COVID-19: What you need to know for May 15

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By staff - Published on May 15, 2020



This article was last updated at 3:53 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 21,922 cases in Ontario, an increase of 428; 986
    people are in hospital, 179 of them in intensive care and 135 on ventilators. To date, 1,825 people have died.
  • Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted this morning: "We’ve learned of a small glitch with yesterday's #COVID19 reporting. Because of a one-time data upload issue, yesterday missed 87 cases. While they’re captured in today’s update, the real day-over-day numbers are 345 new cases on May 14 and 341 today."
  • According to today's report from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 186 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 2,429 confirmed cases in residents and 1,647 confirmed cases in staff. To date, there have been 1,320 confirmed resident deaths and five staff deaths.
  • Barbara Yaffe, the associate chief medical officer of health, said today that 3,722 health-care workers have tested positive to date. She also said that 68 retirement homes are in outbreak and that 180 residents have died.
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  • The Department of National Defence says that five Canadian Armed Forces members working in long-term-care homes — four in Quebec and one in Ontario — have tested positive for COVID-19. 

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced $450 million in funding for researchers and research institutions "bridge to better times." Universities and affiliated research institutes will receive temporary wage support. The money will be delivered through federal granting agencies. He also announced that the government will be extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for another three months, to the end of August. 

  • The Ontario Medical Association has released a document it's calling "Five Public Health Pillars for a Safe Return." The province's largest association representing doctors says the government needs to invest in testing, contact tracing, and more personal protective equipment to ensure that it can reopen the economy safely.

  • According to provincial data, 17 per cent of COVID-19 cases in Ontario are health-care workers, CBC News reports. That’s up from about 10 per cent of cases in early April.

  • The Financial Accountability Officer reports that Ontario lost 689,200 jobs in April, the most severe one-month drop in employment on record. The province's unemployment rate is estimated at 11.3 per cent, the highest it's been since 1993. Job losses have been concentrated in low-paid, part-time sectors and have affected more women than men.

  • Doctors who spoke to CTV News say that people with conditions such as immune disorders that put them at high risk of serious COVID-19 symptoms should remain self-isolated for some time, even though the province says it’s safe to loosen some restrictions.

  • Numbers released by the federal finance department show that the government of Canada has spent $151.7 billion so far on measures related to COVID-19.

  • Uber will be requiring Canadian drivers, couriers, and passengers to wear masks as of May 18.

Greater Toronto Area

  • According to today's report, there are 8,257 cases in Toronto, 413 of them in hospital and 94 in intensive care. To date, there have been 134 institutional outbreaks. In total, 657 people have died. 
  • Toronto mayor John Tory announced today that all planned summer camps and recreation programs will be cancelled. Refunds will be issued immediately, and all fees should be returned in the coming weeks. "City staff are working on a plan for modified recreation programs that could be offered for a smaller number of children starting as early as mid-July," he said, noting however, that the city would have to see continued improvement in Toronto's numbers and that the provincial order would have to be modified or lifted. “I know this decision will upset many families, and it will cause hardship for those who rely on theses camps and programs the most, but nothing is more important than the health of our children."
  • The City of Toronto announced today that it will be extending the cancellation of city-led and city-permitted festivals and events with attendance of more than 250 people through July 31, and those with attendance of 25,000 or more through August 31. "The cancellation of major mass participation events of more than 250 people until July 31 includes Salsa on St Clair, Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, Honda Indy, Toronto Triathlon Festival, Beaches International Jazz Festival, and Big on Bloor, among others," a press release states. "The cancellation of major mass participation events of more than 25,000 people until August 31 includes Jerkfest, Taste of the Danforth, Taste of Manila, and Toronto Chinatown Festival, among others."


  • The Six Nations of the Grand River’s elected council has launched a COVID-19 relief fund "to help ease the increasing financial burden of their ongoing emergency response efforts." The Six Nations of the Grand River’s Parks and Recreation Department advised today that sports fields remain closed until further notice.
  • Janet Smylie, a public-health researcher at the Centre of Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, will be working with Indigenous Services Canada on short-term and long-term analyses of data related to COVID-19's effects on Indigenous communities.
  • Nibinamik First Nation has declared a state of emergency after its diesel-generating system failed. A May 13 letter states that "federal and provincial governments must come together to provide funding and emergency management supports in the coming weeks and months in order to position Nibinamik First Nation to respond to the COVID-19 Global Pandemic. The approval processes to access supports to upgrade the diesel generator station, stabilizing power supply must be prioritized and streamlined."
  • Nishnawbe Aski Nation is advising that, if communities are approached by manufacturers and distributors of PPE, PPE products, treatments, and testing products, they should contact "to ensure they have been vetted through national and provincial validation processes to confirm they are legitimate and not scams."



  • Kingston is joining other Ontario municipalities in offering a free virtual fireworks event on May 18. Residents can view the fireworks on their phone using augmented reality.  

  • Arnprior will be opening some of its municipal facilities, including the boat launch at the town's marina, starting tomorrow. 

  • The Canadian Real Estate Association says that home sales dropped by more than 50 per cent in Ottawa in April as compared to March.

  • Ottawa Police and youth workers say they've seen an increase in calls about disputes between teenagers and their parents during the pandemic.

  • Eight more residents and three staff members at Ottawa's Peter D. Clark long-term-care home have tested positive. To date, 17 residents and nine staff have tested positive.


  • On May 26, Guelph will reopen its garbage drop-off facility to the public for loads of hazardous waste and garbage.

  • The University of Waterloo has announced that all large classes will happen online this fall but that some in-person classes and supports will be available.

  • The City of London is urging property owners to "proactively" check the plumbing in buildings that "have been dormant due to the COVID-19 pandemic."
  • The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has declared an outbreak at the Collingwood Nursing Home after three residents tested positive.

  • There are three cases of COVID-19 at Cargill's beef plant in Guelph, the CBC reports.

  • Western Fair's board of governors has announced that it has cancelled the annual September fair for this year. It is the first time since the Second World War that the fair, which takes place in London, has been cancelled.

  • The Grand River Conservation Authority has laid off 75 employees and is predicting a $5 million operating loss, the Record reports.

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