COVID-19: Cross country update (August 15-17, 2020)

( Disponible en anglais seulement )

18 août 2020


The Government of Canada announced the following measures:

Canada Revenue Agency Opens Applications for Enhanced Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

The Government implemented changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), which was created to help businesses affected by COVID-19 keep or recall workers.  Program changes include the following:

  • extension of the CEWS to November 21, 2020;
  • increased eligibility, such that all employers who experienced a drop in revenue can qualify for a base subsidy; and
  • and qualification by hard-hit employers for a top-up of up to 25%.

The Government is encouraging employers to look again at the CEWS program.  For more information, visit the Government of Canada’s website.

Online Course Provides Guidance on Returning to Work Safely during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Organizations can now use the e-course “Pandemic Planning: Reopening for Business” that was released by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) as a guide to safely returning to work.

The course will guide employers and employees on how to best prepare for a safe return to work for everyone in light of the pandemic. Some of the topics covered include how COVID-19 spreads, its symptoms, employer and employee duties and responsibilities and how to manage the workplace for a safe return of employees.

For more information, visit the Government of Canada’s website.


British Columbia

The Government of British Columbia announced the following measures:

K-12 Operational Guidelines Set Requirements for Masks

School districts received updated health and safety guidelines, which include a mask requirement for staff, middle and secondary students in high traffic areas (e.g. buses), in common areas (e.g. hallways) and anytime they cannot maintain physical distance outside of their learning groups.

The Ministry of Education is providing additional funding to support the purchase of up to 1.5 million masks.  Canadian Shield, an Ontario PPE manufacturer, will also be donating 54,500 face shields for K-12 schools in B.C.

The Province is also providing school districts with $45.6 million in additional funds for enhanced cleaning, handwashing stations, reusable masks and other safety measures.

School districts will communicate further details throughout the summer and post details online by August 26, 2020.  For more information on the operational guidelines, visit the Government of British Columbia’s website.

Emergency Support for Vulnerable People during COVID-19 Continues

The province is extending the provincial temporary crisis supplement for people on income or disability assistance and low-income seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This support has been provided since April and is available for those who are not receiving federal benefits like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit..

The temporary supplement will be automatically applied to cheques for four months starting September 23. It will also be provided to low-income seniors receiving the B.C. Senior’s Supplement and income assistance and disability recipients residing in special care facilities.

For more information on the temporary crises supplement, visit the Government of British Columbia’s website.



The Government of Saskatchewan announced the following measures:

Safe Schools Plan: More Resources, More Information, More Time and More Testing

The Government will allocate $40 million of the $200 million provincial COVID-19 contingency fund to ensuring the safety of staff and students in schools. This number is broken down as follows:

  • $20 million to school divisions on applications for staffing and sanitation supplies;
  • $10 million to enhance distance learning on an application basis for medically vulnerable students; and
  • $10 million to the Ministry of Education to procure masks, PPE and other supplies for school divisions.

The Government has promised to communicate more information to parents and students by August 26, 2020.

Students are now scheduled to return to class after the Labour Day long weekend on Tuesday, September 8 instead of between September 1-3. This time allows teachers and staff to receive more training on the updated protocols and procedures.

The province aims to have its testing capacity increased to 4000 daily tests by September. Universal testing is still available to anyone who wishes to be tested. Regina and Saskatoon will offer drive-through testing without a referral, but a health card will be required. All teachers and staff are encouraged to be tested prior to returning to school.

For more information, see the Government’s News Release.



The Government of Manitoba announced the following measures:

Province Awards Contracts to Address Surgery Backlog

The province awarded five new contracts to address the surgery backlog in the province. A total of $2.5 million in contracts were awarded to five facilities. By March 2021, approximately 4,000 surgical procedures and 4,000 imaging exams will have been rescheduled. This funding will help patients to receive echocardiogram exams, urology procedures, orthopaedic spine procedures and foot and hand surgeries.

Elective surgeries were paused in late March to ensure there was capacity to cover the possible demand from the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 case numbers fell in April so surgeries resumed, and surgical volumes had already reached 90% of normal levels by the start of June.

For more information, see the Government’s News Release.



The Government of Québec announced the following measures :

Montréal – State of Emergency Renewal

On August 17, the Montréal agglomeration extended the state of emergency on its territory until August 22.


Le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé les mesures suivantes :

Montréal – Renouvellement de l’état d’urgence

Le 17 août, l’agglomération de Montréal a renouvelé l’état d’urgence jusqu’au 22 août sur l’ensemble de son territoire.



The Government of Nunavut announced the following measures:

Updated Measures for Common Travel Areas & Exceptions

As of August 17, 2020, Nunavummiut travelling between Nunavut and the Northwest Territories or Churchill, Manitoba no longer have to self-isolate.

However, Nunavummiut returning from trips to a common travel area must obtain a letter of authorization from the Chief Public Health Officer to return to Nunavut. Notably, travelers on flights between Kitikmeot Region and any other part of Nunavut during which there is a stopover or change of aircraft in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories are not required to obtain an authorization letter.

For details, see the Government of Nunavut’s News Release.

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