COVID-19 Enhanced Public Health Measures & Enforcement

Posted by: Ira Timothy
in: All News

ENFORCEMENT AND FINES
The temporary power was approved by the Ontario government on March 31 Ontario implemented measures under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) to require any person to identify themselves if they are being charged if non-compliance of orders in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to provincial legislation, police officers, First Nations constables, special constables, and municipal bylaw enforcement officers are now able to require identification of individuals.

Failure to correctly identify oneself results in a $750 fine and obstructing the issuing of a ticket under the EMCPA results in a $1,000 fine.

An individual’s failure to comply with an emergency order could carry punishments of up to one year of jail time and fines of up to $100,000. A director of corporation could be fined up to $500,000 for non-compliance, and a corporation itself could be fined up to $10 million if a provincial offences officer charges by issuing a summons.

More information: https://news.ontario.ca/mcscs/en/2020/03/public-required-to-identify-themselves-if-charged-with-breaching-an-emergency-order-during-the-covid.html

ENHANCED DISTANCING MEASURES

Effective March 28, 2020, the province is prohibiting all public events and social gatherings larger than five people. (This order does not apply to families larger than five in the household or certain childcare centres.) People seen in public places in groups larger than five can be fined under the EMCP Act.

All outdoor recreation areas, such as sports fields, playgrounds, and beaches, remain closed, as well as schools and non-essential businesses. Ontario is looking to release a narrowed list of essential businesses soon.

Statements from Ontario make clear that people should only be going outside for essential purposes and limiting these essential trips as much as possible. This means only going outside to:

• Access health care services;
• Shop for groceries;
• Pick-up medication at the pharmacy;
• Walk pets when required; and
• Support vulnerable community members with meeting the above needs.

The state of emergency in Ontario is set to remain in place until April 17th, 2020 but, this may be extended.

The federal government has not yet ordered mandatory closure of provincial borders, but some provinces and territories are closing their borders. Many First Nations in Ontario have closed their borders to non-members.

CASES AND CONTRACTION IN CANADA AND ONTARIO

The number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow across the globe and in Canada. Canada now has just over 10,000 cases and 127 deaths. Over 60% of the COVID contractions in Canada have been through community spread, meaning the source of contraction cannot be traced back to a known confirmed case or to international travel.Ontario now has 2793 confirmed COVID-19 cases in total. 831 of these cases are now considered resolved, meaning the patient has recovered and no longer has COVID-19. Fifty three of these cases have resulted in death. There are currently 405 infected people in Ontario have been hospitalized. 167 of these patients are in critical care and 112 are on ventilators.About 35% of case contractions in Ontario are related to travel or close contact with a confirmed case. The remainder of contractions are from either community spread or sources still under investigation by health officials.

The Greater Toronto Area accounts for 61.4% of confirmed cases in the province with over 600 cases. About 10% of cases in Ontario are health care workers. Just over 32% are 60 years of age or older.Fifty of the deaths in Canada were people living in long-term care or retirement homes. In Ontario, outbreaks have been confirmed in 12 long-term care or retirement homes. There are now 15 First Nation communities in Canada confirming they have member(s) who have tested positive for COVID-19, this includes two First Nations communities located in southern Ontario.

RESOURCES

Public Health Unit Contact:http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/common/system/services/phu/locations.aspx

Telehealth Ontario: 1-866-797-0000

Online COVID-19 self-assessment tool: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/#q0)

Submit a price gouging complaint: 1-800-889-9768 or https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus#section-1

Official List of Essential Businesses in Ontario: https://www.ontario.ca/page/list-essentialworkplaces

How to self-isolate: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus#section-10

Symptoms and Treatment: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus#section-8

Ontario State of Emergency: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus#section-1

Ontario COVID website: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

Canada COVID website: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

Chiefs of Ontario COVID webpage: https://chiefsofontario.wordpress.com/

Chiefs of Ontario COVID-19 questions: covid19@coo.org — questions will be filtered to, two dedicated staff and sent out to appropriate ministries.

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