COVID-19: What you need to know for June 23

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Jun 23, 2020

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This article was last updated at 4:13 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 216 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 33,853 since the pandemic began; 288 people are in hospital, 75 of them in intensive care and 54 on ventilators. To date, 2,619 people have died.
  • According to Public Health Ontario's daily epidemiologic summary, there are 77 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 5,392 confirmed cases in residents and 2,205 confirmed cases in staff. To date, there have been 1,664 confirmed resident deaths and six confirmed staff deaths.

covid chart
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
  • Western University, the University of Toronto, and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre are embarking on a study that will explore whether there is any impact of COVID-19 on brain functions after recovery from the virus. The team is looking for 50,000 people who have had — and recovered from — the virus to interview, Western News reports.

  • Mexico's Ambassador to Canada, Juan José Gómez Camacho, told CTV News that "any farm that does not follow the rules will certainly not receive any Mexican work." Camacho made his comments after a third migrant worker died of COVID-19 in Ontario.

  • The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives estimates in a report released today that it would cost $1.8 billion to improve staffing and care levels in Ontario's long-term-care system to the levels recommended by numerous public inquiries. As the CCPA notes, this amounts to 3 per cent of Ontario's total health-care spending.

  • Hundreds of Royal Canadian Legion halls across Canada may close permanently because of the pandemic, CTV News reports. Most are ineligible for the federal government’s pandemic-aid programs and have seen their revenue streams, such as facility rentals, dry up during the lockdown.

  • According to a poll by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, 66 per cent of Canadians do not want to abandon the two-metre distancing rule despite a decline in new COVID-19 cases, Global News reports.

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

  • According to today's report, there are 63 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 13,956 since the pandemic began; 255 of them are in hospital and 62 in intensive care. To date, there have been 164 institutional outbreaks. In total, 1,052 people have died.

  • Mayor John Tory announced today that roughly $4.97 million will be "distributed from the TO Supports Investment Fund to community-based agencies supporting vulnerable populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic." The funding will go to community-based agencies working with the City of Toronto on housing and homelessness, food access and security, family support, mental-health support, income support, social connection, community-sector support, and community safety and well-being.

  • The Art Gallery of Ontario will be reopening on July 2 for members and annual-pass holders and on July 23 for those buying single tickets.

  • People ages 20 to 24 account for 44 per cent of new cases in Hamilton since June 12 and and 20 per cent of Hamilton's total cases. In an attempt to promote physical distancing among people in that age group, the city launched a PR campaign using graphics intended to appeal to youth. Zain Chagla, an infectious-diseases physician and associate professor of medicine at McMaster University, told CBC Hamilton that there is no data detailing how young people are contracting the virus, but he said he expects their working and living situations contribute.

  • The chief executive officer of Niagara Falls Public Libraries tells the Niagara Falls Review that "it may be a long time" before local libraries open. As part of Stage 2, libraries can reopen under strict physical distancing rules, with practices such as curbside pickup in place.

Indigenous

  • Six staff at the Meno Ya Win Hospital in Sioux Lookout have tested positive for COVID-19, KenoraOnline reports. The hospital serves the town of 5,500 people, as well as 33 remote First Nations to the north.

  • Six Nations of the Grand River has released a tip sheet for camping during COVID-19.

  • In a new brief, Mihskakwan James Harper imagines a post-COVID transformation in climate policy, economy, and reconciliation. 

Northern

  • The Thunder Bay Art Gallery will reopen on June 23, TBNewswatch reports

  • The City of Greater Sudbury has launched a new "Over to You" business-support page to help residents "come together to share inspiration, support and hope during these unprecedented times."

Eastern

  • The president of Port Hope's Capitol Theatre says that the theatre needs an injection of at least $300,000 in order to remain viable long-term, the Northumberland News reports.

  • The Ontario Provincial Police say that the pandemic has caused the price of illicit street drugs to rise and the quality to descrease in eastern Ontario, which could lead to overdoses, the CBC reports.

Southwestern

  • Courts in Chatham and Windsor will reopen for some hearings on family matters July 6, Blackburn News reports.

  • South Bruce Peninsula mayor Janice Jackson said today that all town beaches, including Sauble Beach, will once again be closed. "Most of our residents followed the rules and we thank you for that but the day trippers flagrantly defied our restrictions and took over many parts of the beach," she wrote in a statement

  • A new drive-thru testing site in Kitchener is seeing much larger volumes than anticipated, the Waterloo Record reports.

  • The Windsor-Essex region will be the second area in southwestern Ontario to make face masks mandatory for shopping, the Windsor Star reports. (Masks are also mandatory in the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph region.)

  • As London begins the recovery process, its city councillors have decided to waive patio fees for restaurants, the London Free Press reports.

  • Farmers reluctant to allow workers to be tested for COVID-19 are being blamed for the Windsor-Essex region not progressing to Stage 2; meanwhile, some businesses are deliberating on whether to open for the July 1 long weekend despite the emergency measures, the Windsor Star reports.

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