Peggy Sattler MPP, London West

Government of Ontario

COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus: Information for Constituents

Last updated: May 25, 2020 at 11:45 a.m.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE:

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, my team is working from home. We will continue to serve constituents by phone and email during this time. Please contact 519-657-3120 or psattler-co@ndp.on.ca for assistance.
How to prevent the spread of COVID-19

My COVID-19 newsletter updates

I have been sharing regular newsletter updates regarding the evolving response to COVID-19. You can read my past updates here:

Please subscribe to my newsletter to receive future updates. You can also subscribe by emailing my community office at psattler-co@ndp.on.ca.

 

Reliable Sources of Information

ontario.ca/coronavirus

Find information about COVID-19 symptoms, how to protect yourself, and an information sheet that is available in multiple languages.
The Ministry of Health also provides updates on the status of authorized tests, results, and confirmed cases in Ontario every day at 10:30 am and 5:30 pm.

Middlesex-London Health Unit

Find local information about COVID-19 and what is being done locally to prevent and prepare for a potential outbreak in London. 

london.ca/covid-19

Updates on city services and programming impacted by COVID-19.

Canada.ca/coronavirus

Information from the Public Health Agency of Canada, and updates on the national response, travel advice and preparedness.

Rogers TV London Daily Media Updates

Catch up on the latest COVID-19 developments at Rogers TV London, through virtual media briefings from City of London Mayor Ed Holder and Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie.


Common Concerns

Click here to go to peggysattler.ca/covid19resources and find an organized list of resources including 

  • Business Resources
  • Children & Family Resources
  • Community Resources
  • Education Resources
  • Legal Resources
  • Mental Health Resources
  • Neighbours Helping Neighbours
  • Seniors Resources
  • Violence and Abuse

Click here to visit my resource page.

*** Please note that the province will cover the cost of COVID-19 services for uninsured people who do not meet the criteria for OHIP coverage. ***

 

The Middlesex-London Health Unit and its partners recommend the following:

If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has symptoms, first self-isolate and then use the COVID-19 Self-Assessment for Middlesex and London to see if you need to seek further care.

Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild - like the flu and other common respiratory infections – to severe. The most common symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing (e.g. struggling for each breath, cannot hold breath for more than 10 seconds). 

  1. Use the COVID-19 Self-Assessment for Middlesex and London

  2. If you have a primary care provider, try to get advice from your family doctor.

    If you do not have a primary care provider, or if their office is not operating, you can call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000 for a telephone assessment if you have symptoms that include fever and/or cough AND any of the following within 14 days prior to the onset of illness:

    a. Travel outside of Canada
    b. Close contact with a confirmed or probable case
    c. Close contact with a person with Acute Respiratory Illness, who has been to an affected area

  3. If you are not able to assess your symptoms, consider visiting a COVID-19 Assessment Centre for further information. 

Anyone with severe respiratory illness, or a medical emergency should go to the hospital or call 911 immediately. Advise them of your symptoms and any travel history.

Signs of severe respiratory illness include:

  • Shortness of breath/unable to catch your breath
  • Severe fever that does not come down with Tylenol/acetaminophen
  • Energy so low that you are physically unable to get out of bed or barely able and must rest again immediately

London's COVID-19 Assessment Centres

Assessment Centres are out-of-hospital clinics where people can be seen by a healthcare provider for COVID-19 related concerns, rather than have them visit an Emergency Department, Urgent Care Centre or their family doctor’s office. 

LOCATIONS

There will be no medication or treatment onsite at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre. Ontario’s COVID-19 Assessment Centres are intended to educate and provide further medical guidance as well as to triage individuals and determine the next steps in their care.

Most people who attend the Assessment Centres will not require or receive a COVID-19 test. Tests will be done based on clinical criteria.

Everyone should practice physical distancing.

