COVID-19: What you need to know for March 16

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By staff - Published on Mar 16, 2020


X reporters and editors are tracking stories about the coronavirus pandemic in all regions of the province. Here's what Ontarians need to know. 


  • At a press conference this afternoon, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, David Williams, indicated that events involving more than 50 people should be cancelled, and recommended that all private schools, daycares, churches, bars, and restaurants — with the exception of those that offer takeout and delivery — should close.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced that Canada is prohibiting travellers who are not Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or Americans from entering the country. He urged all Canadians currently abroad to return home — but indicated that those with symptoms would be barred from boarding flights to Canada.

Greater Toronto Area

  • Toronto's medical officer of health, Eileen De Villa, said at a press conference this afternoon that bars and restaurants stop in-person, dine-in service and move exclusively to take-out or delivery service as soon as possible — and no later than midnight tonight. She also recommended that all night clubs, movie theatres, and concert venues close as soon as possible, adding that "businesses who choose to defy these recommendations may be subject to orders under the Health Protection and Promotion Act."

  • Day cares, recreation centres, and museums will be closed until at least April 5.

  • A number of assessment centres have been established across the city.

  • Prime Minister Trudeau designated Pearson International Airport as one of four nationwide that will continue to accept international flights (the others are Montreal's Pierre Trudeau Airport, Vancouver International Airport, and Calgary International Airport).


  • Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation has closed its administration services to the public and has begun screening visitors to its health centre and assisted-living facility. The changes took effect Sunday, according to a news release issued the same day. The community has also closed its public school until April 5.


  • To slow the spread of the virus, Ottawa's OC Transpo is asking public-transit passengers to board and exit using the rear doors. It's also implemented enhanced cleaning methods.

  • Kingston MP (and former mayor) Mark Gerretsen posted on Twitter that his mother — one of 226 Canadians being quarantined at CFB Trenton following a COVID-19 outbreak on the Grand Princess cruise ship — has tested positive for the virus. 

  • Public-health officials in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties "strongly suspect" that COVID-19 is circulating in the community and have identified 35 "probable" cases of the virus. They are urging members of the public to practice social distancing and proper hand-washing and to work from home if possible.


  • At a press conference today, the City of Greater Sudbury announced that it is suspending public programs and temporarily closing a number of public facilities to promote social distancing and limit the potential spread of COVID-19 in the community. Parks facilities, including fieldhouses, community spaces, and youth centres, are closed. All events at the Sudbury Community Arena have been cancelled. Fitness centres, ski hills, pools, museums, library branches, and other services are closed.

  • All North Bay arenas will shut down today at 5 p.m. and will remain closed until further notice.


  • The City of Thunder Bay at a press conference today announced that pools, rinks, seniors' centres, and waterfront buildings would be closed. The local art gallery has also been shut down.  

  • One of Thunder Bay's food banks announced that it would be closing.


  • Windsor Regional Hospital will begin screening visitors and staff on Tuesday. In a news release issued today, the health facility said that it anticipates that the activity, plus the need to restrict entry access points at both of its facilities, will create lineups.

  • The City of Windsor is asking residents to use its online portal to access municipal services to avoid person-to-person contact during the COVID-19 outbreak. In a news release issued today, it also encouraged residents to watch city-hall meetings online and to make presentations to council in writing.

  • A man in his forties has received the first positive diagnosis of COVID-19 in the Wellington-Dufferin region, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health says in a news release issued today. The man was tested after returning from Atlanta, Georgia, and is now in self-isolation. “This does not change our protocols around containment of the COVID-19 virus in our area,” Nicola Mercer, the health unit CEO, said in the release.

  • The Guelph Family Health Team will open an assessment clinic on Tuesday. The clinic will run seven days a week, says a recent Wellington-Dufferin Guelph Public Health news release.

  • Lambton County has announced that it is deliberating whether to call a state of emergency this week. "The Control Group has directed the activation of the County Emergency Control Plan," a news release on Sunday said. The county has cancelled programs in its cultural facilities, closed two libraries, and banned visitors to its long-term-care facilities until further notice.

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