ONPHA Member Update: April 27, 2020

Reopening Ontario after COVID-19

On April 27, 2020, the Ontario government shared its action plan to re-open the economy. Developed under guidance from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, the framework identifies a gradual, three-stage approach to reopen businesses, services and public spaces.

In Stage One, the Province will consider:

  • opening select workplaces that can meet current public health guidelines
  • allowing essential gatherings of a limited number of people
  • opening some outdoor spaces
  • continued protections for vulnerable populations

In Stage Two, the Province will consider:

  • opening more workplaces with significant mitigation plans
  • opening more public spaces
  • allowing some larger public gatherings
  • continued protections for vulnerable populations

In Stage Three, the Province will consider:

  • opening all workplaces responsibly
  • relaxing restrictions on public gatherings
  • continued protections for vulnerable populations

The development of each stage will be subject to expert health advice and a range of criteria, including:

  • a consistent two-to-four week decrease in the number of new daily COVID-19 cases
  • sufficient acute and critical care capacity, including access to ventilators and ongoing availability of personal protective equipment
  • approximately 90% of new COVID-19 contacts are being reached by local public health officials within one day, with guidance and direction to contain community spread
  • ongoing testing of suspected COVID-19 cases, especially of vulnerable populations, to detect new outbreaks quickly

The Province has not offered specific dates or guidance around workplace reopening. However, the Minister of Finance committed to providing guidelines, training and support for employers as they prepare to reopen, in addition to increased workplace inspectors.

The Province’s Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee will also consult with economic sectors to understand COVID-19’s impact and seek feedback on best practices for broad economic recovery. As part of ONPHA’s ongoing advocacy with the Province, we will promote including the community housing sector in these consultations and continue to engage regularly with members to ensure their challenges and impacts are heard.

ONPHA is also beginning advocacy work to position the community housing sector as a critical element in provincial and federal economic recovery planning from COVID-19. As part of this work, ONPHA is preparing to launch our Urban and Rural Indigenous Housing Plan for Ontario, with a renewed focus on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on high-risk populations (including Indigenous peoples), as well as the need to build affordable and safe housing to mitigate these impacts in the future.

If you have any questions about the Province’s economic recovery plans and the potential impacts for the community housing sector, please contact member.support@onpha.org. You can read the full action plan here and the framework here.

ONPHA continues to advocate for our members during this time and share timely information. For regular updates, resources and tools, visit ONPHA’s Member Support COVID-19 webpage