COVID-19: The week in review (August 3-7)

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Aug 07, 2020

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This article was last updated at 10:47 a.m.

TVO.org reporters and editors are tracking stories about the coronavirus pandemic in all regions of the province. Here's what Ontarians need to know. 

Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 88 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 39,897 since the pandemic began; 66 people are in hospital, 28 of them in intensive care and 12 on ventilators. To date, 2,783 people have died. 
  • According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 22 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 11 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 43 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 1,846 confirmed resident deaths and eight confirmed staff deaths.

  • Premier Doug Ford announced today that the Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, is providing $234.6 million in funding to "help support enhanced cleaning costs as well as health and safety requirements set out to support the reopening of licensed child care and early years programs." 

  • The Ontario government is investing $1.5 million through the new Tourism Economic Development Recovery Fund "to help the province's tourism industry and welcome back visitors after the COVID-19 pandemic." It is also investing $83 million through the Ontario Trillium Foundation to provide grants to support non-profit organizations, such as food banks, child and youth programs, and Royal Canadian Legion branches. 

  • Porter Airlines has announced that it will be pushing back its previously announced August 31 restart date until October 7.

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

  • According to data as of August 5, there are 21 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 15,472 cases in Toronto since the pandemic began; 77 of them are in hospital. In total, 1,161 people have died.
  • As of August 5, new measures came into effect in Toronto requiring the wearing of masks or face coverings in common areas in apartments and condominiums. 
  • In partnership with Live Nation, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment will be showing Maple Leafs and Raptors games on a 40-foot screen at Ontario Place.

  • Enforcement of permit parking on residential streets in Toronto will resume on August 14 at midnight.
  • Toronto Public Health is raising concerns about Ontario's school-reopening plan.

  • Between noon and 6:30 p.m. on August 7 and 8, the Toronto Public Library's Wi-Fi-enabled Bookmobile will be at Edgeley Park to offer free public Wi-Fi.

  • Hamilton activists have been protesting the restarting of local eviction proceedings. According to the Hamilton Spectatordata from the Landlord and Tenant Board shows that Hamilton landlords filed 323 eviction notices for unpaid rent between March 17 and July 28. Critics say a new provincial bill will make it easier for landlords to evict tenants with whom they had reached independent repayment agreements.

  • Hamilton’s Catholic school board says it’s considering reducing class sizes in elementary schools. The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board has not said whether it's doing the same, telling the Hamilton Spectator it will wait until its board meeting on Monday to present a plan.

  • Inmates at the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre are conducting another hunger strike. The first, in June, was an attempt to address concerns inmates had with COVID-19 restrictions, the Hamilton Spectator reports. While some of those were addressed, inmates continue to ask for better access to books and mail.

  • As Ontarians head to pools and beaches to beat the heat, lifeguards are going back to basics to protect swimmers — and themselves. TVO.org's Hamilton-Niagara reporter Justin Chandler reports on new guidelines directing guards to conduct rescues while making as little contact as possible.

  • According to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Advance, local business owners say that Niagara Region's mandatory mask law, which came into effect on July 31, has led to a huge uptake in mask wearing. As the St. Catharines Standard reports, Premier Doug Ford said Tuesday that anyone touring Niagara needs to remember to keep their distance from others and wear face coverings where required. Ford said he had seen pictures of crowds in Niagara Falls earlier in the day.

  • Some Niagara winemakers are getting behind a petition to repeal a 6.1 per cent tax wineries pay to the province on bottles sold at their onsite stores. They tell the St. Catharines Standard the tax is hurting them at a time when winery sales are already down.

Indigenous

  • Indigenous Tourism Ontario has unveiled a five-year strategic and COVID-19 recovery framework, the Manitoulin Expositor reports. The Conference Board of Canada estimates that the GDP of Indigenous tourism in Ontario could drop by 63 per cent and that nearly half of all jobs in the sector could be lost.

  • The Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation Chief and Council have approved the Lloyd S. King Elementary return-to-school plan for September 2020.  Students will be online until December and return to school full-time after Christmas. There will be consultation with LSK parents/caregivers and teachers and ongoing meetings with the LSK working group to finalize details.
  • Six Nations of the Grand River have put out a poster explaining the different kinds of masks and their effectiveness.

  • Six Nations of the Grand River Child and Family Services will be offering a virtual sports and crafts camp from August 17 to 21 featuring soccer, football, and lacrosse.

Northern

  • The Dryden Legion has started a GoFundMe with a goal of $30,000. The legion has been closed since March 20 and is looking for community support to continue operating, reports DrydenNow.com.

  • The Porcupine Health Unit has reported a positive case for a worker at Detour Lake Gold mine, near Cochrane.
  • In a video message, Penny Sutcliffe, the medical officer of health for Public Health Sudbury and Districts, addresses the recent spike of 22 new cases in Sudbury.

  • Noront is resuming exploration activities in the Ring of Fire, reopening its Esker site in the James Bay Lowlands, which the company closed in early April due to the pandemic.

  • Upgrades to the Sault Ste. Marie airport have been put on hold due to COVID-19's impacts on traffic and revenues.

Eastern

  • Kingston city council will again consider moving its COVID-19 assessment facility to the Memorial Centre on a temporary basis while it continues to search for a permanent location, the Kingston Whig-Standard reports.
  • There were no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Peterborough on Thursday, according to the Examiner. In the city and county, only three active cases remain.

  • Ottawa Public Health is the only such unit in eastern Ontario to have reported any new cases in the past day, per the Ottawa Citizen, having confirmed an additional 19 cases on Thursday. There are currently 12 local patient in hospital.

Southwestern

  • Windsor-Essex remains in Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan, the government announced on Tuesday. It is the only region in Ontario that has not moved on to Stage 3. This is partly owing to COVID-19 outbreaks among migrant farm workers in the area. The Windsor Star, quoting Canada’s labour minister, reports that a housing solution for such workers is “weeks away.”

  • COVID-19 has put the brakes on “close to half” of London’s climate-change action plan, the London Free Press reported yesterday. Deadlines on 11 of the plan’s 25 goals have been pushed back as a result of the pandemic, and “public feedback on the climate emergency action plan has been shelved” on a temporary basis.
  • Lambton’s medical officer of health stated on Tuesday that a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the area is the result of increased socializing and more relaxed attitudes toward the virus. “I’m really trying to get people to think that the risk is there,” Sudit Ranade said. “As long as the virus is circulating around the world, the risk is there.” He added, “You have to conduct yourself accordingly.”

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