COVID-19: The week in review (November 2-6)

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By staff - Published on Nov 06, 2020



This article was last updated at 1:47 p.m. reporters and editors are tracking stories about the coronavirus pandemic in all regions of the province. Here's what Ontarians need to know. 


  • Per today's government report, there are 1,003 new cases in Ontario, for a total of
    81,693 since the pandemic began; 380 people are in hospital, 86 of them in intensive care and 49 on ventilators. To date, 3,209 people have died. 
  • According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 86 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 521 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 319 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 1,986 confirmed resident deaths and eight confirmed staff deaths.

  • As of November 6, in publicly funded schools, there are 49 new school-related student cases (for a total of 1,484), eight new school-related staff cases (for a total of 328), and 28 new cases in "individuals not identified" (for a total of 816); 582 schools have a reported case, and one is currently closed.

  • The province has announced which regional public-health units will, as of Saturday at 12:01 a.m., be classified into which levels of public-health measures under the new colour-coded framework (read the full plan here). Peel region will enter the highest level of concern, red/control. Toronto mayor John Tory asked for Toronto to be held back in the current “modified Stage 2” set of restrictions for at least one more week, and the Ford government has agreed. Ottawa and York have been placed in the “orange/restrict” level, which will allow for bars and restaurants to reopen in those areas.

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  • The following areas will enter the “yellow/protect” level, with minimal restrictions on business operations for bars and restaurants: Brant County, Hamilton, Durham, Eastern Ontario, Haldimand-Norfolk, Halton, Niagara, Waterloo, Simcoe Muskoka, and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph.

  • The following areas will enter the “green/prevent” level, with little changed from the current“Stage 3 measures: Algoma; Chatham-Kent; Grey Bruce; Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington; Haliburton, Kawaratha and Pine Ridge District; Hastings Prince Edward; Huron Perth; Lambton; Leeds, Grenville & Lanark; Middlesex-London; North Bay Parry Sound; Northwestern; Peterborough; Porcupine; Public Health Sudbury & Districts; Renfrew County and District; Southwestern Public Health; Thunder Bay District; Timiskaming; and Windsor-Essex County.

  • Finance Minister Rod Phillips unveiled Ontario's 2020-21 budget yesterday.'s John Michael McGrath breaks down five things you need to know and analyzes the Tories' new hydro subsidy; Steve Paikin discusses what the budget means for seniors and long-term care; and Nathaniel Basen looks at what it has to say about drinking, travelling, and internet-ing.

  • The Ontario government announced Wednesday that will invest almost $1 billion over six years to improve and expand broadband and cellular access. "This funding will be used for shovel-ready projects starting in 2019-20, will create jobs, and connect unserved and underserved communities during COVID-19 and beyond," a press release states.

  • Solicitor General Sylvia Jones tabled a report on Monday that details the emergency COVID-19 measures introduced by the province; it focuses on the 47 emergency orders made between March 17 and July 24.

  • The Ontario government announced November 2 that it is increasing the hours of direct care for each long-term-care resident to an average of four hours each day. "I made a promise to long-term care residents, their families and their caregivers that we would deliver better care for our seniors," Premier Doug Ford said in a press release. "Today, we are delivering on that promise and acting on the early recommendations of Ontario's Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission. By increasing the hours of daily direct care for residents, we will improve their quality of life and ensure they are more comfortable and safe."

  • Cineplex has announced that it will not be reopening theatres in zones coded orange under Ontario's new COVID-19 control system, the CBC reports.

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

  • According to data as of November 4, there are 373 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 30,316 since the pandemic began; 157 of them are in hospital. In total, 1,396 people have died.
  • Toronto's medical officer of health, Eileen de Villa, told reporters Wednesday that 

    the city is working toward full contact tracing, CP24 reports. "Since the beginning of the pandemic we have Increased our case contact tracing team from 50 to 700, the largest in the country," de Villa said. "And we have 200 additional staff coming on board this month."

  • On Wednesday, Mississauga city council approved the city's submission to the province for Phase 2 of the Safe Restart Agreement Funding to counter operating shortfalls created by the impacts of COVID-19.
  • As the province rolls out new provincial categorizations for COVID-19 restrictions this weekend, Hamilton will be categorized as "protect," the second of five tiers, CBC Hamilton reported Wednesday. As the Hamilton Spectator reports, the protect stage imposes closures of restaurants, bars, and meeting places at midnight and limits the number of people who can sit together to six. There are also new rules related to sports facilities, music, liquor sales, and the collection of contact information. 

  • Niagara falls within the lowest tier of the new control system, but that seems likely to change following a Friday data review, the St. Catharines Standard reports. Mustafa Hirji, the region's medical officer of health, tweeted on Thursday that Niagara has met the criteria for the protect stage for at least five weeks. Places fall within the protect stage following multiple outbreaks or a large number of cases.

  • Last month, Hamilton officials charged three local businesses for failing to uphold mask laws. As the Hamilton Spectator reported this week, two of the businesses were charged twice. October is the only month since the mask bylaw came into effect in the summer in which the city charged any businesses, although it has received about 300 complaints and tips about rule-breaking. Hamilton also fined two businesses for breaking physical-distancing rules.

  • The Public Record reports that CityHousing Hamilton, the city's social and affordable-housing agency projects it may need to ask council for up to $4.6 million to cover increased costs and lost revenue brought on by pandemic restrictions and prevention efforts.

  • Another student at Hamilton's public-school board has tested positive, but the board says there was no risk of exposure to others. The Hamilton Catholic school board told CBC Hamilton tht there are 14 active cases of the coronavirus in schools right now. In Niagara, three new cases were reported in Catholic schools this week, Niagara This Week reports.

