Ontario releases sector guidelines for businesses to reopen safely
Guidelines include holding team meetings outdoors, staggering shift times, using ground markings and barriers for traffic flow
TORONTO — Ontario is not yet setting dates for restarting the economy, but the province has provided guidelines to businesses for how to reopen safely, including ground markings for physical distancing and installing plexiglass barriers.
Premier Doug Ford says Ontario has made “tremendous progress” in flattening the curve, and as soon as it is safe to start reopening, he will do so as quickly as possible.
Ontario reported 459 new COVID-19 cases on April 30 and 86 more deaths – the largest daily total of fatalities so far.
Health Minister Christine Elliott acknowledged the bump in new cases, which was higher than the previous day’s growth rate, but said the most important thing is the overall trend is headed in the right direction.
Ontario’s sector-specific guidelines include holding team meetings outdoors, staggering shift times and using ground markings and barriers to manage traffic flow (click here for manufacturing).
They also address physical changes to workplaces such as installing plexiglass barriers, increasing the air intake on heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to increase air flow, and using boot sanitizing trays.
The province has now seen 16,187 cases, an increase of 2.9% over the previous day. That’s higher than the 2.3% growth rate reported April 29, as the province looks for a consistent two-to-four weeks of declining growth before restarting the economy.
The case total includes 1,082 deaths and 10,205 resolved cases – or 63% of the total.
Figures on COVID-19’s impact in long-term care homes, which come from a separate database than the provincial numbers, show 60 more resident deaths in the past day for a total of 835.
There are now outbreaks at 163 long-term care homes, up from 159 on April 29.
Ontario is now allowing hospitals to discharge patients into long-term care homes, after transfers were paused on April 16.
People can be readmitted to their long-term care homes if they have tested negative for COVID-19, that facility does not have an active outbreak, and they can be isolated for 14 days.
There were 12,928 COVID-19 tests completed in the province on April 29, despite a pledge from the province to reach 14,000 tests a day by then. The government had previously promised to reach 18,900 tests a day by mid-April.
Hospitalizations are up from 977 people to 999, though the numbers of people in intensive care and on ventilators declined for a fourth straight day.