COVID-19: What you need to know for June 1

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Jun 01, 2020

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This article was last updated at 4:37 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 28,263 cases in Ontario, an increase of 404; 781 people are in hospital, 125 of them in intensive care and 89 on ventilators. To date, 2,276 people have died.
  • According to Public Health Ontario's daily epidemiologic summary, there are 181 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 5,097 confirmed cases in residents and 1,814 confirmed cases in staff. To date, there have been 1,445 confirmed resident deaths and eight confirmed staff deaths.
  • Barbara Yaffe, the associate chief medical officer of health, said today that 4,730 health-care workers have tested positive to date. She also that 41 retirement homes are in outbreak and 191 residents have died.
covid chart
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
  • Premier Doug Ford announced today that after the current fixed price for electricity expires on October 31, Ontario households will have the option of continuing on a fixed-price electricity contract or adopting other forms of tiered pricing. The announcement was one of a number of measures intended to help households and businesses have more stability and choice over the summer. 

  • Ford also announced that a mobile COVID-19 testing service will be available in Scarborough tomorrow and moving around the GTA in coming weeks.

  • The Ontario Ombudsman, Paul Dubé, has announced an investigation into the oversight of long-term-care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dubé, an independent officer of the legislature, cannot investigate the LTC homes themselves but can investigate the government's oversight of them. The ombudsman's investigators will "look at complaint handling, inspections carried out by the Ministry of Long-Term Care, emergency planning, steps taken to support long-term care homes during the COVID-19 crisis, collection of data on coronavirus cases, rates of infection and deaths in long-term care, and communication with long-term care home residents, staff and the public."

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that municipalities will receive $2.2 billion through the gas-tax fund. The money, usually dispersed to municipalities twice a year, will go out as a single payment for 2021. "Early delivery of the full funding for 2020-21 will help communities quickly move forward with infrastructure projects that will improve our quality of life and help restart local economies," a press release states. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities estimates that cities and towns across Canada need $10 billion to deal with the effects of COVID-19.

  • The government has created a new category of "infectious disease emergency leave" for workers to reflect the number of employees currently in a protracted period of unemployment. The designation effectively stops the clock for businesses who have not scheduled any work shifts for more than two months and were facing the prospect of being required under Ontario law to pay out substantial benefits to workers. The new category of "leave" means businesses will not have to pay workers (who continue to receive federal emergency benefits).

Greater Toronto Area

  • According to today's report, there are 11,338 cases in Toronto, 379 of them in hospital and 83 in intensive care. To date, there have been 149 institutional outbreaks. In total, 828 people have died. 
  • The City of Toronto will begin opening some of its approximately 200 parks washrooms this week. "The reopening will occur in two phases," a press release states. "The first phase will have roughly 50 washroom sites opening by June 6, followed by the remaining locations by mid-June." 

  • As of today, the Toronto Public Library is accepting the return of materials at 70 branches.
  • SEIU Healthcare is calling on the province to take over management of Woodbridge Vista Care Community long-term-care home in Woodbridge. The union says its members at the home have “serious concerns” about the facility’s ability to manage an outbreak that has infected 85 residents and 28 staff. So far, 17 residents have died.

  • Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto will begin sending out 10,000 blood-testing kits across Canada this week in an effort to determine how many people in the country have developed antibodies to COVID-19.

  • New policies aimed to stop spread of COVID-19 at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport take effect today. Measures include requiring all travellers and employees to wear masks, except when eating or drinking, and barring people who are picking up or dropping off loved ones from entering terminal buildings.

  • New research released by the Toronto Foundation warns that the pandemic could cause “unprecedented levels of homelessness” in the city, given the current number of renters missing payments and the lack of government strategies to keep those renters housed once a provincial ban on residential evictions is lifted.

Indigenous

  • Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council has created a community-feedback form to collect the opinions of its membership on the reopening of their economy. 

  • About 150 drive-through tests were administered by Superior North EMS paramedics in Fort William First Nation this weekend. “We’ll wait for all the results to come in and we’ll see what we do after that,” Chief Peter Collins said. “Our council is paying attention to everything that’s going on. This will be the end result of whether we open up and take down the barricades.”

  • The Ontario Native Women’s Association has put together a virtual drum book. There are 14 songs so far, taught and sung by Indigenous women, along with the teachings for those songs on their territory. 

  • Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg (Pic Mobert) has named two members they say violated isolation rules by taking a recent trip to Toronto. "These persons have broken our by-laws and are deemed trespassers," a release states. "All citizens of Mobert are strongly encouraged to not make contact with either of them. If you do, you will be required to go into self-quarantine for 14 days, and for persons who work for us, you will not be permitted to report to work."

  • Atikameksheng Anishnawbek has launched “Our Election - Our Way.” The Atikameksheng election day is June 27, and, for the first time, online electronic poles are now officially open. “With the adoption of the Atikameksheng Chi-Naaknigewin in 2015, and the ratification of the Gimaakeng Naaknigewin election code this January, you have set the stage for the most historic and significant Gimaa and Council election in our community’s history. For the first time, we truly are holding our election — our way,” its says on its website.

Northern

Eastern

  • Queen's University and St. Lawrence college have terminated their student-transit-pass agreements with the City of Kingston.

  • Ottawa's transit commission voted 10-1 today in favour of a plan that would make masks mandatory for all customers and drivers starting June 15. The plan will go before city council on June 10.

  • Ottawa mayor Jim Watson says that the city is cancelling its "originally-planned" summer camp programs, which will be replaced with a new program that is "re-formatted around COVID-19 public health measures." More details will be announced soon. 

  • The Asclepios Medical Centre and walk-in clinic in Orléans has announced that it's closing. In a statement, it said, "The closure is the result of the clinic simply not having the resources to sustain the increased operational costs and decreased revenues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic." 
  • Ottawa Public Health reported two deaths and 16 new cases Sunday. To date, there have been 1,951 positive cases, and 244 people have died.

Southwestern

  • London has announced that it is cancelling all summer day camps. Recreation Guide and Seniors Satellite programs will be suspended through June, and community and seniors’ centres rentals and events for June have been cancelled.

  • Cambridge is expanding a phone-based program that brings seniors together to socialize and do activities. City staff are also conducting reassurance and wellness calls to members of the city's adult day program.

  • A new effort to help older adults stay safe, healthy, and connected has launched in the Waterloo-Wellington region. The effort is being led by the Waterloo-Wellington Older Adult Strategy: "The goal of the campaign is to reach out to older adults in rural and urban communities at risk of isolation and frailty during the pandemic and beyond  — especially those not currently linked to services,” Don Wildfong, the strategy's implementation facilitator, says in a news release.

  • Sarnia is looking at hosting two public meetings virtually today, Blackburn News reports.

  • Today, the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority is reopening its boat launches, day use areas, and reservoirs, according to Blackburn News

  • The operator of a supervised drug-consumption site in London says that a new location is needed as soon as possible because it's too difficult to physically distance at the current temporary site, the CBC reports.

  • According to Norfolk County's mayor, 120 workers at a local fruit and vegetable farm have now tested positive for COVID-19 and seven are in hospital, the Simcoe Reformer reports.

  • An international study involving a Western University researcher indicates that COVID-19 patients who must undergo surgery are at greater risk of pulmonary complications and death afterwards.

  • There are 11 more cases of COVID-19 among migrant workers at a St. Thomas greenhouse, the London Free Press reports.

  • Some of Chatham-Kent's inter-urban bus-service routes are now returning to full service after having been suspended as part of COVID-19 emergency measures, the municipality says in a news release.

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