The Ontario government, in consultation with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended all emergency orders currently in force that were made under s.7.0.2(4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to July 22, 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.
The extension of the emergency orders will help protect vulnerable people, such as seniors, by allowing the redeployment of frontline staff in long-term care facilities, retirement homes and other congregate care settings, like women’s shelters and residential services. In addition, the extension would allow public health units to redeploy or hire staff to support case management and contact tracing.
The government intends to extend emergency orders to align with the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, if passed. This proposed legislation is part of the government’s plan to cautiously reopen Ontario in a way that recognizes the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 even after the provincial declaration of emergency has ended. The bill, if passed, would allow Ontario to continue its path to recovery by easing restrictions where appropriate, while maintaining important select tools to address the ongoing threat of this deadly virus and protect Ontarians.
The Ontario government is piloting a new system that will make it easier for truck drivers to access COVID-19 testing through a partnership with DriverCheck. This is part of the government’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health across the province.
“Expanding access to testing will help keep our truck drivers safe as they move essential goods throughout Ontario and across the border,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “We thank Ontario’s truck drivers for everything they do to keep goods moving so that families have access to the goods they rely on every day.”
The pilot program will allow truck drivers to access voluntary testing on a first-come, first-served basis at locations where there is high volume truck traffic, including Kitchener and Ayr, as well as a mobile option. DriverCheck will roll out the project in phases beginning July 8 until September 8, 2020. DriverCheck is private sector company that currently administers drug and alcohol testing for the trucking industry.
“With this pilot project for truck drivers, we will be able to find cases faster, intervene earlier, reduce the spread and save lives,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “As the province carefully reopens, it is critical that we all continue to follow public health advice such as practicing physical distancing, wearing a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge, and washing your hands thoroughly and frequently.”