Friday, March 5, 2021

33 active COVID-19 cases & a new workplace outbreak in C-K, Ontario issuing more funding

A new workplace outbreak has been declared and the active COVID-19 case count sits at 33 across Chatham-Kent.

Meanwhile, the Province of Ontario has issued more funding to help ensure municipal partners avoid operating deficits in 2021.

Current status in Chatham-Kent

The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit updated their ‘current situation’ page, which provides a summary of COVID-19 cases and testing in Chatham-Kent, on Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

A new workplace outbreak has also been announced.

“Not too many details at the moment as we are currently investigating and contacting those impacted,” Jeff Moco, a spokesperson for the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit, told the Sydenham Current.

“We can share that it is a workplace that isn’t open to the public and that there are two positive cases there at the moment.”

A long-term care outbreak, which was declared at Riverview Gardens on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, remains active.

The total number of cases has increased to 562.

22 of the active cases are linked to close contact, four are unknown, three cases have information pending, two are linked to the workplace outbreak in Chatham-Kent, one is linked to a workplace outbreak outside of Chatham-Kent and one is linked to the outbreak at Riverview Gardens.

CK Public Health officials say one person from Chatham-Kent is currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

To date, 526 people have recovered from the virus in Chatham-Kent, while three people have died.

A total of 47,792 tests for the virus have been completed to date.

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent remains in the ‘Yellow-Protect’ tier of the Province of Ontario’s Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework, Provincial officials announced on Friday, December 11, 2020.

Public health officials are encouraging people to continue following these public health measures:

More details about the ‘Yellow-Protect’ tier can be found, here.

To view the full ‘current situation’ page from CK Public Health, click here.

For more information about COVID-19, residents are asked to visit or call the CK Public Health COVID-19 intake line at 519-355-1071 ex. 1900.

More financial relief for municipalities during COVID-19

The Ontario government is allocating an additional $695-million to provide financial relief for municipalities to help ensure they do not carry operating deficits into 2021.

Provincial officials say this investment builds upon the first phase of the federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement announced this summer and will help municipal partners deliver critical services during COVID-19.

“This joint funding will help Ontario’s municipalities recover from the impacts of COVID-19 faster, by helping them to enter into 2021 without operating deficits from this year,” stated Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in a media release.

“By ensuring our municipal partners are in a sound financial position to begin the new year, they can focus on keeping their capital projects on track while continuing to provide the critical services their residents rely on.”

Of the $695 million announced on Wednesday, December 16, 2020, $299-million is being allocated across all 444 municipalities to help provide more financial relief, as 2021 operating budgets are finalized.

An additional $396 million is also being allocated to 48 municipalities that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 and have demonstrated a need for additional assistance in covering their 2020 operating deficits, Provincial officials say.

This is in addition to funding being provided to municipalities to help with local transit pressures.

Ontario issued letters to municipalities on Wednesday about the next stages of transit funding for the Safe Restart Agreement.

The province is notionally allocating $1.3-billion for municipal transit systems.

This is in addition to the $700-million allocation under Phase 1 of the Safe Restart Agreement, which included needs-based top-ups.

Further details about this funding will be available in January.

“This funding will ensure municipalities in every part of Ontario are in a better position to maintain vital municipal services in 2021 and to proceed with capital investments essential to Ontario’s economic recovery,” stated Graydon Smith, President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, in a media release.

Provincial officials say the announcement will help municipalities to develop 2021 budgets that reflect the reality of COVID-19 in their communities and give them the confidence they need to proceed with capital projects that will help drive economic growth.

“Our government’s top priority is the health and safety of Canadians,” stated Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, in a media release.

“That’s why we provided over $5-billion to support Ontario safely restart the economy and help make our province more resilient through this second wave. We’re proud to see today’s second stream of funding make its way to Ontario municipalities, so that they can continue to deliver the essential services that Canadians rely on every day.”

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