  • Maintain a distance of 6 feet away from other people
     
  • Avoid all non-essential gatherings

    As of March 28, 2020, the Government of Ontario has issued an emergency order prohibiting organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people. This has been extended to June 9, 2020. Exceptions include:

    • Private households with five people or more
    • Operating child care centres supporting frontline health care workers and first responders (so long as the number of people at the centre does not exceed 50 people)
    • Funerals (so long as there are only 10 people present at one time)
       
  • Stay home except for essential trips (e.g. grocery store, pharmacy, work)

    On essential trips:

        • Wash or sanitize your hands when entering and exiting buildings
        • Avoid long line-ups or stay 6 feet away from the person in front of you
        • Pay with tap rather than handling money or touching debit machines
        • Avoid public transit if possible; if not possible, stay 6 feet away from others as much as possible and wash or sanitize your hands before and after riding

  • Work from home, if possible

    If not possible, consider conducting virtual meetings online and spacing yourself and other employees at least 6 feet apart.


Some people should self-isolate.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, new cough or difficulty breathing) should self-isolate at home and avoid contact with other people for 14 days following the start of symptoms. After 14 days, self-isolation may end so long as there is no fever and symptoms are improving.

People who are self-isolating should seek clinical assessment over the phone - either through Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000) or by calling their primary care provider's office. If you need additional assessment, your primary care provider or Telehealth will direct you to in-person care options.

Learn how to self-isolate at home
Also available in: Simplified Chinese | Farsi | Italian | Korean


Some people must quarantine.

Quarantine for 14 days if:

    • You have returned from travelling abroad (i.e. anywhere outside Canada), whether or not you have any COVID-19-like symptoms. This is required by the Government of Canada, through an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act, and individuals who violate this order may be subject to fines or time in prison. Get more information about this mandatory quarantine here.

    • You have been exposed to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case and you don’t have COVID-19-like symptoms.

The government has ordered a shutdown of all non-essential workplaces in Ontario starting Wednesday, March 25. A full list of essential workplaces is available here. Any workplace not included on this list is required to close. Businesses may operate online, by phone, or through delivery, and employees may work remotely.

In addition, the province ordered the closure of some outdoor recreation facilities, all public libraries, all schools and licensed child care centres, all theatres and concert venues, and all places of worship (with the exception of drive-in religious gatherings that comply with safeguards listed in the emergency orders).

All organized public events, including parades, or social gatherings of more than five people are also prohibited with two exceptions: funerals may be held with up to 10 people, and members of the same household may gather.

Individual municipalities may have voluntarily closed other facilities. Check the City of London website for more information about closures in London.

Driver's licenses, license plates, health cards, and a number of other products that expire on or after March 1, 2020, will remain valid until further notice. This is to reduce the number of people visiting Service Ontario locations. You may still renew many products online.

In addition, as DriveTest centres are now closed, any seniors or professional drivers who require testing to renew their licenses have been automatically granted an extension.

If you paid for a DriveTest examination, you will be credited for a test at a later date.

Recently approved emergency legislation now provides job-protected leave to workers who are in self-isolation or quarantine, or those who need to take time off work to care for their children or other relatives. It also eliminates the requirement for workers to provide sick notes.

Workers who need to make use of this leave should tell their employers that they will be taking the emergency leave. They do not have to take vacation, sick days, or other allotted paid time off. 

The legislation does not require employers to pay workers for the time off. Please click here for more details.

Find Government Benefits

The Government of Canada has released a web-based benefits finder tool to help people living in Canada determine which government benefits programs best meet their needs. The tool includes provincial benefit programs. 

The CBC has created an online hub of benefits the federal government, provinces and territories are offering to people financially affected by the coronavirus. By answering a few simple questions, you can find out which benefits are available to you.


Provincial Support

Emergency Assistance - If you are in an emergency situation and you live in Ontario, you might be eligible for Emergency Assistance.  The amount you get will depend on your specific situation.

Please note that this program is now more flexible due to COVID-19, so even if you have not been able to access it before, you may be able to now. The limit on receiving funding only once in a six-month period has been suspended, and people can receive the funding for up to 48 days without submitting a full Ontario Works application. Individuals can apply for these benefits at Ontario.ca/community.

