A Framework for Reopening our Province
Yesterday, the Government of Ontario released a new guiding framework that will loosen restrictions and reopen the economy when safe to do so. Although no specific dates or timing have been provided, this three-stage process will guide the supply chain and the construction industry as it reopens. You can read the full framework here.
According to the province, the stages for reopening are as follows:
- Stage 1: Select workplaces that can "immediately meet" public health guidance and some outdoor spaces such as parks.
- Stage 2: More workplaces based on risk assessments, which could include some service industries and retail, and some larger gatherings.
- Stage 3: Further relax restrictions on public gatherings and open all workplaces "responsibly." Even in this phase, however, "large gatherings such as concerts and sporting events will continue to be restricted for the foreseeable future."
The time between stages will be at least two to four weeks and will be determined by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health. The Chief Medical Officer will also have the power to extend each stage if transmission rates increase.
The document notes that health and safety will be a top priority as Ontario transitions to a 'new normal,' emphasizing public health officials will have input during each phase of the process. How this will translate to construction workplaces has yet to be determined.
Exactly when and how Ontario begins reopening will depend on several factors, including a consistent two-to-four week drop in new daily COVID-19 cases, a decrease in cases not traced to a source and a reduction of new hospitalizations.
The OGCA will continue advocating for Ontario’s contractors, informing members about how to remain safe and fighting for our industry to resume regular operations as soon as possible. For more information about COVID-19 and general contractors, please visit www.ogca.ca.