COVID-19 Government and International Response: February 5, 2021

WHAT TO KNOW

Global COVID-19 cases have reached 105,711,588 up from 102,351,668 at 3:30 p.m. on
January 29, 2021. Canada now reports 796,512 cases, up from 769,236 cases of COVID-19 on January 29. Ontario reports 275,330 cases, up from 264,300 cases on January 29.

The Province reports 1,670 (0.6%) new cases since yesterday. Of the province’s total cases, 253,170 have been resolved (92.0%) and there have been 6,438 deaths (2.3%). The province has now completed 9,912,023 tests and reports 41,561 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

On February 2,  the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, highlighted investments to build Canada’s biomanufacturing capacity and talked about the next steps in Canada’s immediate response to COVID-19. The government established the Vaccine and Therapeutics task forces and Biomanufacturing Subcommittee, made up of leading industry experts and scientists, to advise the government on how to address this challenge as a national priority. More information here.

On February 2, the Government of Canada is ensuring that Canadians are confident about getting vaccinated, by increasing access to reliable, accurate and timely information about vaccines. More information here.

PROVINCIAL

Today, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, issued the following statement in response to today’s monthly employment release by Statistics Canada:

“Employment in Ontario decreased by 153,500 in January. In the last eight months Ontario’s employment has increased by 739,800. This month’s employment numbers underscore the significant economic impacts of COVID-19. These numbers serve as a stark reminder that behind every economic statistic is a family, a worker or a business owner and the work that lies ahead of us to reach a full economic recovery. More information here.

Applications are now open for the Ontario government’s new two-year $115 million Skills Development Fund. The fund, which will support workers and apprentices, is specifically designed to address the challenges brought on by COVID-19 and help reduce obstacles to hiring, training and retaining while preparing workers for the province’s economic recovery. More information here.

On February 4, The Ontario government provided CEM Specialties Inc. (CEMSI) $2 million through the Ontario Together Fund to help commercialize and accelerate production of its airborne COVID-19 detector Kontrol BioCloud (BioCloud). This innovative technology will add another layer of protection by monitoring in real time the air in places where people gather, such as schools, offices, long-term care homes, hospitals, public transit, and manufacturing facilities. The company anticipates accelerating the production of the BioCloud will create up to 250 direct jobs and up to 750 indirect jobs. More information here.

On February 3, Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced the dates for the return of in-person learning in all remaining Ontario public health units (PHUs). The government’s decision was based on the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, the unanimous recommendation of the Council of Medical Officers of Health, and with the support of local Medical Officers of Health. More information here.

On February 2, the ongoing vaccine delays and reduced shipments have forced the Ontario government to update its goal of completing the administration of first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to residents in each long-term care, high-risk retirement and First Nations elder care home to February 10. Amidst these delays, vaccination teams will be distributing vaccines in First Nations fly-in communities in the north as part of Operation Remote Immunity, beginning this week. More information here.

On February 2, the Ontario government is investing $6.48 million to strengthen mental health and addiction supports for victims, front-line workers, Indigenous families and youth involved in the justice system. The funding will allow victim assistance organizations to hire more staff, and provide safe housing and mental health services for First Nations youth and families and help community organizations provide COVID-19 emergency services. More information here.

On February 1, the Ontario government is extending the Ontario Community Support Program (OCSP) until 2022 to ensure that low-income seniors and people with disabilities have access to food, medicine and other essentials during COVID-19. The program was established in April 2020, and involves an innovative partnership with the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) and its large volunteer base in communities across the province. During that period nearly 800,000 deliveries have been made. More information here.

On February 1, the Ontario government is providing an additional $381 million, provided through the federal Safe Return to Class Fund, to keep schools safe from COVID-19. Although transmission in schools has been low, this funding will be used to improve air quality and ventilation in schools, support online learning, promote student mental health and hire additional staff. With this new funding, schools will have been provided with more than $1.6 billion to better protect students, staff, and families. More information here.

