As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread, ECAO would like to share what we are doing to manage this pandemic. The safety of our community and their families is our utmost priority.
ECAO endorses and adopts the position of the Canadian Construction Association regarding construction work during the COVID-19 pandemic:
"...compliant sites should be open and those that cannot consistently comply with measures and guidelines of public health authorities should shut down."
JOINT MESSAGE FROM THE IBEW and ECAO
REOPENING ONTARIO AFTER COVID-19
Ontario is planning for the next phase of responding to the coronavirus (COVID‑19) outbreak – reopening our province. Click Here
Phase 2 approach: Click Here
COVID-19 Best Practices for Construction in Ontario
Released by Provincial Labour Management Health and Safety Committee: March 20, 2020Click Here
IHSA Construction Resources
Find PPE suppliers
Coronavirus Contractor Survey Series
Temporary Residential Facilities (TRFs)
New measures have been introduced to allow governments and municipalities to re-purpose existing facilities, or build temporary structures, so communities can quickly meet their local needs. The attached document addresses these Temporary Residential Facilities (TRFs) and provides a deviation to the requirements of the Ontario Electrical Safety Code (OESC) that ensures facilities maintain an acceptable level of electrical safety. Click Here
Temporary Emergency Health Care Facility (TEHCF)
Given the current situation with COVID-19 and its potential impact on the capacity of the health care system, the attached document highlights major electrical safety requirements when using existing buildings or temporary structures for health care. Click Here
ECAO (COVID-19) Correspondence to Government
Response from MLTSD: Click Here
ECAO Letter to Minister of Small Business & Red Tape Reduction: Click Here
ECAO Letter to Premier Ford re Critical Issues for Construction: Click Here
ECAO Letter to Premier Ford re Delays: Click Here
ECAO Letter of Support to Premier Ford: Click Here
ECAO Letter of Support to MOL: Click Here
Thank you to IBEW-CCO: Click Here
Letter of Support to PMO: Click Here
ECAO Letter to Premier re liens: Click Here
July 09: Ontario Extends Emergency Orders
The Ontario government, in consultation with Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended all emergency orders currently in force that were made under s.7.0.2(4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to July 22, 2020. The extension was made to ensure the province maintains the necessary flexibility to protect public health and safety as more businesses reopen and people go back to work. READ HERE
July 03: Ontario Launches Online Training to Promote Safe Workplaces
As the province safely and gradually reopens, the Ontario government is investing $3 million to provide free online health and safety training for the first time. These virtual courses will make it easier for job seekers and workers to get essential qualifications while practising physical distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19. READ HERE
June 24: Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency to July 15
In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government has extended the provincial Declaration of Emergency under s.7.0.7 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to July 15, 2020. This extension, approved by the Ontario Legislature earlier today, provides Ontario with the additional time, flexibility, and the necessary tools to safely and gradually allow more places to reopen while continuing to support frontline health care providers in the fight against COVID-19. READ HERE
June 17: Ontario Extends Emergency Orders
The Ontario government has extended all emergency orders currently in force under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This extension will be in effect until June 30, 2020, to ensure the government continues to have the necessary tools to safely and gradually reopen the province while continuing to support frontline health care workers and protect vulnerable populations from COVID-19. READ HERE
June 16: Ontario Releases Guide on How to Develop a Workplace Safety Plan
The Ontario government is providing employers with a new general workplace guide, which will help them develop a safety plan to better protect workers, customers and clients. The new downloadable toolkit offers tips on how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as more people get back on the job during Stage 2 of the reopening of the province. The new guidewill help each employer create a safety plan that is right for their own unique workplace. READ HERE
June 15: More People Can Get Back to Work as Additional Businesses and Services to Reopen This Week
More people will be able to get back to work as additional businesses and services in certain regions across Ontario can begin reopening this Friday. The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local medical officers of health, is enabling more regions of the province to enter Stage 2 of the government's reopening framework. READ HERE
June 08: Ontario Permits More Businesses and Services to Reopen in the Coming Days
Effective Friday, June 12, 2020, at 12:01 a.m., the province will increase the limit on social gatherings from five to 10 people across the province, regardless of whether a region has moved to Stage 2. Additionally, all places of worship in Ontario will also be permitted to open with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30 percent of the building capacity to ensure the safety of worshippers. READ HERE
June 02: Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency until June 30
