Information for ONWA Chapters, Councils and community partners on recent developments for COVID-19


Last Updated: May 20, 2020

As of 4:00pm Wednesday May 20th, 2020

  • Globally: 5,051,800 cases (+68,863); 327,748 deaths (+3,194); 2,004,978 recovered[1]

  • US: 1,582,373 (+11,790), 94,327 deaths (+794)

  • Russia: 308,705 (+8,764), 2,972 deaths (+135)

  • Spain: 279,52 (+721), 27,888 deaths (+110)   

  • Canada: 80,081 cases (+969), 6,027 deaths (+115).

  • Ontario:  23,774 cases (+390); 1,962 deaths (+43),

    • 18,190 recovered (+292), 3,622 active cases (+55)

Summary of Key National & Provincial Press Conferences:

Ministry of Health Emergency Operating Center (MEOC) COVID-19 Conference Call

Chair: Clint Shingler, Health System Emergency Management Director, MOHLTC

Guests: Michelle Rossi, Director Policy & Strategy, Health Quality Ontario, and Ragaven Sabaratnan, Health Transformation, ADM, MCCSS


Focus Topic: Mental Health and Addictions

  • Rossi provided an update on both the new Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence that was established directly after the statute proclamation in February, Road Back to Wellness, and the Centre will be implementing this roadmap.

  • Key areas of implementation will be increasing and expanding publicly funded psychotherapy, increasing collection, and disseminating of data, and working across the lifespan with mental health and addictions, beginning with children and youth, to have a full picture. This means that the Centre and MCCSS will be working together.

  • Update on the Mental Health and Addictions COVID-19 Response Table – came together and were addressing the impacts of the pandemic, problem solving and providing supports.

  • Sector Impact Report: Covered what stayed operational, what shifted to on-line/virtual service. Continuity of mental health and addictions services reports 70% remained open with modifications. 5% of services have had to close. Of that 5%, residential programs have taken a big hit (distancing), some programs have begun to re-open at this time, but there is a high need for PPE and guidance to support them.

  • This sector throughout each region has been working to address back filling in staff, PPE, investments/funding to shift services and ensure continuity.

  • Unmet need in the mental health and addictions sector before the crisis. Must address this as the need for service will further spike as the pandemic carries out due to economic stress, anxiety, depression and isolation, loss.

  • Looking at impacts to re-opening and the implications and adjusting to the new normal.

  • Using best practices and recognizing that virtual care service may remain permanent means of function.

  • Concern on congregate settings (group homes, residential and treatment sites) PPE, cloth masks vs. medical grade, supply and use.



  • Total tests completed:   559,794

  • Total tests completed in the previous day:  5,813

  • Currently under investigation:  2,294



  • Number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19:  987

  • Number of patients in ICU with COVID-19:  167

  • Number of patients in ICU on a ventilator with COVID-19:  123


Long-term care (LTC) homes:

Ministry of Long-Term Care Daily Report[1]

  • Outbreaks in LTC Homes:  190

  • Confirmed Cases for LTC Residents:  2538

  • Confirmed Cases for LTC Staff:  1615

  • Total confirmed LTC resident deaths:  1408

  • Total confirmed LTC staff deaths:  5


  • Prime Minister Trudeau Press Conference

  • Prime Minister Trudeau says that in addition to opening up the applications for large employers impacted by the current economic downturn to loans, landlords will soon be able to apply for the commercial rent relief program.

  • “This is not without its challenges; people need help getting back on their feet. Your business matters to your employees and to your community. In fact, it matters to our whole economy,” Trudeau said.

  • Trudeau said that the application portal for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program, will open on May 25.

  • The program is aimed at helping smaller businesses cover their rents between April and June.

  • Commercial property owners are being offered forgivable loans to cover 50% of three monthly rent payments. The loans will be forgiven if the property owner agrees to reduce eligible businesses’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the three months.

  • But because this program—established as a cost-sharing program with the provinces and territories—requires landlords agreeing to buy-in, it’s yet to be seen how many property owners may participate.

  • These financial aid programs are part of the government's ongoing push to encourage employers to bring their employees back on the payroll, after two months of job losses prompted by the pandemic.

