This page was last updated at August 24, 2020.
Please find below a list of helpful links for those seeking information on COVID-19 and the response from the Government of Canada.
Due to the nature of this situation, all information is subject to change. As further information is available, this page will be updated as quickly as possible.
NEW!!! – Download the contact tracing app to help stop the spread of the virus. The app is free, does not collect personal information and will let you know if you have come into contact with another app user who has contracted COVID in the past 14 days. The app is not mandatory for Canadians, and can be downloaded voluntarily from Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
To get a summary of the benefits you may be entitled to, please use the COVID-19 Benefits Finder at: https://canada.ca/coronavirus-benefits. By answering a short list of questions, you can get a summary of benefits that may apply to your situation.
The Government of Canada general COVID-19 website is: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/being-prepared.html
The Province of Alberta general COVID-19 website is: https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx.
The Province of Alberta Economic Relaunch Information – https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-relaunch-strategy.aspx
- What should I do if I think I have symptoms or think I may have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19? – Alberta Health Service has released an online assessment tool found here: https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Journey/COVID-19/Pages/COVID-Self-Assessment.aspx
- In any case, if you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early to reduce the risk of developing a more severe infection and be sure to share your recent travel history with your health care provider.
- Where can I get the most up to date information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and actions being taken to protect the health of Albertans? For the most up to date information locally including current situation, risk, cases and testing, prevention, etc. please visit https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx. Additional information can be found on the Government of Canada’s website here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
- How long does the virus live on surfaces? – It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment). If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
- Where can I get help with my mental health?
- – Healthlink Alberta – 811
- – Mental Health Helpline – 1-877-303-2642
- – Kids Help Phone – 1 800 668 6868
- – Health Canada has a new portal dedicated to mental wellness, Wellness Together Canada which will be able to connect Canadians to various mental health professionals for confidential chat sessions or phone calls.
- Should I be wearing a mask in public? – Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam advised Canadians that wearing a non-medical mask, even without symptoms, is an additional measure that can be taken to protect others, especially where social distancing is a challenge (ie: public transit). Physical distancing still remains the primary way to avoid contacting the virus. Non-medical masks are not considered suitable protection against contracting the virus yourself, but it can help protect others.
- Is it okay to attend large public gatherings? – (https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertPassport services continue to be available if you need to travel urgently. If not, please wait until services return to normal. If you applied and do not need to travel urgently, your application will be processed when services resume.
For valid reasons to travel urgently and how to apply see:
- Postal Services – Canada Post continues to operate normally at this time. You can purchase your stamps from home and receive them with free shipping by ordering at https://www.canadapost.ca/shop/stamps/canada.jsf.
- Changes to travel restrictions for immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents – The Canada Border Services Agency is announcing that as of June 8, 2020, foreign nationals who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and who do not have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or who do not have reason to believe they have COVID-19, will be exempt from the prohibition on entry to Canada if entering to be with an immediate family member for a period of at least 15 days.
- Foreign nationals who are admitted into Canada pursuant to this exemption must quarantine for 14 days.
- An immediate family member refers to a person’s:
- spouse or common-law partner;
- dependent child, as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, or a dependent child of the person’s spouse or common-law partner;
- dependent child, as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, of a dependent child referred to in paragraph (b):
- parent or step-parent or the parent or step-parent of the person’s spouse or common-law partner;
- guardian or tutor.
- Passport services continue to be available if you need to travel urgently. If not, please wait until services return to normal. If you applied and do not need to travel urgently, your application will be processed when services resume.
For valid reasons to travel urgently and how to apply see: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/passport.html#passport-services
- Canada has closed its borders to most people who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada. There is an international flight ban in effect. Anyone showing symptoms (Canadian or otherwise), will not be allowed into the country.
- Temporary reduction of service at Canadian land border crossings – The CBSA is temporarily reducing service hours at a total of 27 Canadian land border locations. The temporary hour adjustments will remain in effect until the expiration date of the Order in Council made under the Quarantine Act prohibiting entry into Canada from the United States. The CBSA regularly reviews its operations and adjustments are made when necessary. https://www.canada.ca/en/border-services-agency/news/2020/04/covid-19–temporary-reduction-of-service-at-canadian-land-border-crossings.htmlAll Canadian-bound international flights will only be allowed into four Canadian airports – Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. This does not currently apply to USA flights, but that is subject to change. No current flight restrictions are being placed on domestic in-Canada flights (except if you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or do not have a mask). Crews, planes, trains, and truck drivers will have access to cross-border travel under exemptions.