In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario is extending the provincial Declaration of Emergency to June 30. The decision supports the government's efforts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and protect the health and safety of Ontarians as the province reopens in a measured and responsible way. The extension, under s.7.0.7 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, was approved by the Ontario legislature earlier today. READ HERE
May 27: Ontario Extending Emergency Orders During COVID-19 Outbreak
The Ontario government continues to protect the health and safety of the public during the COVID-19 outbreak by extending all emergency orders in force under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The following emergency orders have been extended until June 9, 2020: READ HERE
May 22: Ontario Helps People Impacted by COVID-19 Get Back to Work
As the economy gradually reopens, the Ontario government is helping people affected by COVID-19 get back to work. The province is investing in Ontario's first Virtual Action Centre, an online counselling and training portal, to support laid off and unemployed hospitality workers, and is helping apprentices by providing grants to purchase tools, protective equipment and clothing for their trade, along with forgiving previous loans to purchase tools. READ HERE
May 22: Ontario Makes it Easier to Conduct Business during COVID-19
The Government of Ontario is making it easier for people to conduct business and practice physical distancing in the new COVID-19 environment. The province is permitting Ontario corporations to conduct virtual meetings and to defer certain annual meetings in specified circumstances and is allowing the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to accept copies of documents, electronic signatures on documents, and electronic filing of documents. These changes are part of COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020. READ HERE
May 14: Ontario Announces Additional Workplaces that Can Reopen
Today, the Ontario government announced the retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers who will be permitted to open or expand their services on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, at 12:01 a.m., provided that the general trend on health indicators continues to improve as part of the first stage of the government's reopening framework. The workplaces opening as part of this stage are well-positioned to put workplace safety measures in place and get more people back to work, while not overburdening public transit and other services. READ HERE
May 12: Declaration of Emergency Extended While Ontario Gradually Reopens the Economy
The Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This additional time will ensure the province has the necessary tools and health care capacity to contain COVID-19, while gradually reopening businesses, services, and amenities safely. Passed during a special sitting of the Ontario Legislature today, the Declaration of Emergency has been extended until June 2. READ HERE
May 04: Ontario Continues to Support Mental Health Needs During COVID-19
Our government recognizes many Ontarians are experiencing increased anxiety because of COVID-19 and are worried about their health, the health of their family and friends, and the future of their livelihoods and are feeling anxious in physical isolation. We want to help those who need support and have taken immediate action to ensure everyone can access the high-quality care they expect and deserve. READ HERE
May 01: Certain Businesses Allowed to Reopen Under Strict Safety Guidelines
The Ontario government is allowing certain businesses and workplaces to reopen as long as they comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak. Those permitted to start up include seasonal businesses and some essential construction projects. READ HERE
By following the proper health and safety guidelines these businesses will be permitted to begin operations on Monday, May 4 at 12:01 a.m.:
- .....Additional essential construction projects that include:
- - shipping and logistics;
- - broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure;
- - any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services;
- - municipal projects;
- - colleges and universities;
- - child care centres;
- - schools; and
- - site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development;
April 30: Ontario Providing Employers with Workplace Safety Guidelines
The Ontario government is ensuring employers have the safety guidelines they need to protect workers, customers, and the general public from COVID-19 as it prepares for a gradual reopening of the provincial economy. READ HERE
April 27: Ontario Unveils Guiding Principles to Reopen the Province
Today, the Ontario government released A Framework for Reopening our Province, which outlines the criteria Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will use to advise the government on the loosening of emergency measures, as well as guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces. The framework also provides details of an outreach strategy, led by the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, to help inform the restart of the provincial economy. READ HERE
April 25: Ontario Supporting Frontline Heroes of COVID-19 with Pandemic Pay
In recognition of the dedication, long hours and increased risk of working to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, the Ontario government is providing frontline staff with a temporary pandemic payment. READ HERE
April 24: Ontario Provides Urgent Relief for Small Businesses and Landlords
The Ontario government is partnering with the federal government to provide urgent relief for small businesses and landlords affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The province is committing $241 million through the new Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA). The total amount of provincial-federal relief that would be provided is more than $900 million, helping to ensure small businesses are ready to reopen their doors when the emergency measures are lifted. READ HERE
