COVID-19 Government and International Response: January 29, 2021

WHAT TO KNOW

Global COVID-19 cases have reached 102,351,668 up from 98,425,898 at 3:30 p.m. on
January 22, 2021. Canada now reports 769,236 cases, up from 735,744 cases of COVID-19 on January 22. Ontario reports 264,300 cases, up from 250,226 cases on January 22.

The Province reports 1,837 (0.7%) new cases since yesterday. Of the province’s total cases, 237,871 have been resolved (90.0%) and there have been 6,072 deaths (2.3%). The province has now completed 9,564,571 tests and reports 40,453 tests are currently under investigation. More information here.

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

FEDERAL

The Government of Canada continues to take unprecedented action to protect the health and safety of Canadians by introducing measures to prevent further introduction and transmission of COVID-19 and new variants of the virus into Canada. Today, the Government of Canada announced new rules on international travel, in addition to the multi-layered approach on COVID-19 already in place. The government and Canada’s airlines have agreed to suspend all flights to and from Mexico and Caribbean countries until April 30, 2021. This will be in effect as of January 31, 2021. More information here.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced the second instalment of the Safe Return to Class Fund, to ensure students, teachers, and staff have the support they need to stay safe and healthy throughout this difficult school year. The second instalment of up to $1 billion is provided to the provinces and territories, and can be used for various measures, such as supporting adapted learning spaces and remote learning, improving air ventilation, increasing hand sanitation and hygiene, purchasing personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies, and providing health and safety training for staff. More information here.

On January 26, The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on remote communities that depend on small air carriers for essential goods, services, and for access in and out of the community. As the pandemic continues to evolve, the Government of Canada is working with partners, including provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous partners, and the air industry to address the unique needs of these communities. More information here.

On January 25, The Government of Canada has implemented robust safety measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to support the movement of essential workers and goods across the border. More information here.

On January 22, The Sectoral Initiatives Program is a grants and contributions program with a mandate to help key sectors of the Canadian economy identify, forecast and address their human resources and skills issues. The Program provides funding to stakeholders to develop and distribute sector-specific labour market intelligence, national occupational standards, skills certification and accreditation systems, and innovative workforce development approaches while also promoting the participation of under-represented groups. More information here.

PROVINCIAL

The Ontario government is taking immediate and decisive action to stop the spread of new COVID-19 variants throughout the province. It is implementing a six-point plan which includes mandatory on-arrival testing of international travellers, enhanced screening and sequencing to identify the new variants, maintaining public health measures to keep people safe, strengthening case and contact management to track the spread of new cases, enhanced protections for vulnerable populations, and leveraging the latest data to inform public health decisions. More information here.

Ontario is set to make testing mandatory upon arrival for all incoming international travelers to the country’s largest airport in a bid to control the faster-spreading coronavirus variants.

The new measure will take effect on Monday at Toronto Pearson International Airport, according to a senior government source with knowledge of the announcement. More information here.

On January 27, the Ontario government extended electricity rate relief for families, small businesses and farms to support those spending more time at home in response to the provincial Stay-at-Home Order. The government will continue to hold electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 8.5 cents per kilowatt-hour until February 9, 2021. This lower rate is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week for Time-Of-Use and tiered customers. More information here.

On January 27, The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General of Ontario and Member of Provincial Parliament for Dufferin-Caledon, on behalf of The Honourable Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure; and Nando Iannicca, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation of the Regional Municipality of Peel, announced funding for two projects that will modernize and improve accessibility for Peel Region’s public transit system. The Government of Ontario is providing close to $3 million, and the Region of Peel is contributing more than $2.3 million. More information here.

On January 27, The Ontario government took additional measures to protect farmworkers during the pandemic by expanding provincewide inspections to farms, greenhouses and other agricultural operations to ensure health and safety measures are being followed. The inspections will focus on locations that employ temporary foreign workers to ensure they are properly protected from COVID-19. More information here.

On January 27, The Ontario government supported greenhouse growers by investing over $3.6 million in 12 innovative projects to help develop new technologies, recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and enhance competitiveness and innovation. Funding is being provided through the Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative (GCII). More information here.

On January 26, over 6,800 international travellers were tested for COVID-19 as part of the Ontario government’s voluntary and free border testing pilot program at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. This program was implemented to help quickly identify and stop the spread of COVID-19 in the province. Despite this steady progress, the province is calling on the federal government to take further action to protect the border, including mandatory testing of all incoming international passengers and a temporary ban on direct flights from countries where new variants are detected. More information here.

On January 26, The Ontario government provided more than $2.3 million to McMaster University and the University of Toronto through the Ontario Together Fund to carry out research, development and testing of the next generation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). These projects will help improve the technology and better protect frontline workers. More information here.

TORONTO

On January 27, The City of Toronto Executive Committee considered and approved a report that recommends an expanded CaféTO program starting this spring to help Toronto’s main street restaurants and bars during the ongoing pandemic. The report will then be considered by Toronto City Council at its next meeting from February 2 to 3. The report includes details about the CaféTO – a quick-start pandemic response program launched last summer – and outlines key findings and outcomes along with recommendations on how to ensure the program is bigger and better this year. More information here.

On January 27, The City of Toronto began conducting additional education and enforcement in residential apartment buildings and condominiums where multiple complaints have been received about mask usage in enclosed common spaces. The City’s RentSafeTO: Apartment Building Standards program’s enforcement team will be issuing letters to the landlords and property managers of each of these locations, reminding them about the requirements under the mask bylaw. More information here.

INTERNATIONAL

Country Total cases at 3:30 p.m. Total cases Jan 22 at 3:30 p.m. Increase from previous Active Cases (Increase decrease) Cases per million Total recovered Total deaths
Global 102,351,668 98,425,898 3,925,770 26,065,299 13,131 74,079,174 2,207,195
United States 26,368,428 25,244,465 1,123,963 9,850,680 79,393 16,073,346 444,402
India 10,727,240 10,640,464 86,776 173,611 7,730 10,399,560 154,069
Brazil 9,070,575 8,699,814 370,761 924,932 42,499 7,923,794 221,849
Russia 3,813,048 3,677,352 135,696 485,401 26,122 3,255,462 72,185
United Kingdom 3,772,813 3,583,907 188,906 55,407 103,126
Spain 2,830,478 2,603,472 227,006 60,525 58,319
Italy 2,529,070 2,441,854 87,216 467,824 41,865 1,973,388 87,858
Germany 2,198,378 2,116,447 81,931 242,961 26,190 1,898,900 56,517
Mexico 1,825,519 1,711,283 114,236 294,301 14,073 1,376,073 155,145
Iran 1,405,414 1,360,852 44,562 151,233 16,610 1,196,374 57,807
Peru 1,119,685 1,082,907 36,778 45,844 33,689 1,033,357 40,484
Canada 769,236 735,744 33,492 55,394 20,279 694,070 19,772
Chile 718,749 690,066 28,683 26,910 37,414 673,582 18,257
Saudi Arabia 367,543 365,988 1,555 2,169 10,464 359,006 7,658
China 89,378 88,804 574 1,802 62 82,940 4,636
Australia 28,800 28,755 45 1,856 1,122 26,035 909