COVID19 Updates: April 24- May 1

FirstOntario Arts Centre Milton launches online programming amid COVID19

By: Laura Steiner

This is a space for updates on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic for the week of April 24-May, 1, 2020.

Developments from last week:

  • More aid for: Not-For-Profit Organizations, Students, and Indigenous businesses
  • Transport Minister Marc Garneau orders that all travelers moving through Canadian airports must wear non-medical masks
  • More protections for Ontario’s Long-Term care Homes
  • Ontario asks for, and receives help from Canada’s Armed Forces
  • Ontario places its hospitals on a pandemic footing
  • Ontario may have reached a peak with COVID19

April 24: More Aid for Commercial Landlords, Small Business owners

Ontario announced its portion of a commercial rent program.  The province will contribute $241 million to the Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program.  “The vast majority of Ontario’s small businesses and landlords are struggling during this extraordinary public health emergency,” Premier Doug Ford said.  The overall program will be worth $900 million.

Ontario recorded an additional 640, bring the overall total to 13,519.  12,295 tests were completed the previous day.  The first soldiers were deployed to the following five Long term care homes:

  • Orchard Villa, Pickering,
  • Altamont Care Community, Scarborough
  • Eatonville, Etobicoke
  • Hawthorne Place, North York
  • Holland Christian Homes’ Grace Manor, Brampton

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, 573 people have died from COVID19.  131 homes are considered to be in outbreak

The Region of Halton has recorded 415 cases to-date, an increase of five over yesterday.   Of those, 84 are in Milton.  Two of the region’s 19 deaths are also in Milton. It is national volunteer week, and Halton Health Services have posted a thank you to their voulnteers:


The FirstOntario Arts Centre is launching ArtSparks.  It will be offered three times a week online.  “We are excited to partner with Arts Milton to showcase and share the knowledge and talents of our community”. Cultural Services Manager Carly Anderson said.

April 25: Trudeau Announces Aid for Fish, Seafood Sector, Ontario raises wages for Frontline Workers

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced new aid for the country’s fish and seafood sector.  $62.5 million will go towards helping seafood processors, fisheries, and harvesters prepare for the spring season.  “We’re giving more money to processors so they can purchase personal equipment for workers, adapt to health protocols and support other social distancing measures,” Trudeau said.

Ontario is increasing the wages for frontline workers dealing with the COVID19 pandemic.  Some will be receiving an increase of $4/hour for the next 16 weeks.  “It is vital that we retain our frontline health care workers as we continue our fight to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said.

Ontario Parks will also remain closed until May 31.  “In order to keep Ontarians safe during this COVID-19 outbreak our government is extending the closure of Ontario’s provincial parks and conservation reserves to May 31, 2020.”  This includes all camping, and roofed accommodations, access points, day use, and public buildings.

April 26:  Ontario Extends School Closures

Ontario is extending its publicly-funded school closures until May 31, 2020.  “The government is taking a careful approach which provides our medical experts the time to review the modelling and make the best decision for the safety of our students and the future of learning,” Education Minister Stephen Lecce said.  Staff and teachers will be able to access their classrooms beginning May 29, 2020.

Ontario reported another 437 cases of COVID19 bringing the total to 14,432.  Halton has increased by 4 cases over yesterday to 422.  Of these, 88 are in Milton with two deaths.