April 23: Ontario Extends Emergency Orders to Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19
On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is extending all emergency orders that have been put in place to-date under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until May 6, 2020. This extension will help protect the health and well-being of people across the province and stop the spread of COVID-19. The following emergency orders have been extended until May 6, 2020: READ HERE
April 14: Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency to Continue the Fight Against COVID-19
On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and with the approval of the Ontario legislature, the Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act for a further 28 days. This will allow the government to continue to use every tool at its disposal to protect the health and safety of the people of Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic. READ HERE
April 11: Ontario Takes Further Action to Stop the Spread of COVID-19
To help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of people across the province, the Ontario government has extended all emergency orders that have been put in place to-date under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until April 23, 2020, including the closure of outdoor amenities in parks and recreational areas, non-essential workplaces, public places and bars and restaurants, along with restrictions on social gatherings and the prohibition of price gouging. READ HERE
April 09: Construction Act to be Exempt from Emergency Order Suspending Procedural Time Limits
The emergency order has been amended to lift the suspension of limitation periods and procedural time periods under the Construction Act. This will allow for the release of holdback payments to contractors and subcontractors in the normal course, helping to resolve a potentially significant cash flow problem as a result of the order for the construction industry.
The suspension will be lifted on April 16, 2020, to give the industry time to prepare for these changes. Once lifted, parties will have the same amount of time to meet a deadline that had been remaining before the suspension began on March 16, 2020. READ HERE
April 08: Ontario Accelerates Essential Construction Projects During COVID-19
In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, Ontario is extending construction hours for essential construction projects, like critical projects in the health care sector, to 24 hours a day. Work on new hospital builds, expansions, and COVID-19 assessment centres will be able to continue any time of the night or day in order to help accelerate the construction of these important projects and enable employers to take additional steps to protect the health and safety of workers on these job sites. READ HERE
April 07: Ontario Helping Indigenous Communities Stop the Spread of COVID-19
As part of Ontario's Action Plan: Response to COVID-19, the Ontario government is investing over $37 million to support outbreak planning, prevention and mitigation efforts to ensure the health and well-being of Indigenous people and communities — particularly those in remote and far-northern regions. READ HERE
April 03: Ontario Extends Business Closures to Stop the Spread of COVID-19
Following the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is reducing the list of businesses classified as essential and ordering more workplaces to close. This measure is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of the people of Ontario, while ensuring that necessary goods and services remain available. READ HERE
April 02: Ontario Increasing Mental Health Support During COVID-19
Ontario government is making it easier for everyone, especially those on the front lines, to reach out for mental health support during the COVID-19 outbreak. To improve access, the province is providing emergency funding of up to $12 million to immediately expand online and virtual mental health supports and $2.6 million to hire new psychologists and other mental health workers to support Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) personnel. READ HERE
March 30: Ontario Extends Emergency Declaration to Stop the Spread of COVID-19
In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep people home, the Government of Ontario has extended the Declaration of Emergency and associated emergency measures, including the closure of non-essential workplaces and restrictions on social gatherings. In addition, Ontario is issuing a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to close all outdoor recreational amenities, such as sports fields and playgrounds, effective immediately. These actions are based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health. READ HERE
March 29: Ontario Stepping Up Measures to Limit the Spread of COVID-19 on Construction Sites
Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, issued the following statement today regarding health and safety on construction sites:
"The health and safety of construction workers is a top priority for our government. With the COVID-19 situation changing day by day, we are working to ensure that workers have the tools they need to help keep job sites safe. We must do everything possible to fight the spread of this disease. READ HERE
March 28: Ontario Prohibits Gatherings of More Than Five People with Strict Exceptions
Today, the Ontario government is taking immediate and decisive action to further stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and well-being of all Ontarians.
