COVID-19: What you need to know for May 12

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on May 12, 2020

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This article was last updated at 4:15 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 20,907 cases in Ontario, an increase of 361; 1,025
    people are in hospital, 192 of them in intensive care and 146 on ventilators. To date, 1,725 people have died.
  • According to today's report from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 180 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 2,703 confirmed cases in residents and 1,677 confirmed cases in staff. To date, there have been 1,239 confirmed resident deaths and four confirmed staff deaths.
  • Ontario's chief medical officer of health, David Williams, said today that 3,485 health-care workers have tested positive to date. Seventy-two retirement homes are reporting outbreaks, and 165 residents have died.
covid chrt
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
  • During a special sitting of the Ontario legislature today, MPPs voted to extend the declaration of emergency until June 2.

  • Premier Doug Ford said today that "on Thursday, we will share more good news — more good news about getting people back to work, more good news about opening workplaces, getting paycheques out the door. More good news about slowly getting back to normal. On Thursday, we will share more details about the next stage of reopening our province. We'll be reopening more low-risk workplaces, seasonal businesses, and essential services."

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced additional support measures for seniors: those receiving Old Age Security will be eligible for a one-time, tax-free payment of $300; those eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement will receive an additional $200. The government will also be investing an additional $20 million in the New Horizons for Seniors Program.

  • The association that represents Ontario's registered nurses has released a report in response to the handling of the COVID-19 crisis that recommends changes to the province's health-care system. Chief among the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario recommendations: make long-term-care facilities a part of Ontario Health Teams; make sure everyone in the province is linked to a primary health team; and include primary-care representation at the table leading health-care restructuring in the province.

  • At this morning's proceedings at Queen's Park, MPPs have passed a motion to organize business over the next several weeks, allowing Speaker Ted Arnott to bar elected members from the legislature on public-health grounds and providing for possible electronic meetings of the legislature's committees. The government has introduced a bill that makes a number of minor changes to corporate boards and school-board rules.

  • The Ontario Non-profit Network is asking the provincial government to create a $680 million stabilization fund to help its 58,000 members weather the pandemic, the Toronto Star reports. Many non-profits are still struggling despite $883 million in emergency funding from Ottawa and $237 million from the province, according to Sarah Matsushita, the network’s director of communications and engagement.

  • The National Research Council has struck a deal to conduct tests in Canada of a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by a Chinese company and that country’s military, the Globe and Mail reports.

  • A coalition of mobility, green, business, and urbanist groups are calling on the federal government to bail out transit agencies as ridership plummets because of the pandemic.

Greater Toronto Area

  • According to today's report, there are 7,775 cases in Toronto, 429 of them in hospital and 101 in intensive care. To date, there have been 125 institutional outbreaks. In total, 622 people have died.
  • Toronto's medical officer of health, Eileen de Villa, said today that "I think it's important to remind everyone that easing our public-health measures will continue to be a gradual process until we have a vaccine or effective treatments for this virus. Until that time, physical-distancing will be part of our everyday lives in all settings." She also recommended that Torontonians who have to come in close contact with others wear a cloth mask or face covering even if they do not have symptoms.
  • Toronto mayor John Tory said today that "it is absolutely critical now for the provincial and federal governments to take urgent action to address the dire financial problems being faced by GTHA muncipalities, including Toronto, and, for that matter, many other municipalities across Ontario and across Canada."
  • The Canadian National Exhibition has cancelled this year's fair, which was scheduled to be held from August 21 until September 7.
  • A staff report indicates that the Toronto Transit Commission could lose nearly $300 million by Labour Day.
  • The family of a man who died of COVID-19 at Pickering’s Orchard Villa long-term-care home has launched a $1.5 million lawsuit against the company for alleged negligence, CTV News reports. The home is the site of the province’s worst long-term-care outbreak, with 72 deaths.

Indigenous

  • Research conducted by the Yellowhead Institute suggests that the number of COVID-19 cases on-reserve is two and a half times higher than that reported by Indigenous Services Canada.

  • As of May 11, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 41 cases on First Nations reserves in Ontario.
  • The Nishnawbe Aski Nation COVID-19 task team is in the process of finalizing a guide that communities can use when they begin to consider reopening and easing restrictions.
  • Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald has expressed her support for the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations' call for First Nations to be included in federal pandemic planning meetings: "The federal government, which has shown responsiveness, flexibility and cooperative nature in addressing the pandemic should very well be able to include First Nations in any decision making and planning. As has been shared many times – Nothing about us, without us.”

