COVID-19: What you need to know for May 4

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By staff - Published on May 04, 2020



This article was last updated at 4:57 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 17,923 cases in Ontario, an increase of 370; 984 people are in hospital, 225 of them in intensive care and 175 on ventilators. To date, 1,300 people have died.
  • According to today's report from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 175 outbreaks in long-term care facilities, 2,751 confirmed cases in residents and 1,619 confirmed cases in staff. To date, there have been 972 confirmed resident deaths and three staff deaths.
  • Ontario's chief medical officer of health, David Williams, said today that, to date, 2,761 health-care workers have tested positive, and 66 retirement homes have reported outbreaks.
covid chart
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
  • The government is celebrating the achievement of a higher level of COVID-19 testing. Premier Doug Ford said today that the growing confidence in Ontario's testing means that the province should soon be able to start dialling back some of the current public-health restrictions by, for example, reopening public parks and allowing more businesses to use curbside pickup.

  • The inmate population at Ontario's provincial prisons has decreased by about one-third since mid-March. As of April 21, the daily inmate count was 5,707, the lowest in Ontario since 1986.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced that he has joined with other global leaders in launching the Coronavirus Global Response. A press release states that "this online pledging event aims to initially raise more than $8 billion (USD) to help researchers and innovators develop solutions to test, treat, and protect people, and to prevent the further spread of COVID-19."

  • Ontario Liberal leader Steven Del Duca has joined the chorus of voices calling for emergency aid to municipalities. In a letter to Premier Doug Ford, Del Duca called on the province and federal government to provide $4 billion in aid to municipalities to ensure that essential services are not interrupted and see that cities and towns don't need to engage in layoffs.

  • The federal government announced Sunday the creation of a COVID-19 supply council that "will bring together a diverse group of leaders to provide the government with advice on the procurement of critical goods and services required as part of Canada’s COVID-19 response and recovery."

  • The province has released new medical guidelines for mothers giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Toronto Star reports. The guidelines include the advice that mothers with the virus can, with proper precautions, safely breastfeed their babies.

Greater Toronto Area

  • Toronto's medical officer of health, Eileen de Villa, said today that, as of 5 p.m. yesterday, there are 6,278 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto, 387 of them in hospital and 105 in intensive care. In total, 449 people have died. "Our data are telling us that we are making positive progress in our city," she said. "It is also telling us that we continue to see new people becoming infected with this virus. This means that we are, unfortunately, still not in a place to ease our public-health measures yet."
  • Toronto mayor John Tory said at a press conference this afternoon that the city is taking a "phased, responsible approach to opening its community and allotment gardens." Community gardens will begin to open this week on a location-by-location basis; allotment gardens will begin to open next week. He also noted that the city has now expanded its CurbTO initiative to 21 pedestrian-congrestion hot spots.
  • The City of Toronto announced today that it "is reopening one of its recently settled debenture offerings for an additional $200 million." The bonds will help fund capital projects for various city divisions, including the Toronto Transit Commission, Toronto Public Health, long-term-care homes, and the Toronto Public Library.
  • Longo’s is now requiring that all shoppers at  its GTA stores wear masks or face coverings.
  • An employee at a Sobeys in Vaughan and an employee at a Walmart in Vaughan have tested positive.


  • Al MacNevin, mayor of the Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands, says that highway checkpoints in M'Chigeeng First Nation are placing an "unreasonable burden" on other Manitoulin Island residents.

  • Kashechewan First Nation has declared a state of emergency because of the risk of flooding. Preparations for this year's flood season have been complicated by COVID-19.

  • Gull Bay First Nation is reporting two new cases, bringing its total number of active cases to eight.

  • Kettle and Stony Point First Nation will open a COVID-19 testing centre this week for the reserve's population of 1,200, Blackburn News reports. The clinic will be open by appointment or referral only.




  • London city staff have proposed that council apply a $3.2 million budget surplus from 2019, rein in spending, and defer capital projects to make up for a projected $32.8 million hit through to August from the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Local marinas and golf courses are getting prepared to open after the province announced it would allow some businesses to resume operations, CTV reports.

  • Leamington has suspended a summer transit route that allowed passengers to travel between the waterfront and the municipality's uptown, Blackburn News reports; meanwhile, in Windsor, buses are back on the road.

  • Windsor city council will decide on a proposal to close a lane on a road beside the city's riverfront to give people more opportunity to socially distance while out walking, but the councillor who proposed the idea expects it to meet resistance after a staff report advised against it, CBC reports.

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