COVID-19: What you need to know for March 23 — evening edition

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By staff - Published on Mar 23, 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. 


  • Twenty-six health-care workers have tested positive for COVID-19, 13 of them in Toronto.
  • The Ontario government has announced $200 million in emergency funding for social services, including homeless shelters, food banks, and other charities. The money will flow to municipal-service managers, who will determine local priorities. The funding is also available to people and services not currently covered by federal programs.
  • The province will also be implementing an emergency-assistance program through Ontario Works, the main social-welfare system.
  • Children's Mental Health Ontario will be hosting a Twitter chat on March 24 to facilitate a conversation for parents and caregivers about supporting children's mental health during the COVID-19 crisis. The hashtag for the conversation is #kidscantwait.

Greater Toronto Area

  • As of 1 p.m. today, there were 239 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto.
  • Toronto mayor John Tory has formally declared a state of emergency, which will give him more powers to arrange city functions and resources during this time. Tory says he's doing so in order to support front-line health-care workers.
  • All facilities in Mississauga’s parks are now closed to the public. "In an effort to reduce the further spread of this virus and encourage physical distancing, we have made the decision to close all facilities within parks such as playgrounds, sport pads, leash-free areas, and courts,” Mayor Bonnie Crombie said in a press release. 


  • The First Nations Health Managers Association will be hosting an online town-hall session with Indigenous Service Canada on March 25 at 1 p.m. EST.

  • Bear Skin Lake First Nation has declared a state of emergency.

  • Following a council meeting, Chief Peter Collins announced that Fort William First Nation will be closed to the general public. Members and those who work in the community will be issued vehicle tags.
  • Netimizaagamig Nishnaabeg (formerly Pic Mobert First Nation) has closed the community to non-residents.




  • Windsor and Essex County now have three confirmed cases of COVID-19. The local public-health unit notes that Michigan, which shares a border with Windsor-Essex, currently had, as of Sunday, 1,035 cases, 245 of which were reported on Sunday.

  • London has two new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to 14. The two latest cases include one man in his sixties and another in his fifties. 

  • The London Police Service announced today that it has closed its headquarters to the general public until further notice. The service says in a news release that all emergency services remain in place.

  • Beginning Friday at 5 p.m., Chatham-Kent Transit will suspend its four-counties accessible-transportation service. The service, which serves West Elgin, Southwest Middlesex, Newbury and Chatham-Kent, will be cancelled until further notice.

  • On Sunday, Stratford, in partnership with the United Way Perth-Huron, launched a website that will allow people to provide mutual aid and support. The site also provides links to community resources. “Supporting shut-ins and those with medical and mobility issues with delivery of essential items is one way we can work to support our fellow residents,” said Dan Mathieson, the city's mayor, in a news release.

  • Chatham-Kent officials will hold an interactive livestream event on Facebook on Tuesday that will allow viewers to submit questions. “We may not have all the answers but we will provide as much accurate scientific and medical information as we can,” says Darrin Canniff, the municipality's mayor, in a news release.

  • London city hall will be closing its council chambers to the public, even while meetings take place. The municipality will livestream meetings from its website and Youtube channel, the municipality announced via a news release today. The city also announced today that it has closed playgrounds, skate parks and multi-use courts. "Site visits by City officials as well as concerns raised by the public have indicated that many of these precautions were not being followed, especially physical distance," the municipality said.
  • The Region of Waterloo is postponing specialty garbage collection, such as yard waste.

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