TORONTO

Today, Toronto City Council unanimously approved a bigger and better CaféTO program to help Toronto’s main street restaurants and bars during the City’s ongoing pandemic response. The first wave of registration for the expanded CaféTO program will begin in late February and, pending public health orders, the first approved CaféTO curb lane closure locations for 2021 would be in installed as soon as May – almost two months earlier than last year. Key findings and outcomes from last year’s program will support a bigger and better CaféTO this year. More information here.

Beginning February 4, Toronto residents can now enjoy products from the St. Lawrence Market delivered directly to their homes. St. Lawrence Market has partnered with Toronto-based online ordering and delivery service Inabuggy to offer customers additional ways to shop with the small business merchants of the Market. The partnership offers consumers access to the freshness and variety of produce, meats, fish, grains and bulk foods, baked goods, dairy products and specialty items that the Market is known for, in as little as one-hour delivery for residents who live within five kilometres of the Market. More information here.

On February 3, Toronto City Council approved the extension of the City of Toronto’s temporary mask bylaws until the end of City Council’s June 8 and 9, 2021 meeting. The Mandatory Mask By-law 541-2020, as amended by By-law 664-2020, were both extended, as these bylaws were set to expire at the end of the February 2 and 3, 2021 City Council meetings. To continue to protect the health and safety of our communities by reducing the spread of COVID-19, By-law 541-2020 requires everyone to wear masks or face coverings in all indoor public settings such as businesses, and By-law 664-2020 requires mask wearing in common areas in multi-residential buildings such as apartments and condominiums. More information here.

On February 3, the Province announced that Toronto students will return to in-person learning in two weeks, on Tuesday, February 16. Dr. de Villa explained the supports Toronto Public Health provides to schools, students, staff and families. Toronto Public Health as increased their school response team to almost 200 staff. Daily screenings of staff and students will be carried out and anyone – staff or student – with even a mild symptom cannot attend school and should go for testing. Enhanced screening questions have been introduced. If someone in a school develops COVID-19, investigators will do an assessment to determine where the person might have gotten the infection and to whom they could have spread it. More information here.

INTERNATIONAL

Country Total cases at 3:30 p.m. Total cases January 29 at 3:30 p.m. Increase from previous Active Cases (Increase decrease) Cases per million Total recovered Total deaths
Global 105,711,588 102,351,668 3,359,920 25,911,445 13,562 77,498,320 2,301,823
United States 27,331,219 26,368,428 962,791 9,794,799 82,283 17,067,995 468,425
India 10,814,656 10,727,240 5,789,323 150,920 7,791 10,508,782 154,954
Brazil 9,406,817 9,070,575 336,242 885,957 44,068 8,291,763 229,097
Russia 3,934,606 3,813,048 121,558 445,379 26,955 3,413,495 75,732
United Kingdom 3,911,573 3,772,813 138,760 57,440 111,264
Spain 2,971,914 2,830,478 141,436 63,549 61,386
Italy 2,611,659 2,529,070 82,589 429,118 43,233 2,091,923 90,618
Germany 2,269,012 2,198,378 70,634 199,651 27,030 2,008,200 61,161
Mexico 1,899,820 1,825,519 74,301 275,887 14,643 1,461,011 162,922
Iran 1,452,380 1,405,414 46,966 152,724 17,161 1,241,320 58,336
Peru 1,165,052 1,119,685 45,367 46,853 35,045 1,076,446 41,753
Canada 796,512 769,236 27,276 46,577 20,994 729,345 20,590
Chile 744,019 718,749 25,270 23,896 38,723 701,315 18,808
Saudi Arabia 369,575 367,543 2,032 2,228 10,519 360,954 6,393
China 89,669 89,378 219 1,304 62 83,729 4,636
Australia 28,842 28,800 42 1,853 1,853 26,080 909

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