COVID-19: The week in review (July 20-24)

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Jul 24, 2020

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This article was last updated at 3:43 p.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 195 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 38,405 since the pandemic began; 141 people are in hospital, 31 of them in intensive care and 20 on ventilators. To date, 2,758 people have died. 
  • According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 14 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 17 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 51 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 1,844 confirmed resident deaths and eight confirmed staff deaths.

  • Premier Doug Ford announced Friday that the regions still living under Stage 2 regulations — Toronto, Peel, and Windsor-Essex — will not learn until July 29 whether they’ll join the rest of the province in Stage 3. The government had previously said that this type of announcement would be made on Mondays, allowing municipalities to prepare for Friday transitions. Ford told media that the government’s public-health advisers want more days of data before making a decision on whether to move forward. “We can’t rush this,” Ford said in Markham.

  • The Ontario government has announced the creation of five new health teams —the Algoma Ontario Health Team, the Niagara Ontario Health Team, the Ottawa East Ontario Health Team, the Western Ontario Health Team, and the Western York Region Ontario Health Team — "in support of the ongoing fight against COVID-19 and as part of the province's plan to end hallway health care."

  • The Ontario Legislature adjourned on July 22 "after an unprecedented session that saw cross-partisan collaboration in the fight against COVID-19," a press release states. The legislature has now risen until September 14.

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

  • According to data as of July 23, there have been a total of 15,274 cases in Toronto since the pandemic began; 107 of them are in hospital and 23 in intensive care. To date, there have been 173 institutional outbreaks. In total, 1,144 people have died.
  • York, Durham, and Halton regions enter Stage 3 today, meaning that gyms, spas, and movie theatres are permitted to reopen and that bars and restaurants can again offer indoor dining. Toronto and Peel region will not enter State 3 until next week, at the earliest.

  • Toronto mayor John Tory is urging apartments and condominiums to introduce a mask or face-covering policy for common areas.

  • Tory announced Wednesday the city will be participating in the Canada United campaign, which supports local businesses in communities across Canada. "As part of the campaign, RBC has brought together more than 50 of Canada’s leading brands, Business Associations and the national Chamber network to rally Canadians to buy, dine and shop local," a press release states.

  • As of July 22, families of residents of City-operated long-term-care homes in Toronto  can scheduled indoor visits under certain conditions. "Up to two visitors at a time per resident can visit as long as the home is not experiencing an outbreak and that the visitors can attest they have had a negative COVID-19 test within the past two weeks," a press release states. "Indoor visitors will be provided with a surgical mask that they must wear at all times."

  • Niagara Region's council approved a bylaw that will require face coverings in indoor public spaces and on public transit. The bylaw will come into effect on July 31, the St. Catharines Standard reports.

  • In Niagara Falls, people are taking pictures that contrast nearly empty Canadian tour boats with half-full tour boats coming from the United States. As CBC Hamilton reports, people in the city say the photos are emblematic of how the two country's approaches to the pandemic differ.

  • In a regional survey of businesses, 41 per cent of respondents in Niagara-on-the-Lake say they are at risk of closure due to the pandemic. Of the 181 NOTL businesses that responded to the survey, only 143 responded to that question, Niagara-on-the-Lake Advance reports. Respondent businesses said they could lose a combined $78.42 million due to COVID-19 over the next year.

  • As the Hamilton Spectator reports, two Hamilton companies seem poised to fare well despite the pandemic downturn. One leases patios, making structures off-site and installing them at businesses. Its members have taken advantage of a city pilot project allowing patios in parking spaces. It's already built more than 100 patios, twice as many as it delivered last year. The other company makes tracking technology and now sells wearable devices that vibrate when people stay too close together for too long.

Indigenous

  • It has been 19 weeks since Six Nations of the Grand River declared a state of emergency. They have put together a timeline to show how the community responded to the events as they unfolded from January to July. 
  • The Assembly of First Nations is reminding First Nations that the deadline to apply for COVID-19 Public Health Financial Support is July 31. First Nations communities and organizations that deliver community-based services in response to COVID-19 public-health needs are eligible.

  • Since the novel coronavirus was called a pandemic on March 11, there have been 11 deaths of Indigenous children who are connected to the province’s child-welfare system, reports APTN. The coroner’s office said it was still too early to provide information on the cause of death in the 11 cases.

  • The Ontario government announced yesterday that, through the Ontario Together Fund, the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business will receive $110,000 "to deliver online tools and resources that will support Indigenous businesses as the province implements its made-in-Ontario plan for renewal, growth, and economic recovery."

Northern

Eastern

  • The Ottawa Citizen reports that "experts say the double-digit bump in COVID-19 cases that Ottawa has seen this week should serve as a wake-up call, even if it turns out to be a short-lived trend."
  • As of August 4, the City of Ottawa will once again rent community spaces at 12 recreation and four cultural facilities.
  • The City of Ottawa is extending current swimming-membership expiry dates by four and a half months.

  • The Kingston Economic Recovery Team is inviting residents to take a survey "to help identify community-based solutions to support Kingston-area employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic." 

  • Starting August 4, the City of Kingston will be offering physically-distanced swimming lessons at the Outdoor Aqua Park.

  • The bike-sharing service Dropbike will not be moving forward with a 2020 season in Kingston. “The loss of the community bike share is disappointing,” Paul MacLatchy, the city's environment director, said in a press release. “But we are living in unprecedented times and understand how the pandemic might impact the ability to operate this type of business. City staff will be working to determine options for bringing bike sharing back to Kingston in 2021.”

  • The Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre is scheduled to reopen on July 27 and "will be implementing a phased approach for the centre hours, activities and programs, including new protocols to help create a safe experience for visitors and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Southwestern

  • According to calculations by biostatistician Ryan Imgrund, the Windsor Star reports, "an individual in Windsor-Essex has a 10 per cent chance of exposure to the novel coronavirus after meeting just 12 other people."
  • The Windsor Star reports that "Essex County’s agri-food sector remains one of the chief problem areas in the local fight against the novel coronavirus, with two new farms added Thursday to the list of six others currently experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks in Kingsville and Leamington."
  • On Tuesday, London city council passed a temporary bylaw requiring residents to wear a face covering or mask in any enclosed public space.
  • Transit Windsor has added routes and increased bus frequency. "Having instituted a mandatory face mask policy, Transit Windsor has been able to increase the maximum occupancy on busses, though vehicles still need to bypass waiting riders if occupancy limits are met, in order to maintain public health guidelines," a press release states
  • The City of Windsor announced today that, in partnership with the Arts Council of Windsor & Essex, Workforce WindsorEssex, and Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, a survey has been developed "to obtain information regarding the financial impact of COVID-19 on the region’s creative work force."
  • Sarnia's Office of the City Clerk received a petition "to call a Special Meeting to consider the adoption of a By-Law to require businesses to establish policies requiring the wearing of masks or face coverings within their establishments located in the City of Sarnia." City council will hold a special meeting on July 27.

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