COVID-19: What you need to know for May 6

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on May 06, 2020

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This article was last updated at 4:38 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 18,722 cases in Ontario, an increase of 412; 1,032
    people are in hospital, 219 of them in intensive care and 174 on ventilators. To date, 1,429 people have died.
  • According to today's report from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 174 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 2,819 confirmed cases in residents and 1,621 confirmed cases in staff. To date, there have been 1,074 confirmed resident deaths.
  • Barbara Yaffe, the associate chief medical officer of health, said today that, to date, 3,013 health-care workers have tested positive. She also said that there are 68 outbreaks in retirement homes and 150 related deaths.
  • Ontario's chief medical officer of health, David Williams, said today that the province will begin collecting race-based and socioeconomic data from positive cases. Yaffe noted that such questions will be voluntary.
covid chart
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
  • Premier Doug Ford said today that, as of 12:01 a.m. on May 8, garden centres and nurseries will be allowed to open and that, as of 12:01 a.m on May 9, hardware stores and safety-supply stores will be allowed to open. The province will also allow below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects, such as apartments and condominiums, to begin; existing above-grade projects can continue. As of 12:01 a.m. on May 11, non-essential retail businesses with a street entrance will be allowed to provide curbside pickup.
  • An Ipsos survey has found that 45 per cent of Ontarians say their mental health has deteriorated since COVID-19 began; 67 per cent of respondents feel the mental-health impacts will be serious and lasting. The survey also found that 42 per cent of Ontario adults have increased substance or gambling use since the pandemic started, and more than half the parent survyed had noticed behavioural changes in their child. The survey was commissioned by Addictions and Mental Health Ontario and Children's Mental Health Ontario.

  • Vic Fedeli, the province's minister of economic development, job creation, and trade, today announced the first successful recipient of Ontario Together funding: Oakville-based Virox Technologies will be investing in high-speed manufacturing-assembly line that will allow it to double its production of disinfectant wipes.

  • As of May 14, the LCBO will be extending its hours in 360 of its stores, which will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Currently, all stores are opening only from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday closures will continue at all stores for the time being. 

  • Nanos poll finds that 44 per cent of Canadians have felt stressed "regularly or all the time" due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • The Ontario government announced today that, on the advice of the chief medical officer of health, it will be extending all emergency orders until May 19. It will also be extending emergency electricity-rate relief to families, small businesses, and farms until May 31.
  • The Ontario government has lowered the prices of whisky, gin, rum, and other spirits to support restaurants and bars that have been affected by COVID-19. It is also making it easier for cideries to sell directly to consumers.

  • The Police Association of Ontario, which represents 18,000 local police officers around the province, says its members are not looking for any wage supplement during the pandemic to match the top-ups being offered to front-line health-care workers. PAO President Bruce Chapman says that Ontario's police forces will honour the collective-bargaining agreements they've signed with local municipalities: "Ontario's sworn and civilian municipal police personnel expect no more, and no less, than their contracts dictate."

  • Mélanie Joly, Canada's minister of economic development, has confirmed that the federal government is holding talks with the auto industry and labour groups on how to kickstart the industry.

Greater Toronto Area

  • According to today's report, there are 6,665 cases in Toronto, 391 of them in hospital and 99 in intensive care. To date, there have been 115 institutional outbreaks. In total, 504 people have died.
  • Toronto mayor John Tory said at a press conference this afternoon that Transportation Services and Toronto Public Health are working together on ActiveTO, a plan to provide more space for pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders to allow for better physical distancing. The plan, he said, "will create more quiet streets — these will be local routes with traffic-calming measures implemented very quickly as to enable local car traffic only and open up more space for cyclists and pedestrians." The quiet streets will roll out "fairly quickly," and the initial target is for 50 kilometres. Some roads will be closed completely on weekends. He also said that the city will expand and accelerate parts of the city's cycling-infrastructure plan.
  • According to a press release from the City of Toronto, "a second COVID-19 recovery site will open on Friday for individuals experiencing homelessness who are COVID-19 positive through a unique partnership between the City of Toronto, University Health Network, Inner City Health Associates and community health partners. The new downtown site has a capacity for up to 250 individuals who test positive for COVID-19."
  • The Markham Fair, originally scheduled for October 1-4, has been cancelled.
  • The union representing taxi and limo drivers working out of Pearson International Airport in Toronto says at least 10 of its members have died since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Toronto Star reports.

Indigenous

  • Nishnawbe Aski Nation has posted guidance for funerals and bereavement during COVID-19.
  • RoseAnne Archibald, regional chief of Ontario, issued a press release saying that she "fully supports Chief Debassige and the council of M’Chigeeng First Nation and the continued implementation of a non-essential travel ban, with checkpoints entering into their community."
  • Courtney Skye, a research fellow at Yellowhead Institute, tells the CBC that insufficient data is being collected and reported about COVID-19 in Indigenous communities: "There's all these ways in