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

Congratulations everyone!

MPP Steve Clark has recognized that we have the know how and perseverance to keep ourselves and the Village COVID free.  As the evidence of moving into Phase 3 is clearly visible in the Village, please remain vigilant and remember to practice the public safety rules that we all know so well: frequent hand washing/sanitizing, physical distancing of 6 ft, wear a mask when you can’t physically distance or inside any public place, stay home if you are feeling ill.

Thank you for taking the time to send this scroll of appreciation to the Village MPP Clark.

appreciation from MPP

Thanks to all of our sewers – you have helped keep us safe and healthy

A big thank you to Sandy Prentice, who was volunteered to be the Village COVID-19 mask coordinator.  Sandy and her volunteer seamstresses put many hours and their own fabric and supplies into keeping the rest of us safe by sewing hundreds of masks.

It takes a village … and there is no other village where we would rather live.  Please take the time to give a “virtual” pat on the back to Sandy’s Sewers.  

Ursula Casselman
Joan Gillespie
Mary Chaikowsky
Donna Easter
Margot Rothwell
Sue McCarthy
Barb Desforges
Cait Maloney
Jo-Anne Coleman

Sandy Prentice

Ontario Implementing Additional Measures at Bars and Restaurants to Help Limit the Spread of COVID-19

News Release

July 31, 2020

Measures to Further Protect the Health of Ontarians as the Province Continues to Re-open Under Stage 3

TORONTO — The Ontario government, in consultation with the Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, has amended orders O. Reg 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 and O. Reg. 263/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 2, under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020,implementing additional measures for restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments, as the province carefully and gradually reopens.

“Protecting the health and well-being of all Ontarians has always been our top priority,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “These additional measures will help reduce close contact between individuals in these settings, and support case and contact tracing, thereby limiting the spread of COVID-19.”

In order to keep patrons of restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments safe, the amended orders will implement the following measures:

  • All patrons will be required to be seated at all times, in both indoor and outdoor areas, with limited exceptions; and
  • Bars and restaurants (and also tour boat operators) in Ontario will be required to keep client logs for a period of 30 days and to disclose the client logs to the medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request, which will support case and contact tracing.
  • Complementary changes are being made in respect of existing provisions relating to tour operators and tour boat operators.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health and other public health experts continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health measures or restrictions can be further loosened or if they need to be tightened.

It remains critically important for everyone to continue following public health advice as more businesses and services reopen in Stage 3. This includes practising physical distancing with those outside your household or social circle, wearing a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge or where it is mandatory to do so, staying home when ill, and washing your hands frequently and thoroughly.

Playground in Lockwood park is OPEN!

swings reopenplayground reopen

The playground was closed by Provincial COVID Order in March and has been allowed to open as part of the Reopening of Ontario Phase 3.

Playgrounds will be disinfected twice daily.  Parents are encouraged to bring along some wipes and hand sanitizer.   Physical distancing of 2 m and wearing face masks is strongly recommended while using the playground equipment.

Come visit the Spring and watch the magic of the pollinator garden

This spring, Westport in Bloom members shared their gardening knowledge and landscaping gifts at the spring.  They redesigned the gardens including building a new pollinator garden and covered the full cost of the project.  If you are not certain of  the “what” and “why” regarding pollinator gardens, here is a link to David Suzuki for more info. https://davidsuzuki.org/queen-of-green/create-pollinator-friendly-garden-birds-bees-butterflies/

I spent some time at the spring this morning and was thrilled to see all of the “pollinators” busy in the garden.  Many different types of moths, butterflies and humming birds were busy taking care of business and I managed to be quick enough (only once!) for the top photo below.

Councillor Jackalyn Brady chairs the Westport in Bloom committee and has been a member since 2003.  Her hard working and creative members contribute beauty to the Village in many ways.  The hanging flower baskets, flower planters, gardens at the entrances to the Village, Library and Information Centre are some of their other efforts.  All of this work is done by volunteers.  Please take a moment to thank them next time you have the opportunity.  The members are: Jackalyn Brady (Council Member and Chair), Danielle Tapin, Delvalle Lewis, Betty Jo MacDougall, Donna Easter, Barbara Weir, Peggy Thompson, Janette Auer.

pollination at work! July 27pollinator garden July 27

Committed to community. Dedicated to progress.