  • Between March and April approx. 3 million Canadians lost their jobs, unemployment rate has soared to 13%, the second highest unemployment rate on record.

  • With the pandemic curve flattening across the country, restrictions are starting to be cautiously loosened, but in many cases that does not mean a return to business as usual.

  • Last week, as part of the effort to kick-start the economic rebound, the government announced that the 75% wage subsidy on employee salaries was being extended to the end of August.

  • On Tuesday the government also offered up interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to a wider range of business owners who may also need help when it comes to contending with fewer customers or a heightened need for disease control measures, such as plexiglass barriers and face masks.

  • “To employers looking to start up again, please rehire your workers,” Trudeau said on Tuesday.



  • Total tests completed:   492,487

  • Total tests completed in the previous day:  17,429

  • Currently under investigation:  17,578



  •  Number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19:  987

  • Number of patients in ICU with COVID-19:  167

  • Number of patients in ICU on a ventilator with COVID-19:  123


Long-term care (LTC) homes:

  • Ministry of Long-Term Care Daily Report[1]

  • Outbreaks in LTC Homes:  190

  • Confirmed Cases for LTC Residents:  2538

  • Confirmed Cases for LTC Staff:  1615

  • Total confirmed LTC resident deaths:  1408

  • Total confirmed LTC staff deaths:  5

Federal Health Officials Press Conference

  • 40,342 cases (51%) recovered.

  • Over 1,372,000 tested across Canada – 5% positivity test rate.

  • Testing on average 28,000/people a day across Canada.

  • Numbers change quickly and are updated daily.

  • During the spring and summer months it is critical to practice strict adherence to Public Health basics: physical distancing, hand washing, cough etiquette must continue as the bare minimum.

  • In areas where COVID-19 activity is occurring, use of non-medical masks or face coverings is recommended as an added layer of protection when physical distancing is difficult to maintain.

  • Staying home when sick is a must – always and everywhere.

  • Will be posting the updated Federal/Provincial/Territorial Special Advisory Committee on COVID-19 recommendation on non-medical masks today.

  • With summer reopening – maintaining a 2m distance is a must, outside spaces are better than inside, small bubbles of core contacts are better than big, and good handwashing is the right accessory for all venues and occasions.


Premier Doug Ford’s Press Conference

  • We are watching like hawks, we are watching for flair ups, for hot spots. Let’s be clear, I will to hesitate to turns things back and reimpose restrictions.

  • Guidance remains the same, no social gatherings of more than 5 people.

  • Those talking public transit, returning to work or going out shopping are being urged to continue to adhere to public health advice.

  • To assist the public, the Ministry of Health today released specific recommendations on how to choose, wear and care for appropriate face coverings used in public.

  • The Chief Medical Officer of Health is recommending that individuals wear a face covering where physical distancing is not possible.

  • The Ministry of health has released the following face covering recommendations:

    • Face covering must cover your mouth and nose, without any gaps.

    • Must be made of two layers of tightly woven material that can be cleaned multiple times without losing its shape.

    • Medical masks (surgical and N95 masks), should be reserved for health care workers and those who are ill and must leave their home for essential reasons.

    • Should not be used by children under 2; anyone who has trouble breathing; and by anyone who is unable to remove it without assistance.

  • It is important that we reserve medical masks for healthcare professionals.

  • To assist provincial transit agencies, the ministry of health recommends the following:

    • Physical distancing 2 meters apart by admitting fewer passengers and using physical markers between seats

    • Use of face coverings

    • Ensure alcohol-based hand rub is available at doors

    • Plexiglass windows between drivers and passengers

    • Enhanced cleaning

Provincial Press Releases May 20th, 2020

As Ontario Reopens, People Urged to Continue Following Public Health Advice. Face coverings now recommended when physical distancing is a challenge. May 20th, 2020, 1:00 P.M.

Ontario Reduces Financial Barriers to Post-secondary Education. Student Assistance Applications Open for 2020-21 School Year. May 20th, 2020, 3:00 P.M.


 PHONE: 1-800-667-0816  |  FAX: 1-807-623-1104



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