COVID-19: What you need to know for June 29

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Jun 29, 2020

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This article was last updated at 3:04 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 257 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 34,911 since the pandemic began; 232 people are in hospital, 46 of them in intensive care and 35 on ventilators. To date, 2,665 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 56 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 184 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 320 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 1,809 confirmed resident deaths and seven confirmed staff deaths.

covid chart
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by TVO.org.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today that Ottawa will work with the provinces and territories to extend the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program by another month.

  • The federal Conservatives are asking the auditor general to examine the Liberal government’s decision to let the WE charity run a $900-million program to help students during COVID-19, the CBC reports. The Tories say that the decision complicates parliamentary oversight and that there are “well-documented” connections between the charity and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

  • Canadian Blood Services will begin testing the blood of donors for COVID-19 antibodies in the coming weeks, the Toronto Star reports. The effort is meant to help the federal COVID-19 Immunity Task Force understand how many Canadians have been infected.

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

  • According to today's report, there have been a total of 14,270 cases in Toronto since the pandemic began; 218 of them are in hospital and 55 in intensive care. To date, there have been 167 institutional outbreaks. In total, 1,090 people have died.

  • Harm-reduction workers in Toronto say that social-distancing rules are encouraging addicts to use drugs alone, leading to a spike in opioid overdoses and deaths, the CBC reports.

  • Toronto mayor John Tory told CP24 this morning that he wants area politicians to develop a GTA-wide policy encouraging or requiring mask use in public settings.

  • All three levels of government need to act now to create new housing for Toronto’s homeless before a second wave of the pandemic hits, the executive director of Parkdale Queen West community health centre says. "The pandemic has identified that housing is the most responsive remedy — a medicine for homeless, unsheltered folks who are affected by COVID-19,: Angela Robertson tells the Toronto Star.

  • Niagara Region's medical officer of health says it's alarming how quickly COVID-19 is spreading outside Canada. "The outbreak around us seems to be growing. We are a little island amongst a few other countries where we’ve been able to bring things under control, but there’s definitely a lot of COVID-19 swirling around us," Mustafa Hirji told the St. Catharines Standard. Hirji warns that complacency around hygiene and physical-distancing practices could lead to new outbreaks.

  • The director of Hamilton's emergency-operations centre says that, while the city's mayor is in self-isolation after exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, his absence has not affected Hamilton's pandemic response. As CBC Hamilton reports, Mayor Fred Eisenberger has been tested for the virus and is awaiting results.

Indigenous

  • The Polar Bear Express, which runs from Cochrane to Moosonee, was up and running again last week. Chief Mervin Cheechoo, of Moose Cree First Nation, is raising concerns about the resumption of service, telling Timmins Today, "We’re totally against the passenger train reopening. Not travelling in the last few months hasn’t hurt us … We have everything we need here." 

Northern

  • Both the Delta Marriott and and the Days Inn hotels in Thunder Bay have opened their doors, TBNewswatch reports.

  • The YMCA of Northeastern Ontario's summer day camps will start on July 6, sudbury.com reports. "The team has worked hard in consultation with our Public Health Units to make sure we can hold day camps that are both safe and fun," president and CEO Helen Francis said in a press release. "We are really looking forward to seeing our day campers again.” 
  • As of yesterday, in-patient visitation resumed at Timmins and District Hospital with some restrictions, the Timmins Daily Press reports.
  • Janet DeMille, medical officer of health for the Thunder Bay District Health Unit,  is urging northwestern Ontarians not to travel to Toronto, TBNewswatch reports. She says that the prospect of increased travel to and from the Toronto area likely represents the greatest risk of reigniting transmission in the region.

Eastern

  • As of Sunday, it had been eight days since a new case of COVID-19 in the Peterborough area, the Peterborough Examiner reports. There are currently two active cases.
  • Kingston's medical officer of health told CBC Radio's Ontario Morning that there are now 25 confirmed cases of COVID-19 related to an outbreak at a local nail salon. 

Southwestern

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