Health Experts Say the COVID-19 Outbreak Has Likely Peaked in Ontario

News Release

April 20, 2020

Modelling shows physical distancing still needed to prevent further spread

TORONTO — The Ontario government today released updated COVID-19 modelling, which shows that the enhanced public health measures, including staying home and physically distancing from each other, are working to contain the spread of the virus and flatten the curve. However, the Chief Medical Officer of Health says emergency measures must remain in place to continue reducing the number of cases and deaths.

“The modelling clearly demonstrates that we are making progress in our fight against this deadly virus. That’s due to the actions of all Ontarians, those who are staying home and practising physical distancing, and to the heroic efforts of our frontline health care workers,” said Premier Doug Ford. “But COVID-19 continues to be a clear and present danger, especially to our seniors and most vulnerable citizens. That is why we must continue to follow the advice of our Chief Medical Officer of Health and stay the course in order to keep people safe and healthy.”

Key highlights from the modelling update include:

  • The wave of new community spread cases of COVID-19 in Ontario appears to have peaked.
  • Outbreaks in long-term care and congregate settings continue to be a major concern. Concerted actions are underway to protect vulnerable people in these settings.
  • Ontario is now trending toward a best case scenario rather than a worst case scenario and has significantly improved its standing as compared to March modelling.
  • The province has avoided a significant surge in cases. Total cumulative cases are forecast to be substantially lower than worst case or even moderate case scenarios projected by previous models.
  • While several hundred new cases are identified daily in Ontario, hospitals across the province have not been overwhelmed by the COVID-19 outbreak as a result of capacity planning and the public health measures currently in place. The rate of growth day-over-day is declining.
  • To further reduce the number of cases and deaths, it remains critical that Ontarians continue to adhere to public health measures, including staying home and practicing physical distancing if they must go out for essential reasons only.

“The information released today shows early but unmistakable signs that our efforts are working,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “These numbers are not an accident. They are the re sult of months of planning and collective action to stop the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve. However, in order for these projections to become reality, each of us must continue to stay home as much possible and practise physical distancing.”

To enhance protections for residents and staff in long-term care homes, last week Ontario launched the COVID-19 Action Plan: Long-Term Care Homes. This action plan will ensure the implementation of critical new measures to prevent further outbreaks and deaths from COVID-19 in long-term care homes. These measures include enhancing and expanding testing for symptomatic and asymptomatic contacts of confirmed cases; providing public health and infection control expertise; and redeploying staff from hospitals and home and community care to support the long-term care home workforce.

“The new province-wide modelling data are encouraging, but we know that long-term care homes and other congregate settings will track on a different path,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “We will continue to take aggressive action to support our most vulnerable residents and their caregivers.”

QUICK FACTS

  • All Ontarians need to stay home unless absolutely necessary for essential trips, such as accessing health care services, groceries, picking up prescriptions or supporting vulnerable community members with meeting essential needs. If you must leave your home, go alone and stay at least two metres apart from others.
  • Ontario has made improvements to its COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool by expanding its symptom list, addressing the most high risk individuals, and making it more accessible and responsive.
  • Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to COVID-19 and protect your health: wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer; sneeze and cough into your sleeve; avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; avoid contact with people who are sick; stay home if you are sick.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Ontario Releases Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long-Term

Gradual, cautious approach to manage COVID-19 now and moving forward

October 22, 2021

Office of the Premier

TORONTO — The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has released A Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long-Termwhich outlines the province’s gradual approach to lifting remaining public health and workplace safety measures by March 2022. The plan will be guided by the ongoing assessment of key public health and health care indicators and supported by local or regional tailored responses to COVID-19.

“Thanks to our cautious and careful approach to re-opening, we are now in position to gradually lift all remaining public health measures over the coming months,” said Premier Doug Ford. “This plan is built for the long term. It will guide us safely through the winter and out of this pandemic, while avoiding lockdowns and ensuring we don’t lose the hard-fought gains we have made.”