  • The Spectator is reporting that three residents at an Ancaster long-term-care home have died this week in an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. It also reports that the provincial body governing retirement homes has issued two new orders against properties owned by the Martino families in Hamilton and Niagara. The homes must take on managers approved by the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority. Over the last year, authority has reported more than 120 violations in five homes owned by the Martino families.


  • As of November 4, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 519 active cases in First Nations communities across Canada. It is also reporting 15 COVID-19-related deaths in total across all First Nations reserves in Canada.
  • The Dryden Food Bank will be closed on November 11. Those who normally receive hampers on Wednesdays can call in on November 9 or November 13.

  • The Red Lake Indian Friendship Centre has free baby food available for those who need it (the food expires on November 19).

  • Sandy Lake First Nation chief and council have confirmed the passing of a community Elder due to COVID-19. Elder Noah Anishinabie, 80, died November 2 in Winnipeg. Anishinabie was a lifelong resident of Sandy Lake and a member of the Elder’s Council. "Noah's contributions and kind-hearted nature will be greatly missed," a press release states.

  • The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte on November 5 announced the first positive case in the community. According to a press release, the case — in a member who resides on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory — was linked to travel. The individual has been directed to self-isolate and is being monitored by the community health nurse. Anyone identified through contact tracing will be contacted.

  • New statistical data released by Six Nations of the Grand River indicates that members are, on average, waiting more than a day to get tested for COVID-19, Two Row Times reports.


  • Thunder Bay city council is inviting input from residents on the 2021 budget year. "The budget process is likely the most important task that City Council undertakes as it sets the course for the year ahead," said Councillor Mark Bentz, the chair of administrative services, in a press release. “The budget impacts all municipal programs and services and I encourage all citizens to take this opportunity to provide input which gives Council a valuable tool that assists us in creating the budget.  Input from residents will be particularly important this year as Council attempts to deal with the significant financial impacts of COVID-19."
  • The Northwestern Health Unit is reporting a new case in the Sioux Lookout area, bringing the total number of active cases in its jurisdiction to three, TBNewswatch reports.
  • Santa Claus will not be coming to Thunder Bay's Intercity Shopping Centre this year: mall management has announced that it will be cancelling all public events in response to COVID-19.
  • Public Health Sudbury and Districts is reporting 15 new cases this week; the total active case count is now 18.

  • Algoma Public Health is reporting four new cases this week; two of them involved international travel. APH has since released a reminder about cross-border travel to Chippewa county in Michigan. The total active case count is four.

  • The North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit has announced two community flu clinics in Mattawa and Parry Sound. The Mattawa clinic will be open on November 9 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mattawa Golden Age Club. The Parry Sound clinic will be open on November 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Stockey Centre.

  • The Timiskaming Health Unit is investigating an outbreak at the Young-Davidson mine near Matachewan. Three cases have been confirmed.


  • Vera Etches, Ottawa's medical officer of health, tweeted Monday, "I have written to the Mayor describing the need for a new approach to the pandemic response, for the sake of the population’s health. We need to be learning to live with COVID, to coexist with COVID, with caution." After that was met with concern, she added, "What I am saying is that COVID is not going anywhere anytime soon and we must learn to live with the presence of the virus in our community."
  • Ottawa Public Health has shared a graphic that details how at least 60 people tested positive as a result of an indoor sports practice.
  • On November 4, the City of Ottawa unveiled a report "outlining staff recommendations to allow Lansdowne Park to deal with the significant impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on both its operations and finances and find long-term opportunities to improve the viability of the site, while protecting taxpayers."
  • Ottawa announced its draft 2021 budget Wednesday. "Draft Budget 2021 strikes a balance between supporting evolving community needs and delivering essential municipal services, while also advancing City Council’s priorities in the face of COVID-19," a press release states.
  • Kingston city council has passed a motion urging the federal government to offer more support for cinemas, the Kingston Whig-Standard reports
  • Peterborough is making preliminary plans to organize drive-thru clinics in the event that a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available.


  • Another COVID-19-related death in the London region that brings the total up to five over the past three weeks could affect the area's standing under the province's colour-coded system, says the area's medical officer of health. The London Free Press reports that the area had expected to be assigned green — the lowest level of pandemic-related restrictions — when the new system rolls out today. The Kitchener-Waterloo region is also anticipating tighter restrictions, the Record reports.
  • Residents in Aylmer have planned a protest against lockdown measures for Saturday, the London Free Press reports. The protest follows a similar one that was held in October. Aylmer police have announced that the town has declared a state of emergency over the anti-masking event. Meanwhile, CBC reports that public-health officials are asking people not to attend the anti-mask rally.

  • Chatham-Kent public health will inspect a Blenheim church at the centre of a COVID-19 outbreak before allowing it to reopen, the Chatham Daily News reports.

  • A cook on a Great Lakes freighter has become the first casualty of COVID-19 in the Great Lakes shipping industry, the Sarnia Observer reports. The worker was one of a 19-member crew that was quarrantined in Sarnia following an outbreak of the virus on their freighter.

  • Booking for one of London's two COVID-19 testing centres goes online this weekend, CBC reports.

  • A LaSalle high-school student has started an online petition to pressure the Greater Essex County District School Board to rethink how it's delivering education during the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the Windsor Star reports.

  • A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared among migrant workers after three workers tested positive for the virus on a fruit farm in Norfolk County, the Simcoe Reformer reports.

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