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If you or a loved one is currently abroad, come home now. This includes snowbirds who may still be down in the southern United States. The safest place is back home, and the Canada-US Border remains open to Canadians returning.

If you or a loved one is not in the country, you need to register as a Canadian abroad now. You can register here. The benefits of registering are that you will receive updates from the government as soon as they become available. This may mean you receive information about flights, new benefits and general safety information until you are able to come back.  

The government is working with Canadian airless to ensure that stranded Canadians are offered a reasonable commercial price for their return ticket home. At the end of the day, airlines are private business and we cannot legislate pricing. If you are unable to pay for your travel back home the government has launched the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad. Click here to find out more about the program and how to apply.

Once you do return home, you must stay home and self-isolate for 14 days. That means you cannot stop off to run some errands on your way home. Get home and stay home. You will save lives by doing this.

If you return home from abroad and you believe you are exhibiting symptoms you can complete the Government of Ontario’s self-assessment tool here. As always if you are experiencing a medical emergency call 9-1-1.
 
As you know every level of government is currently responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ontario government has released two very newsworthy updates in the last 24 hours and I wanted to provide you with some information. For answers to your more technical question, please contact our MPP Effie Triantafilpoulos at effie.triantafilopoulos@pc.ola.org.

The Government of Ontario is providing temporary 45-day emergency relief to support Ontarians impacted by the pandemic. As of Tuesday, March 24th, households, farms and small businesses who pay Time-of-Use electricity rates will be charged off-peak rates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Oakville Hydro has put together a great Q&A on this policy development. If you have question about what this means for your home or business, click here

Finally, as of 11:59pm yesterday, the Premier announced the mandatory closure of all non-essential businesses. Click here to see what services will remain open and which will be closed. 
 
What are you going to be doing tomorrow? I know that I am going to be tuning in to Places, Please a 24 hour virtual Telethon that is being put on by the Producer of the hit musical, Come From Away, Michael Rubinoff and the AFC (formerly The Actors' Fund of Canada). The telethon starts at 2:00pm EST and you can stream all of it on Youtube by clicking here

the Telethon will feature performances and interviews with Canada's leading artistic directors, performers, writers and composers. A special segment will feature student hosts from Oakville's own Sheridan College. These students are part of the Honours Bachelor in Music Theater Performance's Class of 2020. They will be conducting interviews and showing performances by theater students from around the world! Who knows, you might just see the early stages of the next Come from Away.

The AFC is the lifeline for Canada’s entertainment industry. Through compassionate and confidential support, they help Canadian entertainment professionals maintain their health, dignity and ability to work. The AFC is an expression of the community’s good will, helping entertainment professionals when they are at their most vulnerable due to injury, illness or other personal hardship. You can donate to the AFC today by clicking here

I've said it before and I will say it again. Canada has the best medical researchers in the world. In a matter of days local researchers in Hamilton have designed a clinical trial to try to treat the deadly symptoms associated with COVID-19. The researchers with the Population Health Research Institute are hoping that their trial is approved and started within the next four week. For reference, it usually take a whole year for a clinical trial to be designed and approved. 

If approved the trial will combine two drugs, the antibiotic azithromycin taken with a malaria medication called chloroquine, with the hypothesis that the combination of these drugs will mitigate the affects of COVID-19 and leave more ventilators available for medical health professionals to use to treat patients you are experiencing very acute symptoms. 

We are far away from a cure, but I am comforted to know that some of the smartest researchers on the planet are Canadians. If you would like to read the whole story, as it appeared in the Hamilton Spectator you can click here.
 

The Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital needs your help to respond to the Outbreak of COVID-19. Around the world and in our community frontline caregivers are dealing with an unprecedented situation and are doing an incredible job protective lives and minimizing the spread of illness in our community during this pandemic.

If you are able, you can donate to the Oakville Hospital Foundation here. Longo’s is matching all gifts up to $10,000. Your donation will have an immediate impact on our hospital, enabling their clinical staff to stay resilient and provide them with any resources they need to provide safe, word-class care to their patients and to our community.

A special thank you to the Oakville Chinese Residents Association who worked with the Oakville Hospital Foundation to kickstart this fundraising drive. 

As always, if you or a friend are part of a charitable organization that is helping our community respond to the challenges faced by COVID-19. Please let my office know and we would be happy to feature your work in our daily updates. Thank you for all the good work you are doing to serve the most vulnerable in our community.
 
Finally, I want to say a big thank you to all of the essential workers who are still showing up to your shifts. You are superheros, and I am not the only one who thinks so. 

Sincerely, 

Pam

If this is the first update you have seen, and you would like to be included on all future communications, please click here. To review all previous updates please click on the links below. 
  1. Monday, March 23rd - Latest COVID-19 Update 
  2. Friday, March 20th - COVID-19 FAQs
  3. Thursday, March 19th - Supports during COVID-19 Crisis
  4. Wednesday, March 18th - Prime Minister Announces $82 Billion COVID-19 Aid Package
  5. Tuesday, March 17th - Latest COVID-19 Update
  6. Monday, March 16th - Latest COVID-19 Update
  7. Friday, March 13th - Pam's Weekly Update - Week of March 9th-13th
  8. Wednesday, March 11th - Latest Coronavirus Update 
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Pam.Damoff@parl.gc.ca

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