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


Global COVID-19 cases have reached 116,475,526 up from 113,820,256 at 3:30 p.m. on March 5, 2021. Canada now reports 878,391 cases, up from 860,307 cases of COVID-19 on February 26. Ontario reports 306,007 cases, up from 298,569 cases on February 26.

The Province reports 1,250 (0.4%) new cases since yesterday. Of the province’s total cases, 288,583 have been resolved (94.3%) and there have been 7,046 deaths (2.3%). The province has now completed 11,293,939 tests and reports 34,037 tests are currently under investigation. More information here.

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


Today, Health Canada authorized the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Janssen Inc. Health Canada received an application from Janssen Inc. for authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine on November 30, 2020. After a thorough, independent review of the evidence, the Department has determined that the vaccine meets Canada’s stringent safety, efficacy and quality requirements. The Janssen vaccine is the first single-dose COVID-19 vaccine to be authorized in Canada and can be stored and transported at refrigerated temperatures (from 2˚ to 8˚C) for at least three months, facilitating distribution across the country. The vaccine is authorized for use in people over 18 years of age and is a viral vector-based COVID-19 vaccine. More information here.

On March 4, Health Canada announced new guidance issued by the Access Consortium—a coalition of regulatory authorities from Canada, the U.K., Australia, Singapore and Switzerland. The guidance, developed by Health Canada in consultation with its Access partners, lays out what information regulators would need to approve any modifications to authorized COVID-19 vaccines, should virus mutations make them less effective at preventing COVID-19. With this guidance, authorized COVID-19 vaccines that are modified in response to new variants will need to be reviewed and authorized. More information here.

In the face of both of COVID-19 and climate change, southern Ontario companies are adopting innovative processes and products to stay on the cutting edge and spur growth. On March 3, the Honourable Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors and Member of Parliament for King–Vaughan, announced a total FedDev Ontario repayable contribution of $3.9 million to support the scale-up and growth of two leading manufacturers: Kumi Canada Corporation (Kumi Canada) and York Metal Products.  More information here.

On March 3, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, announced that the government intends to extend the current wage and rent subsidies from March 14 to June 5, 2021. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Lockdown Support have helped protect millions of Canadian jobs and supported businesses of every size across Canada through the COVID-19 pandemic. More information here.

On February 26, after a thorough, independent review of the evidence for safety, efficacy and quality requirements, Health Canada authorized the third and fourth COVID-19 vaccines for use in Canada. The AstraZeneca vaccine, which was developed in partnership with Oxford University and the Serum Institute of India version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is sponsored in Canada by Verity Pharmaceuticals Inc. These are the first viral vector COVID-19 vaccine to be authorized for use in Canada. More information here.


Today, The Ontario Government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is transitioning Toronto, Peel and North Bay Parry Sound District public health regions out of the shutdown and into the revised and strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open (the “Framework”), with the Stay-at-Home order no longer in effect. In addition, seven other public health regions are being moved to new levels in the Framework. More information here.

Today, the Ontario government is preparing to move into Phase Two of its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan next month, with a focus on vaccinating populations based on age and risk. This approach is designed to save lives, protect those at risk of serious illness and to stop the virus from spreading. More information here.

On March 4, Premier Doug Ford and his fellow Premiers renewed calls for the federal government to increase its share of funding for provincial and territorial health care to 35 per cent. More information here.

On March 4, the Ontario government announced it is investing $1.5 million in Techo-Bloc through the Regional Development Program as it establishes its first manufacturing facility in Ontario. This investment is expected to create 50 new jobs, supporting growth in Southwest Ontario’s manufacturing sector as the province prepares for leading the economic recovery after COVID-19. More information here.

On March 4, the Ontario government is announced an additional $500 million to help the province’s 444 municipalities address ongoing COVID-19 operating costs. The new financial relief will help ensure the delivery of critical services and keep capital projects on track. More information here.

On March 2, the Ontario government has to-date provided more than $1 billion through the Ontario Small Business Support Grant to help eligible business owners affected by the COVID-19 restrictions. The grant provides a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $20,000 and can be used in whatever way makes the most sense for individual businesses; from paying employee wages, to offsetting the cost of rent, to purchasing inventory. More information here.

On March 1, the Ontario government announced the investment of $14.3 million in 2020-21 to support nearly 300 Seniors Active Living Centres. These programs will deliver new virtual initiatives to help keep seniors safe and socially connected as they continue to self-isolate due to COVID-19. More information here.

On March 1, the Ontario government announced fund of almost $10 million to help large municipalities find better and more efficient ways to operate and save taxpayers’ dollars. This investment is being delivered through the province’s Audit and Accountability Fund and will support initiatives that focus on increasing digital services, modernization, streamlining and service integration. More information here.

On March 1, the Ontario government announced it will be providing $150 million in additional funding to help municipal transit systems address the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding is in addition to the $2 billion previously committed by Ontario and the federal government through the Safe Restart Agreement to help municipalities continue to deliver critical transit services. During the peak of the pandemic, ridership dropped up to 90% of normal levels for some of Ontario’s transit systems, which resulted in significant financial impacts for municipalities. More information here.


On March 3, the Province of Ontario, in consultation with Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, is considering moving Toronto from the Shutdown Zone of the provincial Lockdown Regulation and subject to a Stay-at-Home Order into the Grey Zone under the provincial COVID-19 response framework at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 8, 2021. Under the Grey Zone, a number of COVID-19 restrictions would be different.  More information here.

On March 1, mayor John Tory, Chair of the Board of Health Councillor Joe Cressy, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and Fire Chief and General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management Matthew Pegg shared details of the City’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program and provided an update on collaboration with health sector immunization partners. More information here.


Country Total cases at 3:30 p.m. Total cases February 26 at 3:30 p.m. Increase from previous Active Cases (Increase decrease) Cases per million Total recovered Total deaths
Global 116,475,526 113,820,256 2,655,239 21,827,112 14,943 20,115,366


United States 29,553,378 29,101,710 451,668 8,903,877 88,933 20,115,366 534,135
India 11,190,651 11,079,094 111,557 181,868 8,056 10,851,094 157,689
Brazil 10,796,506 10,393,886 402,620 898,298 50,551 9,637,020 261,188
Russia 4,301,159 4,223,186 77,973 327,553 29,465 3,885,321 88,285
United Kingdom 4,201,358 4,163,085 38,273 980,769 61,670 3,096,564 124,025
Spain 3,149,012 3,188,553 39,541 355,570 67,334 2,722,304 71,138
Italy 3,023,129 2,888,923 134,206 355,570 67,334 2,467,388 99,271
Germany 2,490,890 2,435,123 55,767 355,570 67,334 2,722,304 72,204
Mexico 2,112,508 2,069,370 43,138 355,570 16,270 1,655,549 188,866
Iran 1,673,470 1,615,184 58,286 184,950 19,754 1,428,008 60,512
Peru 1,349,847 1,308,722 41,125 40,560 40,560 1,250,047 47,306
Canada 878,391 860,307 18,084 30,321 23,137 826,337 22,
Chile 845,450 816,929 28,521 27,731 43,973 796,791 20,928
Saudi Arabia 379,092 376,723 2369 2,651 10,777 369,922 6,519
China 89,952 89,877 75 178 62 85,138 4,636
Australia 29,021 28,958 63 1,923


1,129 26,189 909

COVID-19 is challenging your business. The City of Toronto and the Toronto Region Board of Trade are Here to Help You Get Through: