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.
Metrolinx will be issuing face masks to GO Transit staff. The Toronto Star also reports that "the agency’s transit officers have stopped focusing on fare enforcement and haven’t issued a ticket in days."
The Ontario government is waiving the usual three-month waiting period for OHIP coverage for people arriving or returning to Ontario from other countries or provinces. The government is also going to cover the COVID-19-related health-care costs of people who would not otherwise be covered by OHIP.
The Canadian Premier League has announced the postponement of its 2020 soccer season, which was scheduled to begin on April 11.
Greater Toronto Area
In her daily news briefing, Eileen de Villa, the city's medical officer of health, said that only 0.3 per cent of Toronto businesses surveyed had not been in compliance with closure orders.
During the same briefing, Toronto fire chief Matthew Pegg said the city will soon be opening a facility where homeless people diagnosed with COVID-19 can recover. The location will not be made public, Pegg says, in order to protect the privacy of individuals.
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Toronto Public Health is investigating cases related to several newly infected individuals, including one in a long-term-care home, a paramedic, and someone experiencing homelessness. As of 1 p.m., there were 161 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city, up 33 from the same time yesterday.
A guard at the Toronto South Detention Centre has tested positive for COVID-19, according to CBC News. The Etobicoke correctional facility houses up to 1,500 inmates. The guard had returned to work after a trip to England.
Toronto mayor John Tory said at a briefing this afternoon that the city is working to create child-care spaces for essential workers. The city is also partnering with the United Way to help residents in need.
- The Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations is calling for the government to go further in its measures to protect rental tenants, asking for the government to put in legislation that no rent is due on April 1. This echoes a similar call from the Ontario New Democrats yesterday.
Iskatewizaagegan (Shoal Lake #39) and Shoal Lake #40 First Nations, near the Manitoba border, are now screening all visitors.
Naotkamegwanning First Nation (Whitefish Bay) has established a checkpoint on the bridge into the community and is screening all visitors. The ice road has also been closed.
The Six Nations of the Grand River council started a Twitter account for updates and information on COVID-19.
Indigenous Victim Services in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has a line to call for support.
The Wikwemikong First Nation Nursing home has started a social-media campaign to remind people to care for elders.
- Treaty Three Police has closed its offices to the public. Staff will continue to work in Kenora, Fort Frances, Eagle Lake, Grassy Narrows, Wabaseemoong, and Whitefish Bay.
- NewGold will be closing down the Rainy River Mine for at least two weeks.
Chappel Township has declared a state of emergency.
Thunder Bay Transit has waived its fees and implemented rear-door entry.
- A second case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties. HPE Public Health says it is someone who recently travelled outside of Canada and that it is unrelated to the first case.
Prince Edward County mayor Steve Ferguson announced task teams in response to COVID-19. Teams will adress impacts on business, seniors/accessibility, food, and agriculture.
The Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa announced on Facebook that the hotel will close its doors as of Saturday at noon.
The Transition House emergency shelter in Cobourg announced on Facebook that it will be moving to an interim location at Cobourg Collegiate Institute at 8 p.m. tonight. Northumberland News reports that it will allow the shelter's patrons to practise social distancing. Transition House was featured in a TVO.org story about the challenges Ontario homeless shelters are facing due to COVID-19.
Local municipalities in the Waterloo Region are closing 400 playgrounds and skateparks in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19. With two new cases added today, the region currently has 14 confirmed cases of the virus.
- London's acting mayor has declared a state of emergency. "We are making this declaration to reinforce with residents the urgency of this situation and the continued threat that COVID-19 poses to London," said Jesse Helmer in a news release on Friday afternoon. Ed Holder, the city's mayor, is self-isolating after a recent trip to the United States.)
For more information:
- COVID-19: What you need to know for March 20 — afternoon edition
- Latest news from the Ontario government
- Latest news from the Canadian government
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