COVID-19: What you need to know for May 22

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on May 22, 2020

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This article was last updated at 4:10 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 24,628 cases in Ontario, an increase of 441; 961 people are in hospital, 153 of them in intensive care and 120 on ventilators. To date, 2,021 people have died. 
  • According to Public Health Ontario's daily epidemiologic summary, there are 211 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 4,711 confirmed cases in residents and 1,623 confirmed cases in staff. To date, there have been 1,262 confirmed resident deaths and four confirmed staff deaths. 
  • Barbara Yaffe, the associate chief medical officer of health, said today that 4,239 health-care workers have tested positive to date; 54 retirement homes are in outbreak, and 186 residents have died.
covid chart
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath
  • The International Plowing Match has been cancelled for 2020. The IPM is a fixture of the Queen's Park calendar; MPPs adjourn for part of the sitting week at the legislature, and party leaders travel to a different part of rural Ontario every year to meet with farmers and other groups. This year's IPM had been scheduled to be held in Lindsay and will now be postponed until 2021.

  • Premier Doug Ford announced today that the government will be investing in the Virtual Action Centre, "an online counselling and training portal, to support laid off and unemployed hospitality workers."

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that federal workers at the Public Health Agency of Canada and StatsCan are available to assist provincial agencies in contact tracing and have already started collaborating with the Ontario government to help contact anyone who may have encountered someone infected with COVID-19.

  • The Financial Accountability Officer estimates that the province's program to give hydro users discounted electricity rates during the pandemic will have cost $175 million by May 31 to save the average home consumer approximately $34 since the discounts began. If the government chooses to extend the program until September, the costs would increase to $491 million overall.

Greater Toronto Area

  • According to today's report, there are 9,615 cases in Toronto, 414 of them in hospital and 97 in intensive care. To date, there have been 138 institutional outbreaks. In total, 743 people have died. 
  • At a press conference this afternoon, Toronto's medical officer of health, Eileen de Villa, said that she has been disappointed to see cases increase in Toronto over the past three days; she added that analysis suggests people might have contracted COVID-19 during recent gatherings, such as those held to celebrate Mother's Day.
  • Toronto mayor John Tory said today that, if the provincial and federal governments don't provide financial support, the results would be "terrible and devastating, like nothing we've ever seen." He outlined various savings that would be required, including a $575 million cut to TTC service, which would involve a 50 per cent shutdown of the entire system.
  • The City of Toronto has announced a partnership with the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario to hire more RNs to expand the city's contact-tracing and isolation efforts.

  • Eatonville Care Centre in Etobicoke has reported two more deaths from COVID-19. The long-term-care home has had a total of 42 COVID-19-related fatalities.

  • The City of Toronto announced yesterday that, starting May 25, "select library drop boxes will be opened to accept the return of library materials. On Monday, June 1, drop boxes at all remaining accessible branches will open to accept returns. TPL estimates that there are more than one million items currently out on loan."

  • The City of Toronto stated yesterday that, on May 20, it received 90 complaints involving people using closed outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks or squares. Bylaw officers issued six tickets for physical distancing. 

Indigenous

Northern

  • Staff with Kenora’s Keewatin Patricia District School Board have 3D-printed and delivered more than 650 flexible face-mask straps to individuals and organizations in the city.

  • There are 40 presumptive cases of COVID-19 in patients at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, the CBC is reporting. An asymptomatic patient tested positive after being discharged from the hospital. Four of the 29 TBRHSC staff who interacted with the patient have tested negative; the remaining 25 are self-isolating at home.

  • The annual TbayTel Motorcycle Ride for Dad, a fundraiser for prostate-cancer research, has been postponed until June 2021. 

  • A Red Lake resident diagnosed with COVID-19 is an employee at one of the local mines, although the Northwestern Health Unit doesn't believe he contracted it at work. An outbreak at Lac Des Iles Mine near Thunder Bay led to 17 cases, one of which resulted in northwestern Ontario's only death from coronavirus.

  • Thunder Bay’s city-run golf courses open today. Players will be required to read new golf-course rules and regulations.

  • The 2020 Mascarin Mid-Canada Open, which was scheduled to run from July 23 to 26, has been cancelled, but there is good news for tennis enthusiasts, as the Thunder Bay Tennis Centre will open for the season on Sunday.

  • The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is prepared to resume elective surgeries. While the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is allowing only 85 per cent capacity in hospitals, it will grant Thunder Bay a rate as high as 90 per cent.

  • The Nuclear Waste Management Organization has donated $50,000 to the Northwestern Health Unit to assist with COVID-19 management.

  • The City of Greater Sudbury will reopen certain outdoor spaces, such as the Bell Park Boardwalk and the AY Jackson Trail, starting this weekend. Basketball and tennis and pickleball courts, along with skate and BMX parks and other sports fields, will open early next week.
  • The City of North Bay will designate Memorial Drive as an active transportation route from Friday at 3 p.m. to Monday at 8 a.m.

Eastern

  • A six-year-old boy in Amherstview has raised more than $2,100 for front-line health-care workers by walking 35 kilometres up and down his street.

  • The Ottawa Mosque will be offering a drive-in service for Eid al-Fitr this weekend.

  • Glengarry–Prescott–Russell MPP Amanda Simard wants the Ontario government to cap the fees charged by app-based food-delivery services.
  • Most National Capital Commission parking lots in Ottawa-Gatineau are open as of 9 a.m. this morning. 

Southwestern

  • Windsor-Essex Health Unit is reporting 17 new confirmed cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 843; there have been 63 deaths.

  • Southwest Public Health is reporting that seven workers have now tested positive at Secord TrailsCare Community, a long-term-care facility in Ingersoll.

  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit is reporting that two staff members at Norview Lodge, a long-term-care facility in Simcoe, and one staff member at the Cedarwood Village retirement home, also in Simcoe, have tested positive.

  • Huron-Perth Public Health is reporting that a staff member at Goderich's Maitland Manor has tested positive. Until this diagnosis, the region had not had a positive case for two weeks.

  • The Region of Waterloo Public Health is reporting 1,066 cases to date; 112 people have died in its area.

  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is reporting six new cases, bringing the total number of cases to 361; 33 people have died in its area.

  • The Stratford Festival is asking the federal government for $8 million in the form of a grant and a loan to help it recover from having to cancel its season, according to the CBC.

  • As of 8 p.m. Thursday, Lambton Public Health was reporting eight new cases of COVID-19, five of them linked to an outbreak at Vision Nursing Home in Sarnia, where 38 residents and staff members have now been diagnosed with the virus and where there has been four deaths.

  • You can take your dog to the park in Southampton, Port Elgin and Kincardine, but the beaches remain closed.

  • A Bruce County program that will provide local businesses with low-interest loans of $20,000 to help them recover from the impact of COVID-19 emergency measures is now open for applications. The $750,000 will provide the loans on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Despite indications that the provincial government could allow day camps to operate this summer, a Lambton Shores summer camp has decided not to open — for the first time in its 80-year history, the CBC reports.

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