COVID-19 Government and International Response: December 18, 2020


Global COVID-19 cases have reached 71,502,915 up from 69,281,963 at 3:30 p.m. on
December 11, 2020. Canada now reports 488,638 cases, up from 442,069 cases of COVID-19 on December 11. Ontario reports 151,257 cases, up from 136,631 cases on December 11.

The Province reports 1,992 (1.6%) new cases since yesterday. Of the province’s total cases, 129,417 have been resolved (85.6%) and there have been 4,098 deaths (2.7%). The province has now completed 7,234,913 tests and reports 81,235 tests are currently under investigation. More information here.

A province-by-province breakdown of Canada’s COVID-19 case count can be found here.


The lockdowns in Toronto and Peel Region will not be expiring on Monday as both areas continue to grapple with a rise in COVID-19 infections, Ontario Premier Doug Ford confirmed. The premier confirmed the news today ahead of an emergency meeting with Ontario health officials Friday to discuss the increasing spread of the disease in the province. More information here.

Premier Doug Ford’s government is considering a lockdown across southern Ontario from Boxing Day until Jan. 11 as COVID-19 cases in the province reach record highs. Ford said the government would announce its next steps on Monday, after he meets with hospital officials and cabinet over the weekend. More information here.

A sense of normalcy is on the horizon with COVID-19 vaccination rollout underway in Canada. It’s expected the majority of Canadians could be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus by next September, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. While that’s great news for Canada, experts warn that unless other nations have access to vaccines, Canadians will have to continue to live in a “bubble” — meaning our borders could remain closed. More information here.

On December 18, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) announced it is providing advisory services and over $9 million in research and development funding through the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) to support 4 therapeutic firms. More information here.

On December 18, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, announced that the government has concluded the necessary regulatory changes to raise the maximum wage subsidy rate to 75 per cent for the period beginning Sunday, December 20, 2020, until March 13, 2021. This support will be there for workers and businesses through the tough months ahead as we face the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. More information here.

On December 17, Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced an investment of $3 billion over five years for the new Strategic Innovation Fund – Net Zero Accelerator. This initiative will be delivered via the Strategic Innovation Fund to rapidly expedite decarbonization projects with large emitters, scale up clean technology and accelerate Canada’s industrial transformation across all sectors. This means more competitive and more innovative Canadian industries that provide Canadians with job opportunities today and well into the years to come. More information here.

The Government of Canada continues to protect Canadians and while also laying the foundation for a healthier, more resilient and more prosperous future. On December 17, the federal government highlighted its investment of $750 million over five years to re-capitalize Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). The investment, part of the government’s strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, announced by Prime Minister Trudeau on December 11, will enable SDTC to support even more companies as they develop and commercialize clean technologies and bring Canadian innovations to the world. More information here.

On December 16, the Public Health Agency of Canada announced they anticipate to have enough doses on hand next year to vaccinate every Canadian who wants a shot by the end of September. More information here.

On December 15, the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, announced that following successful negotiations and contingent on Health Canada authorization of the vaccine, Canada will be able to access 168,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020. More information here.

On December 15, The Government of Canada is investing in projects that will support Canada in the global race to find treatments for COVID-19 while building domestic capabilities to fight future pandemics. A contribution of up to $6.7 million through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) to Arch Biopartners, a Canadian clinical-stage biotechnology company that aims to advance its lead drug candidate Metablok as a treatment for organ inflammation in severe cases of COVID-19. More information here.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a profound global impact, with its wide-reaching effects amplified for vulnerable populations both in Canada and around the world. That is why the federal government announced on December 14, a contribution of $230 million to procure COVID-19 treatments for developing countries in response to urgent priorities identified by the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, launched by the World Health Organization and partners. More information here.

On December 14, Canada administered its first COVID-19 vaccine shots. More information here.


Ontario will be distributing additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine to 17 more hospital sites over the next two weeks, including regions with the highest rates of COVID-19 infection. This is part of the initial phase of the government’s three-phase vaccine implementation plan that began on December 14 with the initial vaccinations administered at Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN), followed by the launch of the pilot project at UHN and The Ottawa Hospital on December 15. More information here.

The Ontario government is providing Mississauga-based McRae Imaging with $332,000 to support the production of inclusive personal protective equipment. The company is making face masks featuring an innovative lip-reading lens. This new mask will create a unique solution for the Deaf and hard of hearing community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding is being provided through the Ontario Together Fund. More information here.

On December 18, the Ontario Government announced it is providing the Shaw Centre with up to $3.8 million to help the provincial agency navigate the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and ensure the National Capital Region remains one of the top tourism destinations in Ontario. This one-time investment will help protect jobs, keep the facility open, ensure compliance with public health protocols and fund necessary repairs and upgrades. More information here.

On December 18, the Ontario Government announced it will be doubling its funding for the Black Youth Action Plan by investing an additional $60 million over three years. This funding will renew existing Black Youth Action Plan programming, create a new economic empowerment programming stream and provide targeted supports to help Black families and communities recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. More information here.

