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Why COVID-19 is hitting us now -- and how to prepare for the next outbreak
Where did the new coronavirus originate, how did it spread so fast -- and what's next? Sharing insights from the outbreak, global health expert and TED Fellow Alanna Shaikh traces the spread of COVID-19, discusses why travel restrictions aren't effective and highlights the medical changes needed worldwide to prepare for the next pandemic. "We need to make sure that every country in the world has the capacity to identify new diseases and treat them," she says.
It is always worthwhile to consider the importance of transparency in your strategic planning. Generally, transparency in an organization helps to build and maintain trust; its absence leads to inflated misconceptions. For example, when we work with clients to implement the engagement/incentive program Ownership Thinking one question we like to ask is “on a million dollars of revenue, what percentage is profit before tax (PBT)?”
Why is it that some people seem to weather any business storm or crisis without appearing to break into a sweat? How is it that they always seem able to recover from a stumble and move on to even greater success? Are they immune to failure because they have won the Success Lottery? No. Those who achieve success during turbulent times do so because they have an EDGE to their approach to leadership: They understand the value of external information. They establish a framework for their decision-making. They develop goals to provide a focus for accountability. They also take advantage of outside experts to provide them with additional insight.
As of March 18, 2020 All researchers must safely suspend non-critical lab operations by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 20. The exception here will be for research that is deemed critical and that if disrupted would result in a serious loss of research data, material or equipment. The University will prioritize review of new research proposals or amendments related to COVID-19
The Grand River Conservation Authority has been following the COVID-19 pandemic closely and is taking steps to help prevent the spread of infection in our communities in accordance with directions being provided by our local, provincial and federal government and health authorities. As of March 18, all GRCA offices and facilities within Grand River Parks have been closed to the public until Monday, April 6 to help prevent the possible spread of this virus.
Rocco Rossi, President & CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce released the following statement in reaction to the Government of Canada’s announcement yesterday introducing further measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19: “Today, the Government of Canada announced an $82 billion package to support Canadians and stabilize the economy during these unprecedented times. We are encouraged by the action taken today by the federal government with the $27 billion in direct support to Canadian employers and employees and $55 billion to meet liquidity needs of businesses and households through tax deferrals. These measures will help individuals, families and businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
The pace of technology has generated tremendous opportunity to rethink how people get around cities. The growing use of electric scooters and ride-hailing services is transforming how we move in urban centres. The World Economic Forum’s new Guidelines for City Mobility: Steering towards collaboration contains evidence-based planning and design guidelines that help cities and mobility partners create a sustainable, ethical and inclusive urban transport system. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs by 2050 an additional 2.5 billion people will live in cities. As cities grow, the demand for mobility increases. The Guidelines for City Mobility: Steering towards collaboration provides eight practical guidelines – from data-sharing to multimodal integration – that help establish, develop and strengthen partnerships between cities and mobility partners.
Yesterday, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, issued the following update on Ontario Parks operations in response to COVID-19 developments: "As COVID-19 continues to quickly evolve, we want to ensure public safety and the well-being of our visitors and staff in Ontario's provincial parks. In order to assist the province with its efforts to keep Ontarians safe during this time, all provincial parks will be closed to the public from March 19, 2020 until April 30, 2020. This includes car camping, backcountry camping, roofed accommodations, day use opportunities and all public buildings.
The Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) has released a report highlighting Ontario service fees in 2019-20. This report provides information on the Province’s 1,200+ service fees, including service fee rate changes in 2019-20, service fee revenue sources and growth rates, and an analysis of the government’s commitment to increase the online delivery of services. In 2019-20, the Province changed 293 service fee rates, including 235 fee increases, two fee decreases, five new fees and 51 eliminated fees. More than half of the fee rate increases exceeded the rate of inflation.
