COVID-19: Where are we now?
It’s been nearly a year since the first provincial emergency was declared due to the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario. Since then, we’ve seen varying levels of lockdown and a second wave of infections accompanied by a second provincial emergency. Read on to get the latest updates, see how they affect housing providers, and get resources to help you operate safely during the pandemic.
Second provincial emergency
Following weeks of rising case counts, the Province announced a second state of emergency along with a Stay-at-Home order aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19, effective January 14, 2021. The state of emergency placed a pause on the enforcement of residential evictions.
As of Wednesday, February 10, three regions were no longer subject to the Stay-at-Home order, meaning that enforcement of residential evictions can now resume in the Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health, and Renfrew County and District Health Units.
Following a relatively steady decline in new case counts, the provincial emergency was allowed to expire on February 9, 2021. Keep an eye on the Province’s COVID-19 public health measures and advice webpage for the latest updates and to see the restrictions for your region.
Construction activities related to residential construction, infrastructure, energy distribution and other projects deemed essential are allowed to continue in regions still under stay-at-home orders.
On January 13, Ontario announced Phase Two of its COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan, which prioritizes individuals living and working in high-risk congregate settings, frontline essential workers, and other high-risk, marginalized communities.
ONPHA is seeking further clarification from the Ministry on eligibility and access for community housing staff and tenants, and will share updates as they become available. We strongly recommend ONPHA members visit the Province’s vaccination info page to keep up on the latest developments and emerging timelines for vaccination.
Stay prepared and informed
The Province’s COVID-19 information page is updated daily with the latest case counts and provides a variety of information on topics such as travel restrictions, public health guidelines, which businesses are allowed to be open, supports available for businesses, and resources including:
- a COVID-19 self-assessment tool
- testing information including testing centre locations
- the COVID Alert app
The Province also offers a number of resources for workplace safety during the pandemic. Click here to get information on your responsibilities as an employer, developing a workplace safety plan, and sector-specific guidance and to download COVID-related health and safety posters for your workplace and buildings.
Visit the Province’s COVID-19 support for people webpage to find a variety of resources for mental health and addictions supports, therapy services, culturally-appropriate supports for Indigenous persons, and more.
ONPHA continues to update our COVID-19 information hub with the news most relevant to our members. Click here to find sector-specific guidance for regions still under the Stay-at-Home order. Our FAQ section features common questions from housing providers about continuing operations during the pandemic.
We’ve gathered a variety of resources created by ONPHA members, the Province, and the ONPHA team in our COVID-19 resource hub. Find information on everything from PPE training to tenant supports and working from home guidelines.
Check out ONPHA’s Pandemic Planning for Non-Profit Housing Providers to help inform or tweak your organizational policies and A Guide for Reopening Your Workplace to help your organization manage a safe return to work for staff and tenants.
ONPHA members can get discounts on PPE, sanitizers and disinfectants, social distancing decals, and more from ONPHA Select partner Bargains Group.
We’ve also been providing information to help you operate during COVID-19 right here on the blog. Click here to see all of our posts related to COVID-19.
Have questions about operating during the pandemic? Want to share your organization’s best practices? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always happy to hear from you, and to help!
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