April 1, 2021by Israel Foulon LLP
The Ontario government has recently announced that it will be implementing the Emergency Brake System across all 34 Public Health Regions effective April 3, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. for at least 4 weeks, due to a significant increase in COVID-19 cases. In addition, the Ontario government has announced changes to the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout plan, increasing eligibility to individuals aged fifty-five and over. The vaccine will be available as early as April 3, 2021.
Ontario Implementing Provincial Emergency Brake Shut Down
The Ontario government stated the reason for the shut down is a result of the drastic increase in COVID-19 cases, particularly new variant cases. Specifically, from March 26 to 28, 2021 cases across the province have increased by 7.7% to 101.1 cases per 100,000 people. COVID-19 related ICU admissions are significant and are projected to exceed 650 beds in the next few weeks.
The specific measures in place as of 12:01 a.m. on April 3, 2021 include, but are not limited to the following:
- Indoor organized public events are prohibited;
- Outdoor organized public gatherings or social gatherings are limited to 5 people, with the exception of gatherings between members of the same household, or gatherings of one person who lives alone with another household;
- 50% capacity limit for supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers’ markets, and other stores that primarily sell food, and pharmacies;
- 25% capacity limit for all other retail including big box stores;
- Personal care services are prohibited (nail and hair salons etc.);
- Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments are restricted to take-out, drive-through and delivery only;
- Use of facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational facilities are prohibited, with limited exceptions;
- Closure of all day camps;
- 15% indoor capacity limit based on occupancy for weddings, funerals, religious services, rites or ceremonies, and for outdoor weddings, funerals, religious services, rites or ceremonies, capacity is limited to the number of individuals that can maintain two meters of physical distance; and
- Receptions are limited to 5 people outdoors and are prohibited indoors.
Individuals are being asked to limit their trips outside of their homes to necessities such as food, medication, medical appointments, supporting vulnerable community members, and outdoor exercise with members from their households.
Employers should make every effort to allow their employees to work from home when possible.
The current COVID-19 Response Framework will be paused while the Emergency Brake is in effect.
You can review the government of Ontario’s full Newsroom Press Release HERE.
Expansion of Ontario COVID-19 AstraZeneca Eligibility
The Ontario government has increased the availability and age limitations for the AstraZeneca vaccine. Over 350 additional pharmacies and more primary care settings across the province will be set to offer the AstraZeneca vaccine to individuals 55 years of age or older as early as April 3, 2021. With this increase, 700 pharmacies across the province will be offering the vaccine.
Save the Date: Israel Foulon Wong’s Upcoming Breakfast Seminar!
Save the date for our next ZOOM Breakfast Seminar.
Israel Foulon Wong LLP is pleased to invite you to our upcoming breakfast seminar on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 from 8:30 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. We will be discussing various significant and current legal issues impacting the workplace. A full list of topics will be provided closer to the date of the event.
Israel Foulon Wong’s Response to COVID-19
Israel Foulon Wong is assessing the situation as it evolves, and is taking all necessary precautions within its workplace. To slow the spread of COVID-19 and for the health of our team and clients, absent extraordinary circumstances we are working remotely until further notice whenever possible. However, please be aware that our offices remain open and are fully functioning. In the circumstances, we encourage our clients to contact us by phone and email to the extent possible. Voicemail messages left at our office phone numbers are immediately forwarded via email. All messages will be promptly responded to. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our clients and would be more than happy to assist you with concerns regarding COVID-19 or any other employment or labour matters.