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COVID-19 (October 15)

While all of Ontario remains in phase 3 there are clearly worrying signs we are in the second wave of this pandemic.  Public health officials and the government continue to monitor the progress of infection rates reacting to hot spots and encouraging rational behaviour by Ontarians, particularly as we head into this long weekend.

As this update is being posted, the Ontario cabinet is meeting to discuss further COVID-19 restrictions in provincial hot spots. For the most current provincial updates, click here. 

Recent changes by the Ontario government include:

  • Testing centers working by appointment only.
  • Masks are mandatory in all public areas and workplaces if social distancing is not possible.
  • Social circles have been ended and all are expected to limit contact to their own household.
  • Peel Region, Toronto, and Ottawa have additional restrictions:
    • restaurants are maxed at 100 patrons with no more than six people at a table.
    • gyms restricted to 50 patrons in the building and ten per exercise class.
    • banquet halls and other event spaces are limited to a building total of 50 with six individuals per table maximum.

The Ontario government has also released its fall preparedness plan, Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19.

Public Health Ontario released a paper on COVID-19 in Dental Care Settings (July 30, 2020). Further clarification was provided in correspondence from the Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee (PIDAC).  

ODHA continues to encourage the regulatory bodies to find common ground on practice guidelines and for employers and employees to engage in discussions to facilitate a healthy and safe workplace – for all staff and patients/clients.  ODHA understands this is an incredibly stressful and anxious time for many.  ODHA is also engaged in discussions with government.

ODHA understands the anxieties you may be experiencing, and we are committed to do what is in our capacity to help Ontario dental hygienists work in a safe environment and reconnect with clients and colleagues. We continue to encourage you to use your member benefit Legal-Line for FREE legal advice.

For those who have not yet returned to work, recent changes to the Employment Insurance program may enable a transition to EI from the CERB program.  In addition, there are three new programs to assist.  They include:

Canada Recovery Benefit providing $500 weekly for 26 weeks this benefit is for individuals (including those self-employed) whose income has been reduced by at least 50%. 

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit providing $500 per week for up to two weeks for Canadians who are sick or in self-isolation due to COVID-19

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit providing $500 per week for no more than 26 weeks when someone is forced to remain at home to care for:

  • a child or family member who is ill or in quarantine, or
  • a child under 12 or family member normally at school, daycare or a care home that is closed due to COVID-19.

 

ODHA – We’re Here for You

Service to our members is of paramount importance.  ODHA has been providing ongoing e-mail broadcasts on the coronavirus situation and through this dedicated COVID-19 page on the ODHA website. The frequency of page updates is determined by changes in the progress of the pandemic.  Resources will be added as information is provided to the ODHA office.

ODHA will continue to keep members updated through email broadcasts (which will also be posted) and current information added to the ODHA website. We encourage you to check the added resources link for new and emerging information. At a time when many will take advantage of the uncertainty, ODHA will continue to provide evidence-informed and balanced advice and information.

 

COVID-19 Email Updates

COVID-19 Additional Resources