Life Today

COVID 19 - Canada

November 18, 2020

Since the WHO declaration of COVID 19 as a pandemic, Canadian government has been working diligently on putting in place resources that will help Canadian people get well informed and secure the best possible way of dealing with the pandemic.

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan –a comprehensive plan to help ensure that Canadians can pay for essentials like mortgages, rent and groceries, and to help businesses continue to pay their employees and their bills during this time of uncertainty.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) ends when you’ve received 28 weeks of benefits or on October 3, 2020, whichever comes first. If you were receiving CERB, you may be eligible for one of the new recovery benefits retroactive to September 27, 2020 and available until September 25, 2021. The Canada Recovery Benefit will provide eligible workers with $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to 26 weeks for those who are not employed or self-employed due to COVID-19 and who are not eligible for EI, or had their employment/self-employment income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19. Introduced are also Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) and Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) that can help caregivers and people infected as well.

COVID Alert app- A free exposure alert app

The Government of Canada is continually assessing travel risks for Canadians. Official travel advisories are in effect: Avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada and avoid all travel on cruise ships until further notice. In addition, a pandemic COVID-19 travel health notice has been issued.

All international passenger flight arrivals have been redirected to 1 of 4 airports:

  • Calgary International Airport
  • Vancouver International Airport
  • Toronto's Pearson International Airport
  • Montréal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport

Government Canada is:

  • identifying travelers who may be ill
  • implementing emergency measures to require travelers entering Canada to quarantine for 14 days
  • asking travelers to monitor their symptoms and take appropriate action if they experience symptoms

More information on border measures and travel health is available on the Government Canada website:

Public education plays a critical role in response to COVID-19 by providing timely, accessible, and evidence-informed information that increase awareness of the disease and it’s prevention, avoid misinformation and equip people with resources needed. Resources are available with regards to proper hygiene, including  hand washing and sanitation, physical distancing, masks protection, self- isolation guidelines that can help Canadians protect themselves and their surrounding.

Research is taking place to enhance capacity to:

  • test antivirals and other treatments
  • develop vaccines
  • support clinical trials

Research is also underway to quickly detect, manage and reduce the transmission of COVID-19, including:

  • diagnostic testing
  • clinical management
  • transmission dynamics
  • social impacts
  • unintended consequences of physical distancing (such as family violence, mental health impacts, food insecurity)

Beginning of October 2020, Health Canada approved a rapid test for COVID-19. The bCube uses the "gold standard" in COVID-19 testing, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) process, to determine whether a person has the virus. A patient is given either a nasal or oral pharyngeal swab, the sample is plugged into the cube-shaped testing box and then the result is sent to a cloud-based system where users can check results.But unlike the lab-based PCR tests, which are widely used in Canada right now, the bCube is portable and can deliver definitive results within 90 minutes. The test is 95 per cent accurate, based on clinical trial data supplied to Health Canada. Air Canada has since procured 25,000 rapid tests so that it can begin testing its employees.

There are currently no vaccines authorized for COVID-19. Certain authorized products may ease COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever and cough. Clinical research is ongoing in Canada in order to develop COVID 19 vaccine.

There are provincial differences with regards to measures in handling COVID 19 pandemic. Full information for each province can be found at:

Everyone needs to take an active role during the pandemic as it takes each of us individually guided by  actions from governments and the health sector to lower the spread of COVID-19.

We can do our part by:

With no treatment or vaccine available, actions we’re currently taking in our lives will need to continue to help control the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

We thankfully acknowledge the Government of Canada in our inclusion of the Local Journalism Initiative.

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