Based on the best advice of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is issuing a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people, effective immediately. READ HERE
March 26: Ontario Provides $3.3 Billion More to Increase Health Care Capacity
The Ontario government is providing an additional $3.3 billion to support frontline health care workers and increase health care capacity in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This funding will allow the province to take immediate action to increase the number of assessment centres, add more acute care and critical care beds, improve testing and provide more protective equipment for frontline workers. READ HERE
Ontario Enabling Financial Relief for Businesses
New financial measures will allow insurance premium payment deferrals for six months. The Ontario Government is enabling $1.9 billion in relief for employers to reduce the financial strain on business brought on by COVID-19. The measure, which will run through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), will see premium payments deferred for six months for all businesses in the province. READ HERE
March 25: Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19
Premier Ford and Minister Phillips Announce Additional Health Care Resources and Support for People, Jobs and Employers. READ FULL PLAN HERE
Stop the Spread Business Information Line Now Open at 1-888-444-3659
The province has launched a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province's recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health.
On Monday, the province issued an emergency order to close at-risk workplaces and encourage non-essential businesses to find ways to help their employees work from home. The government also reminded businesses to put in place protocols for physical distancing and regular hand-washing in order to protect the health and safety of employees and the general public.
Businesses who have questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
Help is available from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 a.m.―5:00 p.m.
March 23: Ontario Orders the Mandatory Closure of All Non-Essential Workplaces to Fight Spread of COVID-19
To further contain the spread of COVID-19, the Ontario Government will order the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces effective as of Tuesday, March 24th at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days with the possibility of extending this order as the situation evolves. READ HERE
March 19: "The Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020" and "The Municipal Emergency Act, 2020"
Please find the News Release from the Ontario Government announcing the passage of "The Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020" and "The Municipal Emergency Act, 2020." READ HERE
March 17: Declaration of Emergency
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy:
PDF: Click Here
More Information: Click Here
Canada Emergency Business Account:
PDF: Click Here
More Information: Click Here
April 07: Prime Minister announces production of more medical supplies and equipment in Canada
Canadian businesses and manufacturers are stepping up in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Canada is working with companies across the country to make sure that we have the medical supplies and equipment needed to keep Canadians safe and healthy.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced further progress under Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID‑19 that will help provide vital, made‑in‑Canada protective gear and medical equipment to respond to the outbreak. READ MORE
April 02: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with premiers on continued efforts to address the impacts of COVID-19
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke with premiers to discuss the evolving COVID-19 situation. The leaders discussed preparations and actions undertaken by the federal government and provincial and territorial partners to protect the health and safety of all Canadians and to support workers and businesses. READ MORE
March 27: Prime Minister announces support for small businesses facing impacts of COVID‑19
The Government of Canada is focused on helping Canadians and businesses through this tough economic time. We will continue to protect the health and safety of Canadians, while supporting families and businesses and keeping our economy strong in the face of uncertainty.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced additional new measures to support small businesses dealing with the economic impacts of the pandemic. These measures will help Canadian businesses protect the jobs that Canadians depend on, and pay their workers and bills during these difficult times. READ MORE
March 25: Government introduces Canada Emergency Response Benefit to help workers and businesses
The Government of Canada is taking strong, immediate and effective action to protect Canadians and the economy from the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic. No Canadian should have to choose between protecting their health, putting food on the table, paying for their medication or caring for a family member.