Northern

  • The company that owns the uranium refinery in Blind River and the Port Hope Conversion Facility says it's planning to restart operations at both facilities next week; full production is scheduled to begin the following week.

  • The Northwestern Health Unit is now nearing 3,000 COVID-19 tests. It has been more than two weeks since these districts have seen a positive case.

  • Riverside Health Care Facilities in Fort Frances began offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing on Monday.
  • An outbreak has been declared at Extendicare LTC in Timmins after a woman in her seventies tested positive.

  • There are no new suspected COVID-19 cases at the isolation centre in Kenora's Keewatin Memorial Arena, a hockey rink the city is using to build isolation stations to isolate the homeless and underhoused who are experiencing coronavirus symptoms.

Eastern

  • The University of Ottawa has announced that "all our courses, with some exceptions, will include a distance-learning option in the fall. "

  • Peterborough Musicfest's 34th season has been cancelled for 2020. The popular festival typically contributes more than $5 million to the local economy. 

  • Ottawa Police say the volume of vagrancy calls nearly doubled in the first seven weeks of physical distancing. Advocates are urging residents "to show empathy and refrain from calling police if they see homeless people wandering around their neighbourhood during the COVID-19 lockdown."

  • Ottawa's treasurer says that the city could lose out on $5.1 million in parking-ticket and other bylaw-enforcement revenues if COVID-19 measures stay in place until June.
  • An outbreak has been declared at the Kawartha Heights retirement home in Peterborough's west end.

  • Port Hope has postponed or cancelled all of its large-scale summer events, including its Canada Day celebrations and the Port Hope Fair, until August 31.

  • An Ottawa man is asking the Quebec government to allow Ottawa-area residents to visit their cottages in the Outaouais region. His petition now has 2,500 signatures.

Southwestern

  • Middlesex Centre has announced that a ban on fireworks will remain in place during the Victoria Day long weekend.

  • Twelve more workers have tested positive for COVID-19 at a greenhouse operation in Chatham-Kent — this time contract workers from Leamington, Chatham Daily News reports.

  • Kitchener council has endorsed a motion to push upper levels of government to adopt a basic-income plan to help minimize the financial impact of COVID-19 on out-of-work Canadians, Kitchenertoday.com reports.

  • A Kitchener grocery store tells the Waterloo Region Record that, as the province begins to relax some emergency measures for managing COVID-19, customers are beginning to shop with greater frequency and seem to be more comfortable going out and about.

  • The Grey-Bruce region's medical officer of health is considering closing all beaches in the area, including Sauble Beach, the Owen Sound Sun Times reports.

  • Sarnia city council has decided to extend a suspension of penalties and interest charges on property taxes until the end of June, the Sarnia Observer reports.

  • London is looking to last year's budget surplus to help address a $23 million to $33 million deficit because of lost revenues and rising expenses related to COVID-19 measures, the London Free Press reports.

  • The London and Middlesex Children’s Aid Society is facing a shortage of foster parents because of concerns about COVID-19, the London Free Press reports.

For more information:

Ontario Hubs are made possible by the Barry and Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust & Goldie Feldman.


    This article was last updated at 2:24 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 20,907 cases in Ontario, an increase of 361; 1,025
      people are in hospital, 192 of them in intensive care and 146 on ventilators. To date, 1,725 people have died.
    • According to today's report from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 180 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 2,703 confirmed cases in residents and 1,677 confirmed cases in staff. To date, there have been 1,239 confirmed resident deaths.
    covid chrt
    Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
    • Premier Doug Ford said today that "on Thursday, we will share more good news — more good news about getting people back to work, more good news about opening workplaces, getting paycheques out the door. More good news about slowly getting back to normal. On Thursday, we will share more details about the next stage of reopening our province. We'll be reopening more low-risk workplaces, seasonal businesses, and essential services."

    • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced additional support measures for seniors: those receiving Old Age Security will be eligible for a one-time, tax-free payment of $300; those eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement will receive an additional $200. The government will also be investing an additional $20 million in the New Horizons for Seniors Program.

    • The association that represents Ontario's registered nurses has released a report in response to the handling of the COVID-19 crisis that recommends changes to the province's health-care system. Chief among the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario recommendations: make long-term-care facilities a part of Ontario Health Teams; make sure everyone in the province is linked to a primary health team; and include primary-care representation at the table leading health-care restructuring in the province.

