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

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Jun 19, 2020

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This article was last updated at 3:58 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 178 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 33,095 since the pandemic began; 331 people are in hospital, 82 of them in intensive care and 65 on ventilators. To date, 2,564 people have died.
  • According to Public Health Ontario's daily epidemiologic summary, there are 79 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 5,384 confirmed cases in residents, and 2,142 confirmed cases in staff. To date, there have been 1,645 confirmed resident deaths and six confirmed staff deaths.

covid chart
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
  • Premier Doug Ford said today that the province will not be imposing a single "blanket" policy on school reopening in the fall and will instead give school boards the options to choose what policies they want to follow to resume teaching. Ford also emphasized that families will be allowed to maintain at-home learning options for parents who don't feel comfortable returning their kids to school.

  • The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has released what it says are the four necessary conditions for municipal aid during the pandemic: aid needs to be sufficient (no less than $10 billion) and clearly identified for municipalities so they can plan around it, and it must protect local services and be delivered quickly.

  • The Globe and Mail reports that Minister of Education Stephen Lecce will unveil three possible scenarios for students to return to school in the fall at today's 1 p.m. news conference with Premier Doug Ford.

  • The House of Commons industry committee voted unanimously yesterday to invite executives of the Loblaws, Metro, and Sobeys grocery chains to explain why they’ve already stopped paying their employees pandemic-related wage increases.

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

  • According to today's report, there are 54 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 13,715 since the pandemic began; 271 of them are in hospital and 66 in intensive care. To date, there have been 164 institutional outbreaks. In total, 1,009 people have died.

  • Documents obtained by CBC News show that provincial inspectors warned of problems at the Orchard Villa long-term-care home in Pickering weeks before the pandemic hit. The facility is the site of the worst outbreak in an Ontario long-term-care facility, with 78 resident deaths.

  • Hamilton and Niagara are entering Stage 2 of Ontario's reopening plan today. An increased variety of businesses, including spas and hair salons, will be allowed to open. 

  • There were five new COVID-19 cases in children under nine in Hamilton on Thursday. Before yesterday, the Hamilton Spectator reports, only 13 children under nine in the city had tested positive. Overall, children that age make up 2 per cent of Hamilton's 788 cases.

  • The Ontario government is committing a $25 million loan to the Niagara Parks Commission to develop the history Canadian Niagara Power Generating Station into a tourist attraction. Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries Minister Lisa MacLeod made the announcement at the beginning of her tour around the province to highlight Ontario's tourism sector.

Indigenous

  • Small and medium-size Indigenous businesses that are current or former clients of an Aboriginal Financial Institution can now apply for support as part of the federal government's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.
  • Six Nations of the Grand River has launched a small-business relief fund. "Eligible small business owners can apply for up to $5, 000 to offset the sacrifices they have made for the health and safety of their community," a press release states.

Northern

  • The Thunder Bay Blues Society has cancelled all events until 2021. 

  • According to the Timmins Daily Press, Lianne Catton, medical officer of health for the Porcupine Health Unit, said yesterday that, as the area moves into Stage 2, "it is with an abundance of caution that we again need to remind individuals in all of these settings as all of these increased options to expand our social interactions as we get on with some sense of norm, we need to remember it is a new norm. Being open for business is not business as usual."

  • Kenora has reopened its museum and art centre

Eastern

  • Twenty-eight municipal parks in Ottawa will be opened up to food trucks this summer, CTV News reports.

  • A new long-term-care home in Cobourg is being developed with COVID-19 in mind, says county CAO Jennifer Moore. Shared rooms, for example, have been designed to offer more space and "the ability to isolate residents if need be," Northumberland News reports.

  • Health officials in Peterborough are asking all residents over the age of two to wear a mask to in-person medical appointments, the Peterborough Examiner reports.

  • According to KawarthaNOW, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit has joined the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit in calling for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to eventually transform into a guaranteed basic-income program.

Southwestern

  • Beginning today, one lane of Richmond Street, a main artery in downtown London, will open to help pedestrians and cyclists socially distance, a city media release says. The city has also announced the opening of public washrooms in many parks.

  • Guelph has announced that it will be opening its outdoor pools, splash pads, and wading pools over the next two weeks.

  • The Windsor-Essex Public Health Unit is announcing a mandatory mask policy for Windsor-area businesses starting next week.

  • Grey-Bruce's medical officer of health tells the Owen Sound Sun Times that a woman in her 80s has been admitted to hospital for COVID-19, becoming the first hospital admission for the virus since March — and only the second in the region.

  • Beaches at Grand Bend on Lake Huron and Port Stanley on Lake Erie will open on Monday, the Sarnia Observer reports.

  • Chatham-Kent's medical officer of health has announced that an outbreak at Greenhill Produce, east of Chatham, appears to be over. David Colby tells Chatham Daily News that the last round of tests, which came back on Wednesday, were negative. The health unit had linked 103 cases to the facility.

  • Drew Dilkens, Windsor's mayor, says that Canada's federal health minister agrees that outbreaks among migrant workers in Essex County represent a crisis and that action is needed to address the situation, the Windsor Star reports. Hilda MacDonald, Leamington's mayor, says that people are becoming "more fearful" of migrant workers, a development she describes as "unsettling." Wajid Ahmed, Windsor-Essex County medical officer of health, tells the Star that there are 169 active cases of the virus among workers at eight different employers in the area.

  • Dufferin-Wellington-Guelph Public Health remains the only health unit in Ontario to require residents to wear masks when going shopping, according to the CBC. The health-unit order, which also requires stores to place hand sanitizers at all entrances and exits, came into effect June 12.

  • An expert panel says that COVID-19 forced Waterloo Region organizations to face the shortcomings of the shelter system and come up with better solutions, the Record reports.

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