Update: March 19thPublished 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.