This article was last updated at 4:03 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.
- Per today's government report, there are 20,546 cases in Ontario, an increase of 308; 1,027
people are in hospital, 194 of them in intensive care and 147 on ventilators. To date, 1,669 people have died.
- According to today's report from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 174 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 2,725 confirmed cases in residents and 1,691 confirmed cases in staff. To date, there have been 1,235 confirmed resident deaths.
- Barbara Yaffe, Ontario's associate chief medical officer of health, said today that 3,407 health-care workers have tested positive to date. She also reported that 71 retirement homes are currently experiencing outbreaks and that 163 residents have died.
At a press conference this afternoon, Premier Doug Ford noted that garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores, and safety-supply stores reopened over the weekend and that, as of today, retail stores with street entrance will be allowed to offer curbside pickup and delivery. Provincial parks and conservation reserves will begin opening today for walking and biking. "We've seen some really positive numbers, but we need consistency for two weeks," he said. "To continue moving forward, we're going to have to renew the state of emergency." He also said that more information about the future of the school year will be provided early next week.
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Starbucks Canada, which by the end of this week will have resumed operations at 65 per cent of stores "with modified formats," says it "now respectfully requests customers follow physical distancing and safety protocols recommended by public health officials, including wearing a facial covering when visiting our stores."
At a press conference this morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the government is expanding the Business Credit Availability Program to include midsize companies. Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada will work with private-sector lenders to free up access to capital for Canadian companies in all regions and sectors. It is also establishing the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility to provide bridge financing for large employers. "But let me be clear," he said. "These are bridge loans, not bailouts."
Education Minister Stephen Lecce says that Ontario school boards should reschedule proms and graduation ceremonies based on input from local public-health officials. "In some cases, this might mean facilitating graduation ceremonies and proms during the summer or fall when it is safe to do so," said Lecce in the statement.
The government will ask MPPs at Queen's Park to extend the state of emergency once again tomorrow, empowering the cabinet to continue its efforts to contain COVID-19 until June 2. The government will also introduce a bill to make a number of technical changes to current law, largely allowing businesses and other corporations to postpone legally required annual reports. MPPs will meet twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from May 19 until June 3.
The standing committee on finance and economic affairs will be expanded and charged with investigating the economic impacts of COVID-19 and making recommendations to the government. Legislative security will be empowered to screen visitors at Queen's Park for any signs of COVID-19, and the Speaker (Ted Arnott) will be given the extraordinary power to deny access to any MPP who shows signs of being infected.
The province's financial accountability officer, Peter Welman, projects that the measures to contain COVID-19 will result in a 9 per cent drop in Ontario's GDP, the most severe annual recession on record. The FAO projects that the provincial deficit for 2020-21 will be $41 billion, nearly four times what had been projected for this year and the highest deficit in Ontario's history. Even with an optimistic economic recovery, the deficit could still be as high as $25 billion in 2021-22.
The union representing federal food inspectors says that the government wants to redeploy some of their members to meat plants even though they have little or no experience in those environments and is threatening disciplinary action if they refuse.
The AHL has cancelled the remainder of its regular season and the Calder Cup playoffs, which affects the Belleville Senators and the Toronto Marlies.
An Angus Reid Institute survey finds that 71 per cent of Canadian youth describe themselves as “bored” during the lockdown.
Greater Toronto Area
- According to today's report, there are 7,557 cases in Toronto, 431 of them in hospital and 101 in intensive care. To date, there have been 125 institutional outbreaks. In total, 589 people have died.
- Toronto's medical officer of health, Eileen de Villa, reported today that she had recently learned of the first COVID-19 death of a resident in the city's shelter system. "Sadly, on May 8, a man in his fifties who was a resident at Dixon Hall Schoolhouse died in hospital," she said.
- At a press conference this afternoon, Toronto mayor John Tory announced the launch of ShopHERE, a program that will help independent businesses and artists open free online stores. "ShopHERE will provide Toronto independent businesses and artists the opportunity to develop an online store, which will be built and launched for free in just a matter of days," a press release states. "Hands-on support will be provided throughout the entire process from volunteer website developers and marketing and business students."
Toronto's High Park reopened last night, although cars are still not allowed in.
Orchard Villa long-term-care home in Pickering, where 66 residents have died of COVID-19, is now investigating a possible privacy breach of personal health information.
At least 25 residents of Downsview Long Term Care Centre in Toronto have died since May 1, CTV News reports.
Chief Mervin Cheechoo, of Moose Cree First Nation, says that some financing is available to help people go to their hunting camps; all non-essential travel between Moose Factory and Moosonee has been suspended since May 5.
The Chiefs of Ontario is providing information and updates on non-insured health benefits.
- Federal Indigenous services minister Marc Miller said Saturday that the government must improve data collecting in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities. "We are learning from past experience with responding to pandemics in Canada ... that we need to recognize and understand [Indigenous populations] have a higher risk of being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19," he said. "Along with better access to testing, we are acutely aware of the need to do better, more robust and routinely collected disaggregated data."
Impala Canada says that all 25 COVID-19 cases linked to the Lac Des Iles Mine have been resolved; the company hopes to return to full production by the end of the month.
- The Ontario-Quebec border at Temiscaming will reopen today, according to the North Bay Nugget.
The Finlandia Nursing Home in Sudbury has declared an outbreak after an employee tested positive.
Thunder Bay mayor Bill Mauro will be holding a virtual town hall on May 12 at 7 p.m. to answer residents' questions about COVID-19 and economic recovery.
Belleville mayor Mitch Panciuk has announced that all city events will be cancelled until the end of June.
The 2020 Kingston Fall Fair, scheduled for September 17-20, has been cancelled.
Organizers of Ottawa's Capital Pride event say that the festival, originally scheduled for August 21-30, will be delivered virtually this year.
Ottawa mayor Jim Watson says he doesn't think that tickets handed out for infractions in city parks should be ripped up now that restrictions have been eased.
- Beginning today, "park ambassadors" will be patrolling Ottawa's parks to offer information to users about what's permitted in the city's parks, trails, and natural areas.
- Kingston's Beat Beethoven race, originally scheduled for June 7, has been cancelled, as have all of the Kingston Road Runners Association's 2020 races.
Bluewater Health in Sarnia is looking at how to tackle a backlog in surgeries that have been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sarnia Observer reports.
- At its meeting today, Guelph city council will be taking a look at closing traffic lanes to allow people more room to physically distance.
Workers at Toyota Canada's plants in Cambridge and Woodstock are back on the job today; the manufacturer closed the plants in March.
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