Today, Premier Doug Ford was joined by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, to announce that he will be extending the state of emergency in Ontario to June 30. Ford also provided an update on how Ontario is helping manufacturers ramp up production of personal protective equipment (PPE).
PPE and Medical Supplies
Ford announced that since launching a call to action with the Ontario Together website in response to COVID-19, the business community has stepped up immensely to re-tool and ramp up Ontario production of critical PPE and medical supplies. To date the government has received more than 25,000 submissions from businesses across the province and 15,000 of these submissions have led to $200 million in medical supplies and equipment making it straight to the front lines — that is 121 million masks, 4 million face shields, 100 million surgical gloves and 20.9 million gowns.
Ford also highlighted a government partnership with key innovators in the business community to establish “made-in-Ontario” as the gold-standard for medical supplies and equipment. Three new companies receiving government support include:
Southmedic Medical Device Manufacturer (Barrie) – Will receive $1.8 million to re-tool its current production and purchase new moulding equipment, allowing it to double its output of oxygen masks, triple its output of ETCO2 mask, and quadruple its output of eye and face shields to help meet the province’s need for PPE.
Sterling Industries (Concord) – Will receive more than $1 million that will allow the company to deliver 10 million face shields to Ontario Health.
SRB Technologies (Pembroke) — Producer of self-powered emergency lighting and exit signs will receive $59,889 to manufacture medical-grade face shields, which will be supplied to regional hospitals and long-term care facilities.
Re-Opening Moving Forward
Despite extending the State of Emergency in Ontario to the end of the month, Ford stressed that it should not impact the province’s re-opening plan. Noting that a second wave of the virus is possible and preaching for continued vigilance, Ford added that his government and top health officials are “working around the clock” on the economic re-opening of Ontario. “Our health officials are working on a regional model because we need a plan the recognizes the reality on the ground and will allow Ontario to re-open safely without taking risks,” the Premier said.