Ontario Works clients who do not report income will no longer be automatically suspended, and will not require hard copy identification for the time being. OW and ODSP staff also have more flexibility in providing discretionary benefits, and to approve extensions to Special Diet Allowance, Mandatory Special Necessities benefits and medical transportation/supplies without endorsement from a health professional.

One-time payment - Families can access a one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those with special needs. This intended to help pay for the extra costs associated with school and daycare closures during the COVID-19 outbreak. You can apply here. (Note: If you are a parent who received Support for Parents payments during teacher's strikes through direct deposit, you will be automatically eligible for this financial support and do not need to submit a new application.)

GAINS - The province will also double the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment for low-income seniors for six months.

OSAP - Individuals with Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loans will not be required to make payments from March 30, 2020 to September 30, 2020, and interest will not accrue during that period.

Suspension of Child Care Fees - An emergency order was issued to prevent child care operators from charging fees where care is not being provided while also ensuring that child care spaces are protected. Licensed child care facilities, with the exception of those accommodating health care and other frontline workers, were ordered closed to help prevent the spread of the virus and keep the children and child care staff safe. The order also means that parents cannot lose their child care space because they are not paying fees during this period. 

Please contact my community office at psattler-co@ndp.on.ca or 519-657-3120 for more information or help with these programs.


Federal Support

The federal government announced a package of measures to support families and businesses. Click here for more information on when and how to apply for these benefits, and whether or not you are eligible. Available support includes the following:

Worker Support - The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will provide COVID-related income support to many people who would not otherwise have qualified for Employment Insurance. 

Contact the new dedicated toll-free phone number if you are in quarantine and seeking to waive the one-week EI sickness benefits waiting period so you can be paid for the first week of your claim:

  • Telephone: 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free)
  • Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-529-3742

Income Taxes - If you owe after you file your taxes, you have until August 2020 to make payment.

Family Support - Parents will get a top up of Canada Child Benefit of $300 per child, and low-income Canadians will receive increased GST credit for $400 for single adults; $600 for couples; $150 for every additional child.

Students - 6-month student loan repayment deferral, no accrual of interest.

Please contact the office of London West MP Kate Young at kate.young@parl.gc.ca or 519-473-5955 for more information or help with these programs.


Other Support

City of London Supports for Basic Needs - Comprehensive list of community services and contact information for people who need help with basic needs 

At the government's directions, no new eviction orders will be issued by the Landlord and Tenant Board, and no eviction orders will be enforced until further notice. Please note that at this time, there is no change to a landlord's ability to serve a notice to terminate a tenancy. If you have questions about any notice you receive from your landlord, please contact my community office.

For Canadians returning to Ontario after an extended absence, the 3-month waiting period for OHIP coverage will be waived.
Source: https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2020/03/ontario-expands-coverage-for-care.html

The Government of Canada put an official global travel advisory in effect: Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
Source: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/travel-health-notices/221

To help Canadians abroad return home, the Government of Canada is creating a special financial assistance program, the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad. With this program, Canadian abroad directly impacted by COVID-19 will have the option of applying for an emergency loan of up to $5,000 to help secure their timely return to Canada and to temporarily cover their life-sustaining needs while they work toward their return.
Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/global-affairs/news/2020/03/government-of-canada-to-provide-financial-assistance-to-canadians-abroad.html

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday, March 16 that Canada will be closing its borders to foreign travellers in an attempt to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. This measure will come into force on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EDT.

Please find more information about travel recommendations and restrictions here: https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2020/03/new-measures-for-covid-19-response.html

Please check my resources page if you are looking for any of the following:

  • Business Resources
  • Children & Family Resources
  • Community Resources
  • Education Resources
  • Legal Resources
  • Mental Health Resources
  • Neighbours Helping Neighbours
  • Seniors Resources
  • Violence and Abuse

If you still can't find what you are looking for, please contact my community office. Please note that my office is currently closed to in-person visits, but my staff and are ready to help by email at psattler-co@npd.on.ca or phone at 519-657-3120.