- Canadians who are suffering from symptoms of COVID-19 will be prohibited from traveling by air or rail both domestically and internationally.
- The second emergency order on mandatory isolation came into force April 15. All travellers must provide suitable plans for their mandatory quarantine (asymptomatic) or isolation (symptomatic) and wear a mask while in transit to that place. All people entering Canada are required to comply with additional quarantine measures. This includes having a suitable quarantine plan in place and reporting as required to public health officials. Some travellers may be required to enter a federal quarantine facility (usually a hotel) for 14 days even if they do not show any symptoms. Details will be discussed with those returning at the Port of Entry.
The Government of Canada has completed its last rounds of repatriations (this applies to all countries). Currently, the government is not planning any additional government-facilitated flights to repatriate Canadians.
As commercial options are becoming more and more available, the government is advising Canadians and permanent residents outside Canada who are unable to return to Canada to monitor local media and follow the advice of local public health officials about COVID.
As of End of Day, July 17th: Approximately 56,856 Canadians have returned to Canada from 698 flights (228 of which were Canadian commercially assisted or facilitated departures) from 109 countries.
- Canadians traveling outside of Canada in need of emergency consular assistance can contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at 613 996 8885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Cruise Ships – No large cruise ships would be allowed to visit Canada before October 31st, 2020.
IMPORTANT: You must have a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) My Account set up and your direct deposit information completed BEFORE applying for benefits. This can be done at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/cra-login-services.html.
- DEFERRING THE PAYMENT OF INCOME TAXES. The government is allowing all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of income tax amounts owed on or after March 18 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
- Helping Canadians with the economic impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Important changes to tax-filing and payment deadlines https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update.html
- CANADA EMERGENCY COMMERCIAL RENT ASSISTANCE (CECRA) program is available to eligible small businesses. This is for small business tenants that pay less than $50,000 per month in rent, that have temporarily ceased operations or experienced a significant drop in pre-pandemic revenues, and which rent their commercial space from mortgaged property owners. This includes non-profit and charitable organizations.
- The CECRA provides forgivable loans to qualifying, commercial property owners to cover 50% of the rent otherwise payable by eligible small businesses during April, May and June. These loans will be forgiven if the owner agrees to reduce their tenant’s rent by at least 75% for the three months. The CECRA requires that the rent forgiveness agreements include the following terms:
- – the tenant will be responsible for paying 25% of its monthly rent;
- – the owner will be responsible for covering 25% of the monthly rent that would otherwise be paid to it; and
- – the federal government and provinces will share responsibility for the remaining 50% by way of a forgivable loan disbursed directly to the owner’s mortgage lender.
- – the rent forgiveness agreement must also include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement applies.
- The CECRA is now accepting applications at https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/finance-and-investing/covid19-cecra-small-business
- CANADA EMERGENCY WAGE SUBSIDY – The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) helps employers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to keep workers on their payroll or bring back previously laid-off employees. The following information will help guide conversations with constituents who have questions about the CEWS.Enhancements to the CEWS program – To ensure that Canadian workers and businesses are in a better position as our economy safely re-opens, the Government has recently implemented changes to the CEWS that broaden the reach of the program and provide better targeted support.The new CEWS online calculator – The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) launched an updated and improved CEWS online calculator to help small and large employers alike prepare to apply for the next period of the CEWS program, which will open for applications on August 17, 2020.The CEWS calculator can be found on the CRA’s updated Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy web page, which includes detailed information to help employers understand how the CEWS can support their employees and operations, who is eligible to apply, and how claim periods are structured.
The calculator uses a step-by-step process to invite employers to enter information about their business situation and then provides an estimate of the subsidy they can expect to receive.
It also includes printable spreadsheet and statement features that employers can use to view their claim at a glance and enter required information into the CEWS application form quickly and easily.
By providing employers with detailed information about their subsidy claim, the CEWS calculator can assist them in making informed decisions about retaining or re-hiring workers.
- CANADA EMERGENCY BUSINESS ACCOUNT – The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced. Through EDC, the program will provide Canadian financial institutions with additional funding to support micro enterprises. This program will roll out in mid-April and interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions.To qualify, interested businesses will need to demonstrate that they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000). The objective of this program is to support covering non-deferrable costs of very small business, such as payroll, rent, insurance and utilities.This tool will help farmers and food processors access the capital they need, at a zero-per-cent interest rate. This will help them cover extra costs over the next number of months if their revenues are temporarily reduced due to the COVID 19 situation.