Ontario will slowly and incrementally lift all remaining public health and workplace safety measures, including the provincial requirement for proof of vaccination and wearing of face coverings in indoor public settings, over the next six months. This phased approach will be guided by the ongoing assessment and monitoring of key public health and health care indicators, such as the identification of any new COVID-19 variants, increases in hospitalizations and ICU occupancy and rapid increases in transmission to ensure that public health and workplace safety measures are lifted safely.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, Ontario has taken a cautious approach to reopening to protect the health and safety of Ontarians,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Our plan will ensure we replicate this success and take a gradual approach that will protect our health system capacity, prevent widespread closures, keep our schools open and support the province’s economic recovery.”

In the absence of concerning trends, public health and workplace safety measures will be lifted based on the proposed following milestones:

October 25, 2021 

In response to continued improvements to key indicators, including ongoing stability in the province’s hospitals, effective October 25, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., Ontario will lift capacity limits in the vast majority of settings where proof of vaccination are required, such as restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments; indoor areas of sports and recreational facilities such as gyms and where personal physical fitness trainers provide instruction; casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments; and indoor meeting and event spaces. Limits will also be lifted in certain outdoor settings.

At this time, the government will also allow other settings to lift capacity limits and physical distancing requirements if they choose to require proof of vaccination, including:

  • Personal care services (e.g., barber shops, salons, body art);
  • Indoor areas of museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions;
  • Indoor areas of amusement parks;
  • Indoor areas of fairs, rural exhibitions, festivals;
  • Indoor tour and guide services;
  • Boat tours;
  • Indoor areas of marinas and boating clubs;
  • Indoor clubhouses at outdoor recreational amenities;
  • Open house events provided by real estate agencies; and
  • Indoor areas of photography studios and services.

Locations where a wedding, funeral or religious service, rite or ceremony takes place may also implement proof of vaccination requirements for services, rites, or ceremonies at the location.

This will not apply to settings where people receive medical care, food from grocery stores and medical supplies. In addition, the government intends to allow for greater capacity at organized public events such as Remembrance Day ceremonies and Santa Claus parades with more details coming in the near future.

November 15, 2021

The government intends to lift capacity limits in the remaining higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required, including food or drink establishments with dance facilities (e.g., night clubs, wedding receptions in meeting/event spaces where there is dancing); strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs.

January 17, 2022 

In the absence of concerning trends in public health and health care following the winter holiday months and after students returned to in-class learning, the province intends to begin gradually lifting capacity limits in settings where proof of vaccination is not required. The Chief Medical Officer of Health will also lift CMOH directives as appropriate.

Proof of vaccination requirements may also begin to be gradually lifted at this time, including for restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, facilities used for sports and recreational facilities and casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments.

February 7, 2022

The government intends to lift proof of vaccination requirements in high-risk settings, including night clubs, strip clubs, and bathhouses and sex clubs.

March 28, 2022 

At this time, it is intended that remaining public health and workplace safety measures will be lifted, including wearing face coverings in indoor public settings. Recommendations may be released for specific settings, if appropriate.

In addition, the provincial requirement for proof of vaccination will be lifted for all remaining settings, including meeting and event spaces, sporting events, concerts, theatres and cinemas, racing venues and commercial and film productions with studio audiences.

To manage COVID-19 over the long-term, local and regional responses by public health units will be deployed based on local context and conditions. Public health measures that may be applied locally could include reintroducing capacity limits and/or physical distancing, reducing gathering limits and adding settings where proof of vaccination is required, among others. Public health measures would be implemented provincially in exceptional circumstances, such as when the province’s health system capacity is at risk of becoming overwhelmed or if a vaccine resistant COVID-19 variant is identified in the province.

“We are now in a position where we can see the proposed plan for lifting the remaining public health and workplace safety measures in Ontario,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “The months ahead will require continued vigilance, as we don’t want to cause anymore unnecessary disruption to people’s everyday lives. We must continue to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities by following the public health measures in place and by vaccinating those who have not yet received their shots. Ontario has the infrastructure in place to manage outbreaks, including a high-volume capacity for testing, and people to perform fast and effective case and contact management when needed.”

