OTTAWA — The federal government unveiled a $1 billion response package to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on the Canadian health-care system, the economy, and workers. Here is the breakdown of the spending announced Wednesday:

$500 million: To help provinces and territories with things like buying equipment, increased testing for COVID-19, and enhanced surveillance and monitoring

$275 million: For research on medical countermeasures, including antivirals, vaccine development and support for clinical trials. This funding is on top of the $27 million previously announced.

$100 million: To pay for enhanced federal surveillance, increased testing at the National Microbiology Laboratory, and ongoing support for preparedness in First Nations and Inuit communities.


$50 million: To help buy personal protective equipment for health-care workers like surgical masks, face shields, and isolation gowns.

$50 million: To the Public Health Agency of Canada to pay for COVID-19 communications and public education.

$50 million: Initial support to the World Health Organization and other international groups to address the outbreak worldwide, particularly in developing countries.

$12 million: Expanding the work-sharing program from 38 to 76 weeks to supplement wages for workers who cut hours to avoid layoffs at companies affected by COVID-19.

$7 million: To repatriate Canadians from high-risk areas, such as those who were asymptomatic and arrived Tuesday morning from the Grand Princess cruise ship to begin quarantine at Canadian Forces Base Trenton.

$5 million: To waive the one-week waiting period for employment insurance sickness benefits for those who are in quarantine or have been directed to self-isolate.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 11, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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