping up measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 on construction sites

Published March 29, 2020

Ontario's Chief Prevention Officer announced updated guidance to help employers better understand their responsibilities and what is needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the job site.

Read the news release.

Ontario prohibits gatherings of more than five people

Published March 29, 2020

Based on the best advice of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is issuing a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people, effective immediately.

Read the news release.

Province issues emergency order to protect consumers from price gouging

Published March 28, 2020

Premier Doug Ford announced new penalties to combat price gouging and hold offenders accountable for raising prices significantly on the necessary goods Ontarians need to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19.

For more details please read the news release on the Ontario.ca website.

Ontario taking emergency measures to support long-term care homes

Published March 28, 2020

Funds, resources and flexibility for the sector to support staffing and continue to protect province’s most vulnerable.

For more details please read the news release on the Ontario.ca website.

Province increases funding to add more beds, testing and protective equipment for frontline workers fighting COVID-19

Published March 26, 2020

This funding will allow the province to take immediate action to increase the number of assessment centres, add more acute care and critical care beds, improve testing and provide more protective equipment for frontline workers.

For more details please read the news release on the Ontario.ca website.

Ontario allowing businesses to defer insurance premium payments for six months

Published March 26, 2020

The Ontario Government is enabling $1.9 billion in relief for employers to reduce the financial strain on business brought on by COVID-19. The measure, which will run through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), will see premium payments deferred for six months for all businesses in the province.

For more details please read the news release on the Ontario.ca website.

Ontario announces additional health care resources and support for people, jobs and employers

Published March 25, 2020

The Ontario government's action plan is a first step in its response to COVID-19 and includes $7 billion in additional resources for the health care system and direct support for people and jobs. It also will make available $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flow, protecting jobs and household budgets.

For more details please read the news release on the Ontario.ca website.

Stop the Spread Business Information Line now open at 1-888-444-3659

Published March 25, 2020

Businesses with questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. 

For more details please read the news release on the Ontario.ca website.

Ontario suspends time-of-use electricity rates

Published March 24, 2020

The Government of Ontario is providing immediate electricity rate relief for families, small businesses and farms paying time-of-use (TOU) rates.

For a 45-day period, the government is working to suspend time-of-use electricity rates, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour. This reduced price will be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week to all time-of-use customers, who make up the majority of electricity consumers in the province. By switching to a fixed off-peak rate, time-of-use customers will see rate reductions of over 50 per cent compared to on-peak rates.

For more details please read the news release on the Ontario.ca website.

Ontario implements enhanced measures to protect the safety of residents in long-term care homes

Published March 24, 2020

Ontario has enacted a new order under the March 17, 2020 declaration of emergency to ensure personnel are properly deployed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to keep staff, volunteers and residents in long-term care homes safe.

For more details please read the news release on the Ontario.ca website.

Ontario closing at-risk workplaces to protect health and safety

Published March 24, 2020

The Ontario government will be ordering at-risk workplaces to close-down, while encouraging businesses to explore opportunities to continue operations through work-from-home and innovative business models. At the same time, the government reminds businesses to put in place protocols for physical distancing and regular hand-washing in order to protect the health and safety of employees and the general public.

For more details please read the news release on the Ontario.ca website.

View List of Essential Workplaces

Ontario orders the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces to fight spread of COVID-19

Published March 23, 2020

All non-essential businesses are ordered to close as of Tuesday, March 24th at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days with the possibility of extending this order as the situation evolves. A full list of businesses that are permitted to stay open will be released tomorrow.

For more details please read the news release on the Ontario.ca website.

Ontario provides $200 million in new social services funding

Published March 23, 2020

The province will be providing municipalities and organizations that administer social services with funding to support them in their response to COVID-19. The funding will help municipalities and social service providers such as shelters, food banks, emergency services, charities and non-profits continue to deliver their critical services, hire additional staff, and find ways to promote social distancing and self-isolation to keep clients safe and healthy.

For more details please read the news release on the Ontario.ca website.

Ontario launches enhanced, interactive COVID-19 self-assement tool

Published March 23, 2020

Ontario has launched an enhanced and interactive self-assessment tool. This new easy-to-use tool takes the public through a series of questions to inform those who are concerned they may have contracted COVID-19. In a matter of seconds, this tool will help people determine if they are negative or it will provide them with guidance on where to seek care based on their needs. 

Launch Self-Assessment Tool

For more details please read the news release on the Ontario.ca website.

Ontario closes Drive Test Centres in response to COVID-19

Published March 22, 2020

Based on the advice of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, all full-time DriveTest Centres and part-time Travel Point locations will be closed. The closures will take effect March 23, 2020 until further notice.

For more details please read the news release on the Ontario.ca website.

