COVID-19: What you need to know for May 13

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By staff - Published on May 13, 2020



This article was last updated at 5:27 p.m. 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 21,236 cases in Ontario, an increase of 329; 1,018
    people are in hospital, 189 of them in intensive care and 144 on ventilators. To date, 1,765 people have died.
  • According to today's report from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 180 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 2,690 confirmed cases in residents and 1,672 confirmed cases in staff. To date, there have been 1,269 confirmed resident deaths.
  • Barbara Yaffe, the associate chief medical officer of health, said today that 3,562 health-care workers have tested positive to date. 
covid chart
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
  • The Ontario government is allowing people who access two types of public drug-benefit programs more flexibility during the pandemic. People who rely on the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, aimed at seniors, will now be able to have prescriptions filled for more than 30 days without any co-payments, and families currently using the Trillium Drug Program, which is indexed to household income, can apply to have their level of support adjusted if they have suffered income losses during the pandemic.

  • Ontario is helping front-line agencies that assist people experiencing sexual assault or other forms of gender-based violence, by providing $1 million to help organizations transition to online or phone services. This builds on other funds provided in the spring financial update.

  • Premier Doug Ford said today that school boards, trustee associations, and union representatives are working with the province to redeploy education workers to congregate-care settings. "I want to thank our incredible education workers for their leadership," he said. "They're absolute champions." Today's announcement builds on an executive order first issued last Saturday.
  • Education Minister Stephen Lecce said that the first redeployment is underway: CUPE educations workers are currently assisting at hospitals in Kenora. Starting later this week, he said, the government will be launching a portal through which education workers will be matched with opportunities in their communities.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today that $962 million Regional Relief and Recovery Fund will flow through the six regional development agencies; a portion will be dedicated to the Community Futures Network to assist businesses in rural and remote regions. He also announced that students and recent graduates will be able apply for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit starting Friday.

  • The Ontario government has adopted an emergency order that will allow it to issue mandatory management orders for long-term-care facilities struggling to deal with COVID-19 outbreaks. "This order would support the use of rapid, immediate and effective management alternatives to protect residents and staff within a home," a press release states. "The manager could be any person, including a corporation or a hospital."

  • Ontario is updating its case definition for COVID-19 to include "multisystem inflammatory vasculitis" — the inflammation of blood vessels throughout the body — in children. Minister of Health Christine Elliott says that the connection between COVID-19 and this illness has not been confirmed but that the government wants to monitor any possible link closely.

  • Health Canada Canada says it has authorized the first COVID-19 serological test for use in the country to detect antibodies specific to the virus. The test will be used to determine whether infected people develop an immunity.

  • Sources familier with discussions between Canada and the U.S. tell the Globe and Mail that the countries will likely keep their shared border closed to non-essential travel until at least June 21.

  • A report by Toronto-based non-profit ICES (formerly the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences) finds that Ontarians who test positive are more likely to live in neighbourhoods characterized by precarious housing, lower income status, and a greater concentration of immigrants and visible minorities.

  • The federal government has reduced the wait times to 10 days or less for people who have come to Canada under a temporary foreign-worker program or international-mobility program to be issued a work permit for a new employer. 

  • The House of Commons will debate legislation today that seeks to permanently increase the Canadian Dairy Commission's borrowing limit to $500 million.

Greater Toronto Area

  • According to today's report, there are 7,944 cases in Toronto, 414 of them in hospital and 99 in intensive care. To date, there have been 127 institutional outbreaks. In total, 634 people have died.
  • Toronto's medical officer of health, Eileen de Villa, said today that she recently learned of the second death in the city's shelter system — a man in his seventies who was a resident at Seaton House. There has been an outbreak at Seaton House since April 6. All residents have been tested, she said, and the 28 who tested positive were moved offsite to appropriately isolate.
  • Toronto mayor John Tory announced today that the city is partnering with local start-up Ritual to help businesses accept digital orders online and onsite.
  • Brampton is asking its residents to weigh in on issues related to reopening and recovery by filling out an online survey.
  • The City of Mississauga’s leadership team submitted a COVID-19 recovery framework to council today. "This framework will help us navigate how Mississauga moves forward and recovers from the impacts of COVID-19," Mayor Bonnie Crombie said in a press release.
  • Toronto mayor John Tory told CP24 that expanded restaurant patios could feature in the city's reopening plans; he also said that city is preparing for the reopening of off-leash dog areas.


  • Matawa First Nations management has announced that office closures have been extended until May 29.
  • Six Nations of the Grand River has issued a call for donations of homemade masks.
  • The federal government has made a video about physical distancing available in languages including Mohawk and Oji-Cree.
  • The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, which represents off-reserve status and non-status First Nations people, Métis, and southern Inuit, today "filed an urgent court application over the federal government's inadequate and discriminatory funding during the COVID-19 pandemic. The shocking lack of funding and discrimination impacts the most vulnerable and disadvantaged Indigenous peoples in Canada."
  • The CBC is reporting on the ways in which Indigenous restaurant owners — including Johl Whiteduck Ringuette of Toronto's Nish Dish Marketeria and Catering — are adapting to help their businesses survive the pandemic.


  • The Town of Kirkland Lake is asking local businesses to complete an impact survey that will help inform planning for post-pandemic recovery.

  • Eric Zakrewski, CEO of the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission, said yesterday at an online town hall that "recovery for Thunder Bay, we believe, is going to take approximately three years to recover to pre-pandemic levels."

  • The Temagami Canoe Festival has been cancelled due to COVID-19.

  • The Sudbury Blueberry Festival has been cancelled, but its Blue Is Beautiful art contest will continue.


  • Ottawa Public Health says that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should get tested. Priority will be given to essential workers and people over 60.

  • The 26th annual Battersea Pumpkin Festival, scheduled for October 3, has been cancelled.

  • Donna Gray, Ottawa's general manager of community and social services, has confirmed that two more residents and a staff member have tested positive at the Peter D. Clark Centre, bringing the total number of positive cases to nine residents and six staff.

  • Lennnox and Addington County has formed an economic-development task force to help businesses relaunch the local economy.


  • The Lawson Health Research Institute, London Health Sciences Centre, University Health Network and General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada are using 3-D printing to customize a standard firefighters' mask, creating a non-invasive ventilator. Initially, it will be tested on 50 patients in London hospitals; trials will subsequently be expanded across the University Health Network.

  • A registered nurse who worked at a London long-term-care facility has become the first RN to die in Ontario, CBC reports.

  • Food trucks in the Waterloo Region are reopening as COVID-19 emergency restrictions begin to ease.

  • Lambton Shores' mayor says that physical-distancing rules will be enforced at Grand Bend over the long weekend. 

  • The Town of Lakeshore in Essex County will reopen the Belle River Marina boat launch today.

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