• Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario Bolstering Stockpile and Distributing Record Levels of Critical Supplies

Updated: Feb 18

TORONTO — The Ontario government is continuing to ensure the province is prepared in the fight against COVID-19 and its variants by ramping up procurement and delivery of additional services, personal protective equipment and critical supplies and equipment.


“At every turn of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve strengthened our domestic supply chain and focused on securing critical, high quality PPE and goods reliably through Ontario-based manufacturers,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “From the outset of the Omicron variant, we’ve redoubled our efforts and taken further immediate action to source additional materials and position our province to successfully and safely re-open our schools and economy, keeping our kids and communities safe.”

In order to further support the gradual ease of public health measures, the province has implemented a response plan to strengthen Ontario’s pandemic supply chain and bolster our stockpile by:

  • Securing over 97,500 HEPA filters to improve ventilation in congregate settings, including more than 24,500 for hospitals, long-term care, and retirement homes, 5,500 for agri-food congregate living settings, over 52,000 for schools and child care facilities as well as over 15,500 for other essential settings

  • Procuring an additional 79 million superior quality N95 masks from the 3M plant in Brockville, Ontario

  • Sourcing 200 million level one and level two surgical/protective masks annually for five years through four Ontario-based companies – PRIMED, Canada Masq, Viva Healthcare Packaging Canada, and JY Care

  • Providing and delivering over 8.3 million child-sized three ply cloth masks for students and over 10 million N95 masks for teachers to protect them at school

  • Purchasing a total of about 157 million rapid tests, including 126 million between December 2021 and January 2022

  • Establishing an arrangement for fit-testing services that are available to all sectors where guidance requires the use of fit-tested N95 respirators


These additional supplies are on top of the province’s robust stockpile and previous record level investments for PPE.

Starting today, information on how the province is strengthening Ontario’s pandemic supply chain will be made readily available. This includes data on the amounts of PPE and critical supplies being distributed across the province. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the government has shipped over 722 million pieces of PPE to support public sector workers, including over 282 million masks, over 270 million gloves and over 4.7 million litres of hand sanitizer.

In addition to the record setting delivery of vaccines and booster doses to Ontarians, the province has extended its call to arms to allow and support Ontario businesses to host employer-led clinics. A growing number of workplaces have actively shown their Ontario Spirit by rising to the challenge to help administer over 85,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to date.

The government has also expanded additional significant staffing resources to the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre so Ontarians who need help booking their vaccine or require more information on vaccinations can rest assured they can get the support they need. Since March 2021, our Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre agents have handled more than five million calls and supported over 15 million vaccination appointment transactions.


Quick Facts

  • Ontario is strengthening our pandemic supply chain by purchasing additional essential goods and supplies to protect against COVID-19 and its variants.

  • Over 92 per cent of the government’s forecasted investment in personal protective equipment for the next 18 months will be with Ontario or Canadian-based manufacturers.

  • The Ontario Together Fund has helped businesses with innovative ideas and solutions to retool or adapt their operations to produce supplies and equipment for the health care sector and frontline workers. Businesses and organizations looking to apply to the extended Ontario Together Fund can now submit through available funding opportunities from the Ontario Government.

  • In partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA) units are being provided to employers with international agri-food workers (IAWs) living in congregate settings through the voluntary Registry of Employers International Agri-food Workers.

  • Those who have questions about COVID-19 vaccines and would like to speak to an experienced agent can call 1-833-943-3900.

  • Procurement of personal protective equipment will be one of the first responsibilities to be transferred from the ministry to Supply Ontario, a new provincial agency established to address challenges in Ontario’s supply chain system. It will transform and move public procurement forward, leveraging Ontario’s $29 billion annual purchasing power to further advance modernization to benefit our economy, businesses, and Ontarians.


Quotes

"Our government is ensuring those on the frontline, including firefighters, police, corrections staff, animal welfare enforcement officers and emergency management personnel, have the PPE they need to stay safe while they work to protect us. Providing our frontline workers with equipment like N95 masks, face shields, goggles, wipes, sanitizer and more, is an important part of our pandemic response, and critical to keeping Ontarians safe."

- Sylvia Jones Solicitor General

"Our government anticipated the Omicron variant would have an impact on long-term care and took swift action to protect residents and staff. This includes securing additional PPE, rapid tests, and HEPA filters, for long-term care homes across the province."

- Paul Calandra Minister of Long-Term Care

"Our government’s Ontario Together Fund is providing immediate support to businesses and organizations to help manufacture materials to combat COVID-19. Thanks to the hard work of Ontario companies, our province has the supplies and equipment needed in our schools, hospitals, long-term care homes and other critical public services."

- Vic Fedeli Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

"With the full support of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, we have reopened our schools with stronger measures in place to protect students and staff, including millions of rapid tests, non-fit-tested N95s and three-ply masks, and over 70,000 HEPA units. Our government will continue to prioritize ventilation improvements because we know that in-person learning is critical to the mental health, development and academic success of children and youth."

- Stephen Lecce Minister of Education

"We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure older Ontarians in retirement homes are safe from exposure to COVID-19. This investment in HEPA air purifiers and other protective equipment will provide additional safeguards against COVID-19 for residents and staff in congregate care settings."

- Raymond Cho Minister for Seniors and Accessibility

"With almost half a billion visitors to Ontario.ca in 2021, we know that people expect online options and convenient services available at their fingertips. We continue to work with our partner ministries to modernize and improve customer service, protect our progress and build back Ontario."

- Kaleed Rasheed Associate Minister of Digital Government

"Since the beginning of the pandemic, our government has provided unprecedented levels of support to ensure safe work environments while producing good quality food that everyone can have confidence in, right here at home in Ontario. The allocation of over 5,500 HEPA units to improve ventilation in agri-food congregate living settings demonstrates our government’s continued commitment to our provincial agri-food sector and enables farmers to provide safe conditions to live and work in."

- Lisa Thompson Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

"From hospitals to primary care to home and community care, Ontario’s health care workers have been unwavering in their efforts to protect the health and safety of Ontarians throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Our government has used every tool at our disposal to ensure our frontline health care workers have access to the PPE they need to stay safe and support our continued response to the Omicron variant."

- Christine Elliott Deputy Premier and Minister of Health

Additional Resources

  • Ontario Protecting Supply Chains To Support COVID-19 Emergency Response

  • Province to Supply Additional Ontario-Made Masks

  • Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.



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