Ontario Takes Extraordinary Steps to Ensure Health Care Resources are Available to Contain COVID-19

Published March 22, 2020

Ontario has amended its declaration of emergency to ensure health care resources are available to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep individuals and families safe. This temporary order would give hospitals the ability to cancel and postpone services to free-up space and valuable staff, identify staffing priorities, and develop, modify and implement redeployment plans.

For more details please read the news release on the Ontario.ca website.

Ontario urges business to join the fight against COVID-19

Published March 21, 2020

The Ontario Government is launching Ontario Together, a new website that will help businesses and their employees work with the province to meet the challenges of COVID-19. This initiative will remove barriers allowing Ontario's manufacturing sector to redeploy capacity towards the production of essential equipment like ventilators, masks and swabs.

For more details please read the news release on the Ontario.ca website.

Public Health Ontario's printable guides

Published March 20, 2020

This collection of guides published by Public Health Ontario includes easy to understand information on Self-isolation, Self-monitoring, Cleaning and Disinfection, and a Guide for Caregivers.

Download Guides

Ontario expands health care coverage

Published March 20, 2020

Ontario is waiving the three-month waiting period for Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage. Additionally, the province will cover the cost of COVID-19 services for uninsured people who do not meet the criteria for OHIP coverage. Together, these measures will ensure that no one will be discouraged from seeking screening or treatment for COVID-19 for financial reasons.

For more details please read the news release on the Ontario.ca website.

Ontario to ensure drivers do not lose DriveTest fees

Published March 20, 2020

In addition to extending validity periods for licenses, Ontario has announced that no driver's licence applicant will lose test fees as result of a last-minute cancellation or not attending DriveTest or as a result of a DriveTest interruption in service. In addition to the road test fees, the "Fail to Keep Appointment" penalty fee will be waived.

For more details please read the news release on the Ontario.ca website.

Ontario launches first phase of the Learn at Home Portal

Published March 20, 2020

The province has launched the first phase of Learn at Home, a new online portal that will provide resources for families so students can continue their education while schools are closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

For more details please read the news release on the Ontario.ca website.

Ontario extending validation periods for driver, vehicle and carrier products, services and health cards

Published March 19, 2020

New regulations include extensions for driver licences, licence plate validation, Ontario Photo Cards, and Commercial Vehicle Operator Registration certificates, among others. Expiring and expired health cards will continue to provide access to health services. 

For more details please read the news release on the Ontario.ca website.

Ontario declares State of Emergency

Published March 17, 2020

Ontario is using every power possible to continue to protect the health and safety of all individuals and families by declaring an emergency. As a result of this declaration and its associated orders, the following establishments are legally required to close immediately:

  • All facilities providing indoor recreational programs;
  • All public libraries;
  • All private schools as defined in the Education Act;
  • All licensed child care centres;
  • All bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery;
  • All theatres including those offering live performances of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies; and
  • Concert venues.

Further, all organized public events of over fifty people are also prohibited, including parades and events and communal services within places of worship. These orders were approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and will remain in place until March 31, 2020, at which point they will be reassessed and considered for extension, unless this order is terminated earlier.

For more details please read the news release on the Ontario.ca website.

Enhanced Measures to Protect Ontarians from COVID-19

Published March 16, 2020

Ontario has released an article titled Enhanced Measures to Protect Ontarians from COVID-19 detailing enhanced public health measures to help contain the spread of COVID-19. This article is an excellent resource for people to use to help protect themselves and others.

Ontario Ministry of Health Information Sheet

Published March 12, 2020

The Ontario Ministry of Health has published an information sheet about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). You can download the infosheet below. For the latest information please visit ontario.ca/coronavirus

Download the Infosheet

Archived National Updates

Federal government expands CERB eligibility

Published April 17, 2020

To help more Canadians benefit from the CERB, the government has announced changes to the eligibility rules to allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB as well as other expansions to qualification criteria to help seasonal workers and those whose EI benefits have run out.

Read the news release.

You can now apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Published April 6, 2020

If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.

Apply Now

Canada launches dedicated COVID-19 app for iOS and Android

Published April 6, 2020

The app allows you to get updates and alerts sent to your smartphone and the app is updated automatically with the latest news about the pandemic from the Ministry of Health.

Download for iOS  Download for Android

Find out how Canada's Economic Response Plan may help you or your business

Published March 20, 2020

On March 18, 2020 the Federal Government of Canada announced a $27 billion Economic Response Plan to help individuals and businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. It includes an extension to tax filing deadlines, financial support for those without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation), mortgage payment deferrals, increased HST rebates and Canada Child Benefit payments, reduced RRIF withdrawal minimums and more.

Read more about it at the Canada.ca website.