On December 17, the provincial government announced it is providing $77 million to help people who were laid off due to the impact of COVID-19 find in-demand jobs in their local communities. This funding is being provided through the redesigned Second Career grant program and will help more than 2,750 job seekers with up to $28,000 for tuition, training materials and living expenses. More information here.

The Ontario Government is taking action to protect jobs by helping businesses avoid costly payouts and potential closures and continues offering protection to workers that are laid off due to COVID-19. These measures are being adopted through the extension of regulatory amendments that were put in place at the outset of the pandemic and through the introduction of a new regulation. More information on the new regulations here.

The Ontario government is a step closer to getting shovels in the ground to build the Ontario Line, the signature project in the largest subway expansion program in Canadian history. The province issued two Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for procurement packages to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Ontario Line project. The Preliminary Design Business Case for the Ontario Line was also released. More information here.

On December 17, Premier Doug Ford and Larry Hogan, Governor of Maryland, finalized a new, historic strategic investment and procurement agreement (SIPA) that will increase trade, attract investment, and encourage job creation in both jurisdictions. Areas of focus will be advanced manufacturing, infrastructure and the agri-food sector. More information here.

On December 17, The Ontario government announced its launch of one of the largest recruitment and training drives in the province’s history to deliver on its commitment to improve care for seniors in long-term care homes. The province released its long-term care staffing plan that sets out actions to hire more staff, improve working conditions for existing staff, drive effective and accountable leadership, and implement retention strategies. More information here.

The Ontario government is encouraging people to “show your love for local” by exploring new and creative ways to reconnect with the unique small businesses and places that make the province’s communities special. To promote this effort Destination Ontario, an agency of the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, is launching a new “Support Local” campaign. The campaign is designed to instill a sense of pride of place and encourage people to safely be a tourist in their own communities. More information here.

On December 16, The Ontario government is allocating an additional $695 million to provide financial relief for municipalities and help ensure they do not carry operating deficits into 2021. This investment builds upon the first phase of the federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement announced this summer and will help municipal partners deliver critical services during COVID-19. More information here.

In an effort to restart the Canadian economy, The Ontario government is investing $1,322,430 to help the Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium train workers in London and Ottawa for new opportunities in the manufacturing sector. This project, being delivered in partnership with manufacturing employers, builds on successful programs led in eight communities across the province. More information here.

As of December 15, the Ontario Government is allocating an additional $120 million to help municipalities and Indigenous community partners protect the health and safety of vulnerable people during COVID-19. This investment builds upon the second phase of social services relief funding announced this fall and brings the government’s total allocation to $510 million. More information here.

On December 14, The Ontario Government will no longer provide free COVID-19 tests for those looking to be cleared for international travel. In a news release issued Monday morning, the Progressive Conservative government said the decision was made in order to “ensure taxpayer dollars are appropriately allocated to key priorities and to preserve capacity within the provincially funded COVID-19 testing network.” More information here.


On December 13, Mayor John Tory visited the newest COVID-19 testing site at Jenner Jean-Marie Community Centre in Thorncliffe Park, in advance of Monday’s opening of this location, to encourage residents with symptoms to get tested. To slow the spread of COVID-19 in Toronto, the City of Toronto is supporting provincial testing efforts by providing various locations for pop-up testing in areas across the city. Between October 3 and January 7, the City will have hosted 128 COVID-19 testing clinics at 17 City-owned locations across Toronto. More information here.


Country Total cases at 3:30 p.m. Total cases Dec 18 at 3:30 p.m. Increase from previous Active Cases (Increase decrease) Cases per million Total recovered Total deaths
Global 75,740,496 71,237,163 4,503,333 20,931,581 9,717 53,132,725 1,676,190
United States 17,750,574 16,190,984 1,559,590 7,095,229 53,481 10,335,748 319,597
India 10,004,825 9,826,031 178,794 309,731 7,217 9,549,923 145,171
Brazil 7,120,103 6,794,910 325,193 757,409 33,387 6,177,702 184,992
Russia 2,791,220 2,597,711 193,509 512,825 19,123 2,228,633 49,762
United Kingdom 1,977,167 1,809,455 167,712 29,054 66,541
Italy 1,906,377 1,805,873 100,504 635,343 31,552 1,203,814 67,220
Spain 1,817,448 1,741,439 76,009 38,865 48,926
Germany 1,468,785 1,296,298 172,487 373,413 17,505 1,069,400 25,972
Mexico 1,289,298 1,217,126 72,172 219,049 9,952 953,762 116,487
Iran 1,145,651 1,092,407 53,244 226,904 13,560 865,474 53,273
Peru 991,518 979,111 12,407 28,724 29,880 925,893 36,901
Chile 581,135 567,974 13,161 12,795 30,280 552,289 16,051
Canada 493,308 446,100 47,208 75,965 13,018 403,339 14,004
Saudi Arabia 360,690 359,583 1,107 3,016 10,287 351,573 6,101
China 86,789 86,688 101 304 60 81,851 4,634
Australia 28,094 28,011 83 1,486 1,096 25,700 908

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