Below are the key government announcements made from August 24 through August 30, 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
The government announced a temporary policy change that will allow visitors who are currently in Canada and have a valid job offer to be able to apply for an employer-specific work permit and, if approved, receive the permit without having to leave the country. This temporary policy also allows applicants who meet the applicable criteria and who had a valid work permit in the past 12 months to begin working for their new employer before their work permit application has been fully approved, by following the instructions here.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health published a clarification (PDF) to CMOH Order 05-2020 that provides further information on self-isolation for individuals with resolved cases of COVID-19.
Where an individual has had a resolved case of COVID-19 they do not have to self-isolate if they:
- have continuous/ongoing close contact with other cases in their household who acquired the infection from the resolved case;
- have contact with a new exposure unrelated to their previous infection within ninety (90) days of their initial positive test. However they should avoid vulnerable populations, large groups or indoor gatherings, and self-monitor symptoms for 14 days; or
- develop COVID-19 like symptoms within 90 days of the initial positive test, unless the individual (i) develops the symptoms within 14 days after a known exposure, (ii) has severe symptoms, (iii) is a health care worker, or (iv) is immunocompromised;
The clarification states that:
- in the event a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, an individual who has been administered the vaccine will not need to self-isolate if they experience anticipated or expected symptoms of COVID-19 in the expected timeframe after receiving the vaccine, and the symptoms resolve themselves after 48 hours; and
- if an individual receives a different vaccine, they will not need to self-isolate if they experience symptoms within the expected timeframe established for that administered vaccine.
The government lifted (PDF) the travel restrictions to Haida Gwaii.
The Public Health Officer issued an order (PDF) to start tracking information regarding Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome in Children and Adolescents (MIS-C), which it believes may be associated with COVID-19.
The province moved to Phase 3 of the Return to Sport Guidelines (PDF), which address contact activities, cohorts, competitions, high-performance training environments, and travel.
Back to school safety plans for K-12 families are now posted for all 60 school districts.
The government announced changes to its Back to Work Wage Subsidy Program. Businesses, not-for-profit organizations and charities will now be able to receive a wage subsidy for an additional 10 full or part-time employees, for a total of 20 employees. The maximum level of financial support available to employers has increased from $50,000 to $100,000.
Long-term care facilities may reintroduce designated support people and off-site visits if appropriate guidance is followed. Further, students arriving in the province from outside the Atlantic region that will be attending public school or post-secondary institutions must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Students from outside Canada will be tested on the 10th date of their isolation period.
Newfoundland and Labrador
The government lifted (PDF) the 14-day self-isolation requirement for asymptomatic rotational workers who live in the province but who are returning from rotational work in another province or territory in Canada.
The government eased some restrictions for residents in long term care homes, and has allowed community-based adult day programs to resume pursuant to public health guidelines.
There were no major government updates as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on August 30, 2020.
Prince Edward Island
Changes to the school plan were announced for mask use and optional staggered start to the school year.
The government announced it will reduce self-isolation periods (where required) from 14 to 10 days if an individual has not had a fever for at least 48 hours and has not had any other symptom of COVID-19 for at least 24 hours.
The government amended (PDF) The Saskatchewan Temporary Wage Supplement Program Regulation by:
- expanding the support being provided to include additional workers at integrated care facilities as they continue to provide care services to vulnerable citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic; and
- extending the end date for applications from August 1, 2020 to September 1, 2020.
Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the Yukon
In the Yukon, the government announced:
- that it will receive $4.16-million in funding from the Government of Canada's Safe Return to Class Fund;
- sport and recreation guidelines for contact sports; and
- gathering guidelines.
In the Northwest Territories, the government published an updated Education Bulletin (PDF) for reopening schools.
There were no major government updates from Nunavut as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on August 30, 2020.