COVID-19: What you need to know for June 4

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Jun 04, 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 29,403 cases in Ontario, an increase of 356; 776 people are in hospital, 121 of them in intensive care and 94 on ventilators. To date, 2,357 people have died.
  • According to Public Health Ontario's daily epidemiologic summary, there are 166 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 5,202 confirmed cases in residents and 1,865 confirmed cases in staff. To date, there have been 1,509 confirmed resident deaths and five confirmed staff deaths.
  • Ontario's chief medical officer of health, David Williams, said today that 36 retirement homes are in outbreak and that 192 residents have died. He also said that 14 or 15 public-health units have recorded no new COVID-19 cases today.
covid chart
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
  • Premier Doug Ford today announced the creation of the Premier's Council on Equality of Opportunity. Chaired by Jamil Jivani, who was named Ontario's Advocate for Community Opportunities in December of last year, it will "provide advice on how young people can overcome social and economic barriers and achieve success" and  "advise government on long-term actions that can be taken to support youth during the COVID-19 outbreak." Through this council, Jivani said, "we will bring together a diverse group of leaders, experts, and youth members who will offer the insights to our government that we need to make the impact that communities demand and deserve."

  • The Ministry of Long-term Care has ordered William Osler Health System to take over the operations of the Woodbridge Vista Care Community long-term care home in Vaughan.

  • Vic Fedeli, Ontario's minister of economic development, job creation and trade, announced today that short-term rentals — including lodges, cabins, cottages, homes, condominiums, and B&Bs — will be allowed to resume operations on June 5 at 12:01 a.m.

  • The modelling released today by Canada's chief public health officer, Theresa Tam, suggests that Canada will see between 7,700 and 9,400 deaths and approximately 100,000 cases by June 15; 82 per cent of deaths to date are linked to long-term-care or seniors' homes.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today that new federal modelling suggests that "we are continuing to make progress in the fight against this virus. In many communities, the number of new cases is low, and we can trace where they came from. That's an encouraging sign that the virus is slowing and, in some places, even stopping." But, he added, "we're not out of the woods. The pandemic is still threatening the health and safety of Canadians. Across the country, and especially in areas where we continue to see large numbers of new cases, as well as in places like long-term-care facilities and seniors' homes, the situation remains serious." He said that, while some restrictions may be loosened, we have to strengthen such measures as testing and contract tracing, and continue to practise physical-distancing and handwashing and wear face coverings.
  • Trudeau also announced that seniors eligible for the Old Age Security pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement will receive their one-time, tax-free payment during the week of July 6. 
  • The Ontario government has appointed former federal health minister Jane Philpott as the special advisor "to support the design and implementation of the new Ontario Health Data Platform (formerly known as PANTHR)," a press release states. "This data platform will provide recognized researchers and health system partners with access to anonymized health data that will allow them to better detect, plan, and respond to COVID-19." 
  • The federal government is planning to spend $88.7 million this year on marketing and communications related to its COVID-19 efforts. 

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

  • According to today's report, there are 11,835 cases in Toronto, 365 of them in hospital and 82 in intensive care. To date, there have been 152 institutional outbreaks. In total, 883 people have died. 
  • Bombardier, which is under contract to Metrolinx to operate GO Transit and UP Express trains, said yesterday that, starting June 21, it would be laying off 196 employees for an unspecified period of time.

  • Toronto mayor John Tory announced this morning that the city will allow restaurants and bars to use sidewalk and street parking spaces as outdoor dining space as part of a program called CafeTO. The program will more easily allow restaurants to open or expand patio space and expedite permits for them. 

  • Brampton mayor Patrick Brown said yesterday that, between May 26 and June 1, 19 charges were issued that related to backyard parties. "Please understand this is not the time for social gatherings," he said during a press conference. "We must listen to the advice of public health."
  • Niagara Public Health is reporting 40 new positive cases — its area's largest single-day jump. The new cases are connected to Pioneer Flower Farms in St. Catharines. As of June 3, Niagara Public Health is reporting confirmed 706 cases; 560 patients have recovered, and 60 people have died.

  • An employee at a Hamilton Mountain FreshCo, who last worked May 25, has tested positive

  • Canada's biggest asparagus grower has lost his crop of nearly 450 acres of asparagus. That means close to 12 per cent of all the asparagus grown in Ontario will not be harvested this year. With the migrant-worker workforce quarantined, Scott Biddle, president and CEO of Scotlynn Group, in Vittoria, hired locals to work. Some offered to work for free. Still, it was not enough to harvest the crop. 

Indigenous

  • The Grand Council Treaty #3 education department has been putting on virtual science fairs with different weekly themes: this week’s theme is biodiversity and ecosystems. They accept submissions from Treaty #3 community members aged 6 years old and up.

  • The Nishnawbe Aski Nation has posted details and information about the $650 million investment from the federal government that's intended to support Indigenous communities and on-reserve individuals. 

Northern

  • Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre administration is requiring 250 staff to be tested for COVID-19 after a locum physician tested positive on Sunday.

  • The Ontario Nurses Association says that the possible COVID-19 outbreak underway at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre was avoidable, as the visiting locum physician who tested positive on Sunday was showing symptoms while working. 

  • Confederation College has announced plans to hold the first seven weeks of its fall term online and then, with the permission of public-health officials, to hold one week of labs before having students return for seven more weeks of remote classes. 

  • Thunder Bay city council has removed some patio-licence fees to encourage restaurant and bar recovery. 

  • The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit is reporting two new cases

  • Kenora's Harbourfest has been rescheduled for 2021. The city's largest annual outdoor concert was to have featured Econoline Crush, Toque, One Bad Son, and Finger Eleven. 

  • The Lake of the Woods District Hospital in Kenora has applied to the Ministry of Health for permission to restore elective surgeries.

Eastern

Southwestern

  • Region of Waterloo council is granting $50,000 to a co-operative that is developing a sterilization and re-use program for personal protective equipment. The co-operative is sourcing the equipment for community groups.

  • The Cambridge Farmers' Market will reopen June 27. The seasonal market had delayed its opening because of COVID-19 emergency measures.

  • The Windsor Regional Hospital is reducing the hours of its assessment centre in Windsor beginning today.

  • Essex MPP Taras Natyshak wants the provincial government to introduce added protections for migrant workers after dozens of workers on farms throughout southwestern Ontario fell ill with COVID-19 over the past few weeks; one worker in Essex County died last weekend. 

  • London Public Library will launch a pick-up service at five of its branches next week; other branches will follow in the coming weeks.

  • For the first time in its 93-year history, the Chatham Concert Band won't be playing in Chatham's Tecumseh Park; its orgnizers have decided to cancel the summer concert season because of COVID-19, Blackburn News reports.

  • Some hospital workers who believe they should be getting a temporary boost in pay because of COVID-19 are picketing Chatham-Kent Health Alliance's hospital in Chatham, Blackburn News reports.

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