UNITED NATIONS – OCT 11 International Day of the Girl Child

My Voice, Our Equal Future

In 2021 we commemorate the Generation Equality Forum (GEF), launching 5-year commitments from civil society leaders, governments, corporations and change makers from around the world for bold gender equality impacts. At the same time, we are in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has accelerated digital platforms for learning, earning and connecting, while also highlighting girls’ diverse digital realities.

The gender digital divide in connectivity, devices and use, skills and jobs is real. It is an inequity and exclusion gap across geographies and generations that is our challenge to address if the digital revolution is to be for all, with all, by all. Let’s seize the momentum to drive action and accountability of GEF commitments made, for and with girls to achieve a bold vision of bridging the digital gender divide.

Digital generation. Our generation.

Girls know their digital realities and the solutions they need to excel on their diverse pathways as technologists for freedom of expression, joy, and boundless potential. Let’s amplify the diversity of these tech trailblazers while simultaneously widening the pathways so that every girl, this generation of girls – regardless of race, gender, language, ability, economic status and geographic origin – lives their full potential.

Ways to get involved

  • Share stories / blogs / videos of inspiring adolescent girls who are tech trailblazers while collectively amplifying our call to action to expand these pathways for every girl, everywhere.
  • Amplify your GEF and other commitments to address the gender digital divide experienced by today’s generation of girls, illustrating that we must take a strong generational gender lens to the digital divide if we are to achieve meaningful and sustainable change for a digital revolution by, with and for all.

Investing in the pathways to employment: For adolescent girls and young women in low and middle-income countries

Nearly 1 in 4 girls aged 15–19 globally are not in education, employment or training, compared to 1 in 10 boys. The analysis presented in this report lays out six core investment themes and examples of investable opportunities and calls on commercial organizations and investors, with an eye on social and economic impact, to adopt bold investment approaches across these themes


Background

In 1995 at the World Conference on Women in Beijing countries unanimously adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – the most progressive blueprint ever for advancing the rights of not only women but girls. The Beijing Declaration is the first to specifically call out girls’ rights.

On December 19, 2011, United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.

The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.

Adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not only during these critical formative years, but also as they mature into women. If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to change the world – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders. An investment in realising the power of adolescent girls upholds their rights today and promises a more equitable and prosperous future, one in which half of humanity is an equal partner in solving the problems of climate change, political conflict, economic growth, disease prevention, and global sustainability.

Girls are breaking boundaries and barriers posed by stereotypes and exclusion, including those directed at children with disabilities and those living in marginalized communities. As entrepreneurs, innovators and initiators of global movements, girls are creating a world that is relevant for them and future generations.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders in 2015, embody a roadmap for progress that is sustainable and leaves no one behind.

Achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment is integral to each of the 17 goals. Only by ensuring the rights of women and girls across all the goals will we get to justice and inclusion, economies that work for all, and sustaining our shared environment now and for future generations.

WESTPORT BRANDING EXPERIENCE 

Join in and help develop the new Westport brand!  Community input is needed in October and November. 

Municipal branding is more than just a website and a logo. A brand is an experience, an emotion and a memory.  It communicates what makes Westport unique and appealing through a combination of visuals and words. A strong brand can help boost economic development, tourism and the sense of community that residents enjoy.

STEP ONE – October 10 – 30, 2021

In three words or less, describe your Westport experience, emotion or a memory.  If you have trouble getting started, consider how you would describe our hometown to someone who has never visited, and do it in three words or less. From your suggestions, members of Council and four community representatives will select the top contender(s).  

You can participate in STEP ONE in a variety of ways: 

  1. Use this survey monkey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DSLX3FG
  2. Send an email with your three words or less suggestion to info@villageofwestport.ca
  3. Drop a note in the mail slot at Town Hall with your three words or less suggestion.

STEP TWO – November 1 – 30, 2021

The top selection(s) from STEP ONE will be published and the community will be asked to develop a slogan or tag line using them.  More information on this will be provided November 1.  

Thanks for your help!

