Dear OGVG Member:
NEW: OGVG COVID website
We have seen very little traffic on the OGVG COVID website (bio.ogvg.com). Please take a minute to complete this two question survey on your use of the website: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6HX6MHF
NEW: Critical Infrastructure Update (via CPMA)
The following update is provided by Public Safety Canada (PS). The COVID-19 Info Package is currently sent on a biweekly basis. Note that some information may originate from other levels of government (provincial/territorial/international) or from the private sector. It is therefore recommended to verify that the jurisdiction is appropriate for meeting your particular CI sector needs.
National: Second Wave Response
- The Canada-US border will remain closed to non-essential travel until December 21st, as both countries continue to work towards stopping the spread of COVID-19
- Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, announced on Nov 30 that the Liberal government is preparing to spend up to $100 billion to kick-start the post-pandemic economy as it stares down a record-high deficit project of more than $381 billion for this fiscal year
- Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced on Nov 27 that Maj-General Dany Fortin will head a new National Operations Centre within the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to coordinate vaccination distribution
Provincial: Second Wave Response
- BC Premier, John Horgan, announces new cabinet focused on keeping people healthy and safe through COVID-19 pandemic
- AB implements new mandatory restrictions as of Nov 24 that will be in place for at least three weeks
- AB asks the federal government and the Red Cross for field hospitals as COVID spreads
- Auditor slams ON for sidelining public health experts in COVID-19 response
- ON is moving regions to new levels in COVID-19 Response Framework
- NL and PE exit Atlantic bubble for at least 2 weeks as COVID-19 cases rise
- NB pulls out of the Atlantic bubble; Fredericton region moving to orange phase
- NS renewed the state of emergency to be in place until noon on Dec 13 to protect the health and safety of Nova Scotians
- YT bursts B.C travel bubble amid rising COVID-19 cases
- NT has rolled out the Federal COVID-19 alert exposure notification app
- The federal government committed $19.36 million on Nov 26 to COVID-19 rapid response efforts in NU
- 3 million Canadians could be vaccinated in early 2021, but feds warn of logistical challenges
- The first COVID-19 vaccine could be delivered to distribution points as early as end of December
- Almost no flu cases so far this year, according to Health Canada
NEW: PHAC Immunization Plan release
On December 8, 2020, the Public Health Agency of Canada released Canada’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan: Saving Lives and Livelihoods (attached). The document outlines Canada’s immunization plan and proposes the steps towards a safe, effective and informed roll-out. The plan involves the collaboration of federal, provincial and territorial (F/P/T) governments, Indigenous leaders, and partners in Canada and around the world to meet this challenge through a principled and evidence-informed approach that puts protecting the health and safety of Canadians first.
NEW: Winsor-Essex County Health Unit updated Spanish videos
Please see the following links for some Ministry of Labour videos resources for your workforce. These have been translated into Spanish as well. https://www.wechu.org/cv/additional-information-workers
- How to Properly Wear a Face Mask in 6 steps – English, El uso de la mascarilla en 6 pasos – Spanish
- The Hierarchy of Controls – English, La jerarquia de las medidas preventivas – Spanish
- Making a Safety Plan – English, Su plan de seguridad – Spanish
- COVID-19 Safety on Farms – English (7 videos), COVID-19 Safety on Farms – Spanish (7 videos)
- What to do if having COVID-19 Symptoms – English (5 videos), What to do if having COVID-19 Symptoms – Spanish (5 videos)
- Primary Health Care and Mental Health Supports – English (2 videos), Primary Health Care and Mental Health Supports – Spanish (3 videos)
- Health and Safety Rights and Responsibilities – English (10 videos), Health and Safety Rights and Responsibilities – Spanish (10 videos)
NEW: COVID support funding overview
Federal – Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program: As part of its Fall Economic Statement (2020), the government has proposed to provide up to an additional $34.4 million in 2020-21 to continue the Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program, which will extend this support to the end of March 2021. Applications for the 2020 program year will be accepted until 6:00 p.m. EST December 31, 2020 or until funding has been fully committed or until otherwise announced by the program. The 2021 program year will begin on January 1, 2021. Details and application forms for the 2021 program year will be available in the coming weeks. Program details can be found at: https://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/agricultural-programs-and-services/mandatory-isolation-support-for-temporary-foreign-workers-program/?id=1588186409721
Provincial – Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program: On October 13, 2020 the federal and provincial ministers of agriculture announced Ontario’s share of the federal emergency housing funding originally announced in July. This funding is being delivered in Ontario as part of the Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Program and the details of this funding have now been updated on OMAFRA’s website. There are a number of different streams of funding under this larger program, as detailed below. Eligible submissions for project costs incurred on or after March 15, 2020 are received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available or until February 26, 2021.
1. On-Farm Worker Safety Improvement Program: Larger project funding (60% funding up to 100K per business/property for projects over $15,000)
Application Form: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/about/agrifoodprogramfwsi.pdf
2. Occupational Health and Safety Measures: Projects to implement preventative health and safety measures (now up to $15,000 from previous $7,500)
Application form: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/about/agrifoodprogramohsm.pdf
3. Supports for extraordinary costs resulting from employees that test positive for COVID-19:
The Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program also provides funding support to eligible employers faced with extraordinary costs related to worker isolation and employee wage supports due to a positive COVID-19 test result.
More information: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/about/agrifoodprogramwwie.pdf
4. WSPS Funded Consulting and Training
Under this program, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is providing funding to Workplace Safety and Prevention Services to help farmers and other agri-food businesses provide safe workplace, and improve effective management of the risk of COVID-19 for:
- Provincially regulated abattoirs and meat processing facilities
- Agricultural producer operations such as farm, greenhouses and horticultural production operations, livestock production operations and field/cash crop production.
WSPS can help you understand the risks of COVID-19, improve management of the risks for farm operations and build capacity for the future through:
- A pandemic recovery toolkit with measures and controls to manage COVID-19 risks
- Awareness sessions specific to the subsector
- Assistance in completing a pandemic response checklist
- Conducting a pandemic response program gap analysis including an associated facility walkthrough and provision of a summary report
- Preparing pandemic response procedures customized for the business including training
- Conducting a pandemic response program audit including a summary report
Call 1-877-494-9777 to speak with a customer service representative or visit https://www.wsps.ca/Farm-Safety-Products/Seguridad-Agricola-Agricultural-Safety.aspx to learn more about these services.
Provincial Upcoming Funding – $25.5 million Agri-food Prevention and Control Innovation Program: Details will be released shortly on the funding announcement as part of the fall budget. We expect this funding will support workplace efficiency and employee protections. Ontario farmers get millions for COVID safety, robotics in budget: Hardeman | The Star
REMINDER: Looking for volunteers for OMAFRA’s antigen quick test pilot
OMAFRA in collaboration with Ontario Health is looking to run an antigen quick test pilot on-farm and is looking for volunteers. The tests will be free but need to be administered by a health care professional. We expect there will be some costs associated with this if you don’t have in-house staff with this designation. We expect the use case will be to test employees on a regular basis in order to quickly identify any potential positive cases before they spread to other employees. Please let me know directly if you are interested. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
REMINDER: OGVG PPE
Please see the attached flyer for the available PPE resources from OGVG.