COVID-19: What you need to know for June 16

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Jun 16, 2020

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This article was last updated at 3:16 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 184 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 32,554 since the pandemic began; 413 people are in hospital, 98 of them in intensive care and 70 on ventilators. To date, 2,538 people have died.
  • According to Public Health Ontario's daily epidemiologic summary, there are 74 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 5,357 confirmed cases in residents, and 2,060 confirmed cases in staff. To date, there have been 1,632 confirmed resident deaths and six confirmed staff deaths.

covid chart
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
  • Premier Doug Ford today announced the release of a COVID-19 workplace-safety toolkit. "The new downloadable toolkit offers tips on how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as more people get back on the job during Stage 2 of the reopening of the province," a press release states. Ford also said, "I highly recommend, when you go out, wear a face mask of some kind."

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be extended for eight weeks, until the beginning of September. He also said that the closure of the Canada-U.S. border will be extended by another 30 days, until July 21.

  • David Williams, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, is recommending that hospitals allow family visits to resume for people in acute care. Visits were suspended at the onset of the pandemic to try to minimize infections in hospitals, and in his memo to hospitals Williams asks that they continue to implement such public-health controls as hand hygiene, masking, and physical distancing.

  • Mexico will halt sending any more temporary foreign workers to Canada until it has more clarity on why two men died of COVID-19 after working on farms near Windsor, the CBC reports. As many as 5,000 Mexicans are slated to arrive in Canada to work on farms in the coming months.

  • A Global News analysis suggests that one-third of Ontario's COVID-19 LTC home deaths happened at facilities owned by two corporate chains: Sienna Senior Living and Revera Inc. 

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

  • According to today's report, there are 82 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 13502 since the pandemic began; 300 of them are in hospital and 72 in intensive care. To date, there have been 160 institutional outbreaks. In total, 992 people have died.

  • A new report by city staff recommends that Toronto spend $14.3 million at city-run long-term-care homes on measures to prepare for a possible second wave of COVID-19, CTV News reports.

  • A $15 million class-action lawsuit has been launched against Sienna Senior Living, which operates Woodbridge Vista Care Community in Vaughan, CTV News reports. A COVID-19 outbreak there has killed at least 23 residents.

  • The Ontario agency governing retirement homes has issued an order to revoke the licence of the Rosslyn Retirement Residence in Hamilton That's where the city's worst COVID-19 outbreak occurred and 14 residents died. The facility is run by  the Martino families, who also operate seven other retirement homes and residential-care facilities, the Hamilton Spectator reports. An investigation by that newspaper into the Rosslyn residence uncovered alleged mismanagement and poor conditions.

  • On Monday, the medical officer of health in Niagara said that too few people in the region are practising effective infection control, such as mask wearing, the St. Catharines Standard reports. Any order to wear masks, Mustafa Hirji says, should come from elected officials, not the public-health sector.

Indigenous

  • Six Nations of the Grand River is moving to the second phase of reopening. Border checkpoints were removed at midnight on June 15, and non-residents will now be allowed to enter the territory based on health and safety guidelines for this phase. 

  • Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald is calling for National Indigenous Peoples’ Day (June 21) to be a National Day of Action against police killings, citing the fact that, during this pandemic, more Indigenous people have died from police encounters than from COVID-19.

Northern

  • According to TBnewswatch, Thunder Bay city council has voted to resume transit-fare collection as of July 20.

  • The North Superior Workforce Planning Board has created an online survey to gauge how COVID-19 measures have affected workers, the unemployed, and post-secondary students in the Thunder Bay district, TBnewswatch reports.

Eastern

  • Peterborough bus routes will change as of June 28, the Peterborough Examiner reports. Fares will not be collected until July.
  • Ottawa Public Health has voted to recognize racism as a public-health issue, the Ottawa Citizen reports. It plans to develop actions to combat racism in Ottawa, and an awareness campaign related to racism, discrimination, and COVID-19.

  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Public Health has hired four new inspectors, the Kingston Whig-Standard reports. “We want to have increased capacity over the next year from an inspector vantage point to assure the community that we continue to do that fundamental work, working with restaurants, personal support settings, child care settings, as well as continuing our strong partnership with our long-term care, retirement homes and corrections facilities,” Kieran Moore, the region's medical officer of health, said last week.

Southwestern

  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 26 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 since yesterday, of which 14 are from the farm sector.

  • Bluewater Health in Sarnia and Petrolia announced Monday that it was releasing its final patient who had been admitted because of COVID-19. "As of 9:30 am today Bluewater Health will have zero cases of confirmed COVID-19 patients in acute care," the hospital said in a news release.

  • At least two municipalities in the southwest region are moving ahead with grant programs for small businesses. On Monday, according to Blackburn News, Chatham-Kent council approved a $200,000 recovery fund to help businesses adapt. On Monday, Cambridge also announced three programs to help businesses establish a digital presence.

  • Middlesex-London Health Unit says that one participant in the Black Lives Matter protest in London earlier this month has tested positive for COVID-19. The health unit says there is no evidence that the person contracted the virus at the protest or was infectious during the event.

  • The Windsor-Essex region is going to have to wait 10 more days before progressing to Stage 2, Drew Dilkens, Windsor's mayor, announced Monday. Dilkens says he is also asking the province to expand testing for the virus in the region's migrant workers.

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