- The CEBA program has been expanded to include sole proprietors (owner operators), dividend earners, and business owners employing contractors. Please see the official press release for more information/clarification – https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/05/19/prime-minister-announces-expansion-support-workers-and-small
- SMALL & MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISE LOAN & GUARANTEE PROGRAM will operate as follows:
- Export Development Canada will provide guarantees to financial institutions so that they can issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized businesses. These loans will be 80 per cent guaranteed by Export Development Canada, to be repaid within one year.
- Small and medium-sized businesses can also get support through a new Co-Lending Program that will bring the Business Development Bank of Canada together with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to these businesses for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program, which will be risk-shared at 80 per cent between the Business Development Bank of Canada and the financial institutions. Eligible financial institutions will conduct the underwriting and funding directly for customers.
- This program is now available at various financial institutions and credit unions.
- CO-LENDING PROGRAM FOR SMALL & MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES – This program provides term loans for operational and liquidity needs of businesses, which could include interest payments on existing debt. Similar to the EDC program, this program is available to businesses that were financially viable and revenue-generating prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- – Loans of up to $312,500 to businesses with revenues of less than $1 million.
- – Up to $3.125 million for businesses with revenues between $1 million and $50 million.
- – Up to $6.25 million for businesses with revenues in excess of $50 million.
- – The program is designed in three segments to target support to different business sizes.
- – Loans would be interest-only for the first 12 months, with a 10-year repayment period.
- – Applications details will be made available by financial institutions.
- Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) plan allows employers to increase their employees’ weekly earnings when they are unemployed due to a temporary stoppage of work, training, illness, injury or quarantine. Payments from SUB plans that are registered with Service Canada are not considered as earnings and are not deducted from EI benefits (pursuant to subsection 37(1) of the EI Regulations). https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/ei/ei-list/ei-employers-supplemental-unemployment-benefit.html.
- Additional Measures:These measures are a part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which provides direct support and tax deferrals to Canadian workers and businesses to help them in these difficult times.
INDIVIDUAL OFFERS TO ASSIST:
- We can all help in our own way. It is recommended that those looking to offer assistance reach out to their immediate neighbours, friends and family to offer assistance. Many Seniors, and those with underlying health issues, are self isolating for their own protection and may require assistance with an important errand. If we can all help those we know, it will allow authorities to remain focused on other needs.
- Volunteer Opportunities are now listed at https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/volunteer
- Blood Donation – Canada relies on volunteer blood donations. The majority of donors are Seniors (37%). If you are in good health, please consider donating blood at this time. Find the closest blood donor clinic at www.blood.ca.
BUSINESS OFFERS TO ASSIST:
- Canada is fortunate to have manufacturers who are interested in providing supplies during this time. We have been provided two emails that are being closely monitored to ensure a timely response.
- Health product industry page
- Diagnostic devices
- “Calling on Suppliers”
- For any questions/requests/applications for medical devices, including test kits, please direct people to:
- For any questions/requests/applications for other health products, including hand sanitizer, please direct people to:
- Disposable N95 masks
- Disposable surgical masks
- Nitrile gloves
- Vinyl gloves
- Bottles of hand sanitizer
- Other prevention products
- Guard / security services
- Nursing services
- Food services
- Laundry services
- Accommodation maintenance services
- Personal services
- IT support services
- Other services
- For more information or to offer assistance, please visit https://buyandsell.gc.ca/calling-all-suppliers-help-canada-combat-covid-19
- For clinical trial sponsors
- Companies and researchers with drugs, medical devices, or natural health products that may be effective in treating or diagnosing COVID-19 are encouraged to contact us to facilitate clinical trials.
- Clinical trials are studies to find out whether a drug or medical device is safe and effective for people. We can authorize a clinical trial quickly in urgent situations.
- Please contact us at:
- – trials using pharmaceutical drugs: OCT_BEC_Enquiries_Enquetes@hc-sc.gc.ca
- – trials using biologics or radiopharmaceuticals: email@example.com
- – trials using natural health products: NHPD-CTA.DEC-DPSN@canada.ca
- – investigational testing of medical devices: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Information for Alberta employees and employers
- Do you have any awareness resources in other languages available?
- Yes, there are resources in multiple languages here https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus#section-11