COVID-19: What you need to know for May 16-18

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on May 16, 2020

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This article was last updated at Monday at 4:13 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 22,957 cases in Ontario, an increase of 304; 972
    people are in hospital, 174 of them in intensive care and 133 on ventilators. To date, 1,904 people have died. 
  • According to today's report from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 189 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 2,526 confirmed cases in residents and 1,606 confirmed cases in staff. To date, there have been 1,389 confirmed resident deaths and five staff deaths.
covid chart
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday that Health Canada has approved the country's first clinical trials for a potential COVID-19 vaccine, at the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology at Dalhousie University. 

  • Trudeau also announced that the Canada Child Benefit will go up in July, raising the maximum benefit to $6,765 per child under age 6 and $5,708 per child aged 6 through 17. (This increase is in addition to the one-time special payment, announced earlier this month, that will give families currently receiving the CCB an additional $300 per child with their May payment.) 

  • The federal government announced up to $100 million in funding "to help the Red Cross meet increased demand due to COVID-19, and to support future floods and wildfire relief efforts. This funding includes up to $41 million to address immediate COVID-19 needs, with over $15 million committed to enhance the Red Cross’ response capacity and $25 million to support public health efforts."

  • Air Canada has announced that, on June 7, it will lay off about 20,000 staff.

Greater Toronto Area

  • According to today's report, there are 8,603 cases in Toronto, 418 of them in hospital and 88 in intensive care. To date, there have been 137 institutional outbreaks. In total, 683 people have died. 
  • Major weekend road closures in Toronto will be in effect until 11 p.m. tonight.
  • Conservation Halton will be opening five of its seven parks on May 22 for hiking and biking. Reservations can be made online starting May 20 or May 21. 
  • Councillor Joe Cressy, chair of Toronto’s Board of Health, sent an open letter to Health Minister Christine Elliott on Saturday in which he said that "we urgently need the province to provide for proactive testing in all homeless shelters, respite sites, and drop-ins. Toronto Public Health is ready to help expedite this work right away, and to apply scaled-up case and contact tracing as a priority to stop the spread of the virus."
  • A second family has filed a lawsuit against the Orchard Villa long-term-care and retirement home for alleged negligence and failing to protect residents; at least 72 people have died at the Pickering facility.

  • The Hillcrest Village BIA and TLNTV will be hosting a virtual Salsa in Toronto festival on July 4 and 5. 
  • The Toronto Public Library will begin offering curbside pickup of holds in the coming weeks. Customers will also then be able to return materials via branch drop boxes. "Specifics around how that will work and the exact start date will be announced soon," the TPL tweeted. "Thanks for your patience."

Indigenous

  • The Six Nations assessment centre is closed this weekend, but the COVID-19 hotline is open.
  • The Canadian government has extended coverage of unregistered infants up to 24 months of age under the Non-Insured Health Benefits program, as "during the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be delays in registering an infant for First Nation status."
  • Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced Friday that Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy eligibility will be extended to "Indigenous government-owned corporations that are carrying on a business, as well as partnerships where the partners are Indigenous governments and eligible employers."

Northern

  • The Northwestern Health Unit is reporting a new case — the first in its area since April 22 — in Sioux Lookout.
  • Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reporting outbreaks at Gore Bay's Manitoulin Lodge, where one employee has tested positive, and at Val Caron's Elizabeth Centre, where one employee and one resident have tested positive.
  • Although Ontario libraries will be able open for pickup and delivery service on Tuesday, the Thunder Bay Public Library says it is not yet prepared to do so.
  • Lakehead University announced Friday that it "is planning for primarily-online and alternative delivery models of courses in Fall 2020."
  • The Lac Des Illes Mine, north of Thunder Bay, is expected to resume operations on May 26.
  • The Porcupine Health Unit is reporting the sixth COVID-19 death in its region.

Eastern

  • Peterborough Public Health reported one new case Sunday, bringing the total in its area to 74. To date, two people have died.

  • An employee at a grocery store in Rockland has tested positive.

  • The National Capital Commission has extended the partial closure of the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway in Ottawa until 4 p.m. today. 

  • The Quebec government has indicated that checkpoints on bridges between Ottawa and Gatineau will be removed Monday.

  • As of Friday, 18 residents and nine staff at Ottawa's Peter D. Clark long-term-care home have tested positive.

  • Queen's University principal Patrick Deane told staff and faculty at a town hall Wednesday that “the university is planning for a number of scenarios, and our primary concern remains the health and safety of our community. Our hope, of course, is that operations will resume as normal, but this is not realistic. We will most likely see a phased-in approach to our return to campus, with many, if not most courses being delivered remotely.”

Southwestern

  • Lambton Public Health is reporting that another resident and two additional staff members have tested positive at Sarnia's Vision Nursing Home. To date, 14 residents and 10 staff have tested positive, and four people have died.

  • St. Joseph’s Health Care London will be launching an online tool on May 20 to provide information and support for caregivers throughout Huron-Perth, Bruce-Grey, London-Middlesex, Oxford, and St. Thomas-Elgin. 

  • The golf course at Windsor's Roseland Golf and Curling Club reopened Saturday with new guidelines and restrictions.

  • Through FedDev Ontario, small businesses in London and southwestern Ontario will receive $250 million in additional support.

  • As of May 15, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is reporting 762 cases, an increase of 11, and 62 deaths.

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