Ontario Announces $47 Million Funding into Public Health as Province Reports Highest Number of New COVID-19 Cases Since July

During her speech at the 2020 Association of Municipalities Ontario Conference, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott announced that the province will be providing a one-time funding of $47 million to Ontario’s public health units for the 2020 and 2021 funding years. 

The Health Minister mentioned that the funding will be used to help cover the extraordinary costs of the COVID-19 pandemic response.

“This funding will ensure municipalities do not experience any increase as a result of the change to the 70-per-cent provincial and 30-per-cent municipal cost-sharing that came into effect in January, during this critical time,” said Health Minister Christine Elliott. 

“The funding letters will be sent out to you soon.”

Additionally, the Health Minister announced that the province has increased its funding for the Land Ambulance Services Grant by five percent for the 2020-2021 year. 

In 2019, before the pandemic, the province announced public health funding cuts would increase municipalities’ share of costs starting in January and plans to make other changes including an amalgamation of Ontario’s existing 34 public health units. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consultations of public health reforms were put on hold as the threat of the virus spreading caused a province-wide shutdown. 

However, on Monday morning, Health Minister Christine Elliott confirmed that these consultations will resume “once the pandemic is contained and the risks are mitigated for the people of Ontario.” 

The Health Minister also used the AMO conference as a platform to update Ontarians about the provincial government’s plan for future waves of COVID-19 that was developed with public health officials and front-line health care partners. 

In addition to the “most comprehensive flu campaign” in Ontario’s history that was announced by the Health Minister, the plan also included the “recruitment and training of health care workers including and especially personal support workers”. 

The plan that was outlined will see the health care system working through the backlog of surgeries and other procedures that have been put on hold due to the pandemic. 

According to Health Minister Christine Elliott, the plan will continue to create more hospital capacity and increase the availability of digital and remote care, quickly identifying and containing any outbreaks of the virus and maintaining public health measures. 

Ontario’s COVID-19 Update: Province Reports Highest Number of New Cases Since July

While the province was hoping for its third straight day in a row of less than 100 new cases of COVID-19 reported, on Tuesday morning health officials announced that Ontario reported an additional 125 new cases of the virus. 

The new infections bring the province’s total number of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 to 40,870 cases as of Tuesday. 

More than 2.6 million COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Ontario since the virus reached the province in late January. In the last 24 hours, a little more than 23,000 tests were conducted. 

As of 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, 16,128 test samples are still under investigation.

According to the latest reports, the majority of the new patients were between the ages of 20 and 39 with as many as 21 new cases reported in people under the age of 20. 

There was also a significant jump in the number of COVID-19 patients over the age of 60 as the province reported 27 new cases as of Tuesday while there were only 12 cases for that age group reported on Monday. 

Currently, there are 41 people in the hospital being treated for the disease. Fifteen of those patients are in the intensive care unit and 10 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

Ontario’s Health Minister, Christine Elliott, said that 27 of the province’s 34 public health units have reported five or fewer new cases of the disease on Tuesday, with 16 of them reporting no new cases at all.

The Health Minister added that the uptick in the total number of new cases is “largely due to the results of localized increases.”

On Tuesday, Peel Region reported 17 new cases, Ottawa reported eight new cases, Toronto reported 27 new cases, Waterloo reported 12 new cases and Windsor-Essex reported 28 new cases.

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