To support workers and help businesses keep their employees, the government has proposed legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB would be a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit. READ MORE
March 18: Prime Minister announces new actions under Canada’s COVID-19 response
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy and help Canadians affected by the impacts of this challenging period. These measures, delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses, plus $55 billion to meet the liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and households through tax deferrals to help stabilize the economy. Combined, this $82 billion in support represents more than 3 percent of Canada’s GDP. This wide-ranging support will help ensure Canadians can pay for rent and groceries, and help businesses continue to pay their employees and their bills during this time of uncertainty. READ MORE
March 17: The Prime Minister, today outlined additional actions being taken under the Government of Canada’s whole-of-government response to COVID-19 to limit its spread and to provide support to Canadian travellers. The Prime Minister also strongly urged Canadians to heed the following recommendations that:
- - All Canadians avoid non-essential travel outside the country until further notice.
- - Canadian travellers return to Canada via commercial means while they remain available.
- - All travellers to Canada self-isolate for 14 days upon entry, with exceptions for workers who are essential to the movement of goods and people. READ MORE
Government of Canada
Government of Ontario
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
COVID-19 Construction Picture Across Canada
This chart provides a construction picture of what is happening across the country with COVID-19 concerns.
Most major industrial sites closed. Several large commercial projects still open currently.
Sites commercial and institutional sites still open. Some shutdowns being delayed.
Quebec shut the industry down March 23rd until April 12th. Some limited exceptions (to be determined).
March 23 Construction declared an essential service with some limitations.
Sites still working. Currently not experiencing worker refusal.
Sites still open with some concern over manpower reporting for work
Large sites reducing their workforce. Shutdowns have been deferred. Construction not considered essential. Shutdowns will be considered by owner experiences site if labour supply issues.
Government considers construction an essential service. Some workers walking off sites claiming unsafe conditions
IHSA Safety Talk: COVID-19 Precautions
Employment Insurance (EI)
Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement and are available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine, to allow them time to restore their health and return to work. Canadians quarantined can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. Learn More
How to Protect Yourself
Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace or health care centre.
There is no vaccine available to protect against the 2019 novel coronavirus, but there are actions you can take to help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses.
Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health:
- wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- sneeze and cough into your sleeve
- avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- avoid contact with people who are sick
- stay home if you are sick
Everyone in Ontario should be practicing social distancing to reduce their exposure to other people.
Everyone in Ontario should do their best to avoid close contact with people outside of their immediate families. Close contact includes being within two (2) meters of another person.
If you believe you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms, you should begin to self-monitor for a period of 14 days. This means that, in addition to social distancing, you should track how you feel. You should take your temperature daily and log any other symptoms that develop (e.g., sore throat, new cough). You can share these records with your primary care provider over the phone if you seek assessment services.
Symptoms and Treatment
Symptoms range from mild – like the flu and other common respiratory infections – to severe. The most common symptoms include:
- difficulty breathing
- muscle aches
- sore throat
- runny nose
Complications from the 2019 novel coronavirus can include serious conditions, like pneumonia or kidney failure, and in some cases, death.
There are no specific treatments for coronaviruses, and there is no vaccine that protects against coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illnesses will recover on their own.
- drink plenty of fluids
- get rest and sleep as much as possible
- try a humidifier or a hot shower to help with a sore throat or cough
If you start to feel symptoms of COVID-19
- Anyone who begins to feel unwell (fever, new cough or difficulty breathing) should return home and self-isolate immediately.
- People who are self-isolating should seek clinical assessment over the phone - either through Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000) or by calling their primary care provider's office. If you need additional assessment, your primary care provider or Telehealth will direct you to in-person care options.
If you need immediate medical attention you should call 911 and mention your travel history and symptoms.
Source: Government of Canada and Ontario.ca