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Bulletin | Covid-19

Weekly Workplace Wrap-up on COVID-19 for August 10 - 16, 2020

Reading Time 4 minute read

Labour, Employment & Human Rights Bulletin

Below are the key government announcements made from August 10 through August 16, 2020 that touch on workplace issues. Our previous daily (weekday), weekend and weekly overviews of past government announcements, employment analyses and other COVID-19 information are available here

The Federal Government

Canada and the United States agreed to extend the border restrictions in place by another 30 days, until September 21, 2020.

The government launched a new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy ("CEWS") calculator to help employers prepare for the expanded and upgraded CEWS program. Applications for the next period of the CEWS program open on August 17, 2020. The calculator provides an estimate of the subsidy employers can expect to receive, and can be found here.

The government announced that effective August 9, 2020 a minimum unemployment rate of 13.1% will be applied temporarily for all Employment Insurance ("EI") economic regions across Canada. When individuals begin transitioning off of the CERB back to EI regular benefits at the end of this month, those living in EI regions with an unemployment rate lower than 13.1% will have their EI benefits calculated on the basis of the 13.1% rate, while individuals living in regions with a higher unemployment rate will have their benefits calculated using the actual rate for that region.


There were no major government updates as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on August 16, 2020.

British Columbia

The K-12 Education Restart Plan was modified to include an orientation week from September 8 to 11, 2020. This week will be used to educate students and staff on the new health and safety measures in place.

WorkSafeBC's Education (K-12) Protocols for Returning to Operation were updated to reflect the latest guidance for K-12 schools issued by the BC Centre for Disease Control.


The provincial state of emergency was extended until September 11, 2020.

The government released practice guidance and protocols for return to schools. A townhall meeting for parents, caregivers and students to ask questions about the return to school is scheduled for August 18, 2020.

The government asked employers to only send employees for COVID-19 testing if they have symptoms or if testing has been recommended by public health.

New Brunswick

Provincial public health recovery alert levels have been revised and new triggers have been introduced to the province's COVID-19 recovery plan. This update reflects the newest scientific knowledge of the effectiveness of previous control measures in Canada and other countries. Details on the alert levels are found here (PDF).

A detailed parent and public guide (PDF) on New Brunswick's return to school plan (PDF) was released for the public-school system. The guide covers the requirements schools and school districts must meet while developing their COVID-19 operational plans, including specifics regarding face mask use, transportation, personal safety and screening, and enhanced cleaning protocols.

Newfoundland and Labrador

The provincial public health emergency was extended for a period of 14 days effective August 15, 2020.

Nova Scotia

There were no major government updates as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on August 16, 2020.


The government:

  • announced that the Windsor-Essex health unit would join the rest of the province in Stage 3 of the government's reopening plan on Wednesday August 12, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.;
  • announced the revision of capacity limits for certain sport, fitness and recreation facilities.   The province will apply a capacity limit of 50 patrons on a per room basis in the facility, with physical distancing.  The amended regulation implementing this revision is available here;
  • announced $1.6-billion in emergency funding for Ontario's municipalities to address additional pressures related to COVID-19, including in relation to operating pressures, transit systems, and support for vulnerable persons; 
  • announced $8-million in funding for amateur sports; and
  • announced more than $500-million dollars to assist school boards with the safe reopening of schools in September 2020.

Prince Edward Island

Individual school plans were released for students, families and staff to review in preparation of the return to the classroom in September.

The declaration of a state of public health emergency was continued effective August 14, 2020 for a period of thirty (30) days.


The Quebec government unveiled its back-to-school plan for elementary school, high school and adult education. The plan includes rules on teacher-to-student ratios, physical distancing, and mask wearing for students in grades 5 and up.

Beginning on August 24, 2020, the age threshold for those required to wear face coverings will be lowered to cover those 10 years of age and up. The rules currently cover those 12 years of age and older.


There were no major government updates as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on August 16, 2020.

Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the Yukon

In the Yukon, the government provided an update on school busing plans.

In the Northwest Territories, the government announced:

There were no major government updates from Nunavut as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on August 16, 2020.

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