COVID-19: What you need to know for June 24

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Jun 24, 2020

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This article was last updated at 3:40 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 163 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 34,016 since the pandemic began; 278 people are in hospital, 73 of them in intensive care and 48 on ventilators. To date, 2,631 people have died.
  • According to Public Health Ontario's daily epidemiologic summary, there are 73 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 5,427 confirmed cases in residents, and 2,244 confirmed cases in staff. To date, there have been 1,683 confirmed resident deaths and five confirmed staff deaths.

covid chart
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
  • The Ontario legislature has voted once again to extend the province's state of emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The vote extends the government's current emergency powers until July 15. Premier Doug Ford said in a news release, "We are hopeful that another extension of the Declaration of Emergency will not be needed as we see improvements in the public health trends and as people and businesses continue to act responsibly and adapt to the new environment."

  • Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux warns that people receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit should be setting aside money for tax time. The benefit is taxable, meaning that CERB recipients could be on the hook for hundreds or even thousands of dollars when they file their returns next year.

  • There are concerns that waiting lists for long-term-care homes will grow as a result of measures the province has taken in response to COVID-19, according to the Globe and Mail. The Ontario government has banned new residents from having more than one roommate and is giving facilities full funding even if they have empty beds.

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

  • According to today's report, there are 73 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 14,029 since the pandemic began; 253 of them are in hospital and 63 in intensive care. To date, there have been 164 institutional outbreaks. In total, 1,061 people have died.

  • According to Now Magazine, "TIFF 2020, which will run from September 10-19, will be a much smaller affair, mixing physical and digital screenings, interactive talks, Q&As and cast reunions… and, somehow, drive-in screenings."

  • Ferry service to Toronto Island Park will resume this weekend. However, boats will be limited to 50 per cent capacity, and tickets will have to be booked in advance.

  • The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation expects that Toronto home prices could drop 7 to 18 per cent as a result of COVID-19, the Toronto Star reports. The government agency says prices will not return to their pre-pandemic levels until late 2022.

  • Officials will not make masks mandatory in Hamilton. Ninh Tran, an associate medical officer of health, told the Hamilton Spectator a good number of people wear them already.

  • Yesterday, Joan Wallace became the 16th resident at the Rosslyn Retirement Residence in Hamilton to die of COVID-19. Of the 44 people in Hamilton whose deaths are attributed to the virus, 16 lived at the residence. Inspections by public health and the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority idenified a "failure to protect residents from neglect," CBC Hamilton reports. Rosslyn's licence has been revoked.

  • Inmates in the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre (also known as Barton Jail) are staging hunger strikes to protest conditions in the prison. Inmates say they want better food, reinstated personal visits, repairs to prison infrastructure, and an end to rotating lockdowns, among other things, the Hamilton Spectator reports. Most inmates in Barton Jail are awaiting bail or trial.

  • Niagara Health medical staff are part of an international effort to research potential treatments for patients with pneumonia. The research began a year ago and now includes patients who developed the disease after being diagnosed with COVID-19, the St. Catharines Standard reports.

Indigenous

  • Sioux Lookout First Nation Health Authority has been notified of six new positive cases in staff at the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre.

Northern

Eastern

  • Portions of four National Capital Commission roads in Ottawa and Gatineau will remain closed to motorists until Labour Day, the CBC reports.

  • Peterborough Transit will resume its regular hours of service beginning June 28. 

Southwestern

  • The provincial government will allow Windsor and other parts of Windsor-Essex to enter Stage 2 of reopening tomorrow. All of Windsor-Essex will be allowed to reopen with the exception of the municipalities of Leamington and Kingsville, where provincial and local efforts will focus on combatting COVID-19 outbreaks.

  • London Transit is estimating that, by the end of July, it be dealing with a budget shortfall of nearly $2.4 million because of a drop in ridership related to COVID-19 emergency measures. In her report to the board, the transit authority's general manager says, "Administration has reviewed and considered the options to reduce the funding shortfall as recommended by civic administration; however most options assume that regular business has been interrupted or halted. As this is not the case with public transit services, most of them are not applicable." The transit authority board meets today.

  • A Stratford family doctor and a local film maker have partnered to make videos providing insights and advice about the COVID-19 crisis. Sean Blaine tells the CBC that the effort started because he was disappointed with the way the crisis was being handled.

  • London city councillors have approved more measures to save money and reduce the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Recommendations from staff — which include deferring capital projects and proposed expenditures, such as a proposal to hire a number of new police officers — would lead to a savings of nearly $6 million.

  • An Essex County farmer says that farmers aren't to blame for a low turnout of migrant workers for COVID-19 testing; Peter Quiring, president and CEO of Nature Fresh Farms, tells the CBC that "the … workers mostly come from countries where corruption is rampant, the police are not there to protect and serve … and so they already don't trust the government in their country. So when they come here, they have a natural inclination not to trust the government.

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