    • At this morning's proceedings at Queen's Park, MPPs have passed a motion to organize business over the next several weeks, allowing Speaker Ted Arnott to bar elected members from the legislature on public-health grounds and providing for possible electronic meetings of the legislature's committees. The government has introduced a bill that makes a number of minor changes to corporate boards and school-board rules, and MPPs will also debate the extension of the state of emergency.

    • The Ontario Non-profit Network is asking the provincial government to create a $680 million stabilization fund to help its 58,000 members weather the pandemic, the Toronto Star reports. Many non-profits are still struggling despite $883 million in emergency funding from Ottawa and $237 million from the province, according to Sarah Matsushita, the network’s director of communications and engagement.

    • The National Research Council has struck a deal to conduct tests in Canada of a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by a Chinese company and that country’s military, the Globe and Mail reports.

    • A coalition of mobility, green, business, and urbanist groups are calling on the federal government to bail out transit agencies as ridership plummets because of the pandemic.

    Greater Toronto Area

    • According to yesterday'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.
    • The Canadian National Exhibition has cancelled this year's fair, which was scheduled to be held from August 21 until September 7.
    • A staff report indicates that the Toronto Transit Commission could lose nearly $300 million by Labour Day.
    • The family of a man who died of COVID-19 at Pickering’s Orchard Villa long-term-care home has launched a $1.5 million lawsuit against the company for alleged negligence, CTV News reports. The home is the site of the province’s worst long-term-care outbreak, with 72 deaths.

    Indigenous

    • As of May 11, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 41 cases on First Nations reserves in Ontario.
    • The Nishnawbe Aski Nation COVID-19 task team is in the process of finalizing a guide that communities can use when they begin to consider reopening and easing restrictions.
    • Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald has expressed her support for the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations' call for First Nations to be included in federal pandemic planning meetings: "The federal government, which has shown responsiveness, flexibility and cooperative nature in addressing the pandemic should very well be able to include First Nations in any decision making and planning. As has been shared many times – Nothing about us, without us.”

    Northern

    Eastern

    • The University of Ottawa has annouced that "all our courses, with some exceptions, will include a distance-learning option in the fall. "

    • Peterborough Musicfest's 34th season has been cancelled for 2020. The popular festival typically contributes more than $5 million to the local economy. 

    • Ottawa Police say the volume of vagrancy calls nearly doubled in the first seven weeks of physical distancing. Advocates are urging residents "to show empathy and refrain from calling police if they see homeless people wandering around their neighbourhood during the COVID-19 lockdown."

    • Ottawa's treasurer says that the city could lose out on $5.1 million in parking-ticket and other bylaw-enforcement revenues if COVID-19 measures stay in place until June.
    • An outbreak has been declared at the Kawartha Heights retirement home in Peterborough's west end.

    • Port Hope has postponed or cancelled all of its large-scale summer events, including its Canada Day celebrations and the Port Hope Fair, until August 31.

    • An Ottawa man is asking the Quebec government to allow Ottawa-area residents to visit their cottages in the Outaouais region. His petition now has 2,500 signatures.

    Southwestern

    • Twelve more workers have tested positive for COVID-19 at a greenhouse operation in Chatham-Kent — this time contract workers from Leamington, Chatham Daily News reports.

    • Kitchener council has endorsed a motion to push upper levels of government to adopt a basic-income plan to help minimize the financial impact of COVID-19 on out-of-work Canadians, Kitchenertoday.com reports.

    • A Kitchener grocery store tells the Waterloo Region Record that, as the province begins to relax some emergency measures for managing COVID-19, customers are beginning to shop with greater frequency and seem to be more comfortable going out and about.

    • The Grey-Bruce region's medical officer of health is considering closing all beaches in the area, including Sauble Beach, the Owen Sound Sun Times reports.

    • Sarnia city council has decided to extend a suspension of penalties and interest charges on property taxes until the end of June, the Sarnia Observer reports.

    • London is looking to last year's budget surplus to help address a $23 million to $33 million deficit because of lost revenues and rising expenses related to COVID-19 measures, the London Free Press reports.

    • The London and Middlesex Children’s Aid Society is facing a shortage of foster parents because of concerns about COVID-19, the London Free Press reports.

    For more information:

    Ontario Hubs are made possible by the Barry and Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust & Goldie Feldman.


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