One of my bosses, Janet, was clever, hardworking and had an amazing eye for detail. She had high standards: if you e-mailed with a question at 10 p.m., she replied by 10.05. She worked hard, delivered on time, hated mistakes and expected the same from her team. She was driving us mad. We had been working on the project for weeks and every Tuesday morning we would sit for hours as she ground through endless detail. For every insight from her years of experience, there were a dozen trivialities. On a presentation she would change the fonts on the bullets and complain if the angle of the staple was wrong – (top right, horizontal, equal distance from both margins). Janet knew best:
Recent WHO (World Health Organization) announcement about COVID-19 pandemic is raising many uncertainties and questions about the way business will now be conducted around the world. In the face of this unusual situation, companies often do not know what to do and how to communicate with customers, partners, even their own employees. It is obvious that the current quarantine situation cannot be compared to any previously announced pandemics or crises - this time, the world is shutting down completely. The situation is going to lead to hardly measurable consequences not only for individuals, but also for businesses. While people actively seek information and assurance from the government and trusted leaders, it is important for companies to demonstrate effective leadership within their own sphere of influence - through the right communication with employees, customers, partners and suppliers.
Businesses with cross-border interests should be aware that the Canadian federal government is temporarily restricting all non-essential travel between the Canadian-U.S. borders, to address concerns related to COVID-19. The Canadian government made this announcement March 18, 2020, in agreement with the United States. While commercial trade is still able to continue, businesses should keep an eye on the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and, in some areas, brace for certain shipment delays.
The Food Bank of Waterloo Region continues to monitor #COVID-19 and the impact on our community and those in need of food assistance. They are working with our community programs and agency partners, as part of the Community Food Assistance Network, to help people in need of food assistance during this time: • The Community Food Assistance Network is part of the Region of Waterloo’s Pandemic and Emergency Plans. Should the COVID-19 situation escalate or any other large scale emergency is declared, we have detailed protocols in place to ensure the ongoing service delivery of food and other critical supports. • Working with the Community Food Assistance Network to protect and support vulnerable community members, ensuring that those who need food receive it.
Businesses are facing unprecedented challenges in how they market, sell, and stay connected in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Event cancellations, travel restrictions, and remote work policies are making it increasingly difficult to engage prospects and customers, and to communicate effectively with internal employees. As a video technology provider and growing business VidYard understands the importance of video-based communications in times of crisis and social distancing. Not only is it an efficient means of delivering critical information, video keeps us connected as colleagues, as teams, and as real people who are tackling monumental challenges, together.
As a result of the growing COVID-19 pandemic and the volume of admitted patients it currently has, Cambridge Memorial Hospital (CMH) has made the difficult decision to have patient-only access to the hospital. Visitors will no longer be allowed in the hospital, unless there is an exceptional circumstance including: • Close relative of a patient nearing end-of-life • Parents or guardians of a child admitted to hospital and is under the age of 18 (two people only) • A partner or support person of a woman giving birth (one person only)
Waterloo Region area municipalities continue to monitor and respond to COVID-19 and follow the recommendations of the federal, provincial and regional public health authorities in making changes to protect the wellbeing of residents and workers. As a precaution during the evolving global pandemic, over the next 24 hours, the Region and area municipalities will be closing all remaining municipal facilities to the public up to and including April 5. This includes all city/township halls, regional headquarters and municipal administrative offices – unless access is required to deliver a critical service.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW Canada) has notified an Ontario cannabis producer to sit down and bargain a contract for members the union represents at WeedMD in Mount Brydges, Ontario – the first-ever notice to bargain for cannabis production workers in Canada. Approximately 250 workers are employed at WeedMD’s cultivation facility. In Ontario, cannabis production has been deemed as agricultural work by the Ontario Labour Relations Board. As a result, cannabis production workers in Ontario are excluded from the Labour Relations Act and therefore do not have a clear path to union membership. Instead, workers fall under the Agricultural Employees Protection Act (AEPA), under which no group of agricultural workers in Ontario has ever managed to organize for the purposes of collective bargaining since the Act’s inception in 2002.