Robin Jones, Mayor

Dr. Kieran Moore, Provincial MOH, provides advice on celebrating Thanksgiving, Hallowe’en and Remembrance Day.

Dr. Kieran Moore says celebrating Thanksgiving indoors and unmasked with a fully vaccinated group is “absolutely appropriate”. However, it is important to continue following good public health practices.

If you choose to host an in-person gathering:

  • do not exceed the gathering limit of 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors
  • have the fewest number of people possible at your gathering
  • use outdoor spaces whenever possible
  • provide all the necessary supplies, including hand sanitizer, soap and water
  • open windows, if possible
  • clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces
  • ask guests not to attend if they have symptoms, even if they are mild
  • make a list of guests attending in case your local public health unit needs it for contact tracing
  • remind people of public health advice to follow during the event
  • wash your hands before and frequently when preparing and serving food
  • have everyone wash their hands before and after eating

If you choose to attend an in-person gathering:

  • you should not attend if you have any symptoms, even if they are mild
  • wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly throughout the event
  • consider participating virtually or not attending the event if you are immunocompromised or at higher risk of severe disease or exposure to COVID-19covid 19

When to wear face coverings

Regardless of where you are, you can wear a face covering and physically distance if you feel it is right for you, especially if you or others are immunocompromised or at high-risk of severe disease or exposure to COVID-19covid 19. 

Indoors

When gathering indoors:

  • with a group of fully vaccinated individuals, you may consider removing your face covering if everyone is comfortable
  • with people from multiple households who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or status is unknown, you should wear a face covering and physically distance

Outdoors

When gathering outdoors:

  • with a group of fully vaccinated individuals, no face covering or physical distancing is necessary
  • with people from multiple households who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or vaccination status is unknown, you should consider wearing a face covering if physical distancing cannot be maintained

Celebrating Hallowe’en

If you trick-or-treat door-to-door:

  • stay home if you have symptoms, even if they are mild
  • trick-or-treat outdoors as much as possible
  • be creative and build the face covering into your costume. Remember that a costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering. A costume mask should not be worn over a non-medical mask or face covering because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe.
  • do not crowd doorsteps – take turns one at a time
  • do not sing or shout for your treats
  • keep interactions brief with those giving out treats
  • use hand sanitizer often, especially before and after handling your face covering, after touching frequently touched surfaces, when you arrive home from trick-or-treating, and before and after handling or eating treats
  • there is no need to clean or disinfect pre-packaged treats

If trick-or-treating indoors, maintain physical distancing as much as possible and wear a face covering, especially when physical distancing is a challenge.

If you choose to give out treats:

  • do not participate in Halloween festivities if you have symptoms, even if they are mild
  • keep interactions with trick-or-treaters short and encourage them to move along after receiving their treat from you
  • consider wearing a face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained
  • consider including the face covering as part of your costume if you are dressing up
  • give out only purchased and packaged treats
  • do not ask trick-or-treaters to sing or shout for their treats
  • clean your hands often throughout the evening using soap and water or with hand sanitizer

Recognizing Remembrance Day

If attending a Remembrance Day memorial event:

  • stay home if you have symptoms, even if they are mild
  • wear a face covering indoors and wear one outdoors if physical distancing cannot be maintained or is required
  • wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently
  • consider participating virtually or not attending the event if you are immunocompromised or at higher risk of severe disease and/or exposure to COVID-19covid 19

If you chose to sell poppies in-person:

  • wear a face covering
  • have hand sanitizer and use it regularly
  • consider not selling if you are immunocompromised or at higher risk of severe disease and/or exposure to COVID-19

Grant to Modernize the Westport Pumping Station on Glen St.

The Governments of Canada and Ontario have provided 75% of the cost to modernize the pumping station. The work should reduce the frequency of unplanned shut downs due to force main failures and power loss. It is important to recognize that the support from both orders of governments continues to improve our Village infrastructure.

The total cost of the work is $418,750. Village contribution will be funded through annual OCIF grants.

Committed to community. Dedicated to progress.