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LETTER: Preparing for the second COVID-19 wave

Deb Schulte, Canada’s Minister of Seniors, outlines gov’t plans for second wave prep

Dear Editor,

As our economy starts to reopen, the health and safety of Canadians is our number one priority.

That’s why the Government of Canada is acting now to put the right tools in place before a potential second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hits.

We have negotiated a Safe Restart Agreement with the provinces and territories that will invest $19 billion to protect the health of Canadians and ensure they can safely return to work.

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This agreement bolsters the capacity of the provinces and territories to conduct contact tracing and testing, with a goal to have capacity for up to 200,000 tests a day across the country. This is vital to containing future outbreaks quickly before they spread.

To better protect seniors in long-term care homes, we are funding infection prevention measures and expanding eligibility for federal infrastructure funds so they can be used to modernize and renovate long-term care facilities.

We have set up a contingency reserve of personal protective equipment so front line and essential workers have the vital protection they need to do their jobs.

The agreement also makes a significant investment to ensure sufficient and safe childcare is available for families. By ensuring staff and children are safe, parents will have the peace of mind to feel confident returning to work.

The federal government is creating a temporary national sick leave program so no one feels pressured to go to work when sick. The program will provide 10 days of paid sick leave to workers who do not already qualify through their employers to ensure they can stay home and get well.

Throughout these difficult times, Canadians have stood together to look out for one another and protect our communities.

Our government will continue to ensure that Canadians have the supports to stay safe and get through this pandemic.

Yours sincerely,

Deb Schulte

Canada’s Minister of Seniors

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