Update: March 19th

Published on March 20, 2020

on March 19th, our government took unprecedented action to respond to COVID-19 by convening an emergency sitting of the legislature and passing two pieces of legislation which will protect jobs of employees who self-isolate and quarantine, keep store shelves stocked, and give municipal councils the flexibility to continue operations while maintaining social distance.


Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies)

  • Employees are not required to show a sick note
  • Provides job protection to employees who need to self-isolate or quarantine, or those who need to take care of a sick relatives or those who need to stay home because of school or day care closures. These measures are retroactive to January 25, 2020, the date the first presumptive COVID-19 case was confirmed in Ontario.


The Municipal Emergency Act, 2020

  • Will ensure that for the near future, the delivery of goods to Ontario’s businesses and consumers isn’t impacted by municipal noise by-laws that may unintentionally be impeding such deliveries when they are most urgently needed.
  • Municipalities now have the ability to fully conduct Council, local board and committee meetings electronically when faced with local and province-wide emergencies.


As part of the province's enhanced measures, the following has been introduced and changed: 


Expanding Screening and Testing Capacity

  • Added 1,600 more lines in the last 48 hours to expand access to Telehealth.
  • Secured 50,000 additional testing kits and 300 additional ventilators


Measures to help contain the spread of COVID-19

  • Extending validation periods for licenses, permits and health cards that expired as of March 1, to reduce in-person visits
  • Urging 14-day self-isolation for any Ontarian returning from travel, including health care workers, whether they have symptoms or not.