Jukasa News Update – Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Ontario has ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses in the province to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19.
The order takes effect at midnight on Tuesday.
Late Monday night provincial officials released a list of the 74 types of businesses it considers essential and will be allowed to remain open — including dry cleaners, beer, wine and liquor stores and cannabis stores.
On Monday Ontario announced 78 new cases of the virus – at least 6 of them are in hospital. There are currently 23 people total now hospitalized with COVID-19 in Ontario. And 26 positive cases of COVID-19 in Ontario are healthcare workers.
Brant County Health Unit says there are two new positive cases of coronavirus in the region.
One man in his 50s tested positive after being admitted to hospital with breathing problems. Health officials say that patient is now in critical care.
The second patient is a female in her 40s and is employed at Cambridge Memorial Hospital. She is experiencing mild symptoms and is in self-isolation at home.
The health unit says all further positive cases sill be confirmed on the system’s COVID-19 webpage.
There were 25 cases under investigation. 15 of those are no longer considered probable, 9 are currently still under investigation. There have been a total of three confirmed cases in Brantford-Brant County.
A senior Ontario government source says the premier will announce today that hydro rates will be temporarily lowered as many people work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The source, who wasn’t authorized to discuss the announcement publicly, says it will be done by moving all of the current time-of-use pricing to off-peak rates.
As first reported by the Globe and Mail, it’s expected families will save more than $20 per month, small businesses will save $150 and farms will save more than $300.
The new pricing structure will be in place for 45 days.
The source says the move will cost about $162 million.
Ontario has ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses in the province starting tonight.
Dollarama Inc. says it has been recognized as an essential business in Ontario and Quebec, where the governments have mandated non-essential businesses close in an effort to slow the COVID-19 pandemic.
The retailer says that all of its stores with street access will remain open in the two provinces.
The company will also continue to operate its Montreal-based distribution centre.
In addition, Dollarama says it has given its store-level employees as well as hourly distribution centre and warehouse employees a 10 per cent wage increase.
The bump in pay is effective March 23, through to July 1.
Along with other key retailers, Dollarama has kept its stores open in recent days but reduced hours to allow more time for cleaning and re-stocking.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s tone hardened Monday as he warned Canadians there are limits to the government’s patience for those ignoring COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
Trudeau said across the country, people need to clearly understand that ignoring distancing protocols puts others at risk, from the elderly to essential workers.
How exactly the federal government will or could make sure it happens has been the subject of debate for days.
Many provinces have implemented states of emergency, which among other things, give authorities latitude to impose fines or other penalties on those who violate quarantine orders.
- Previous Jukasa News Update – Monday, March 23, 2020
- Next Jukasa News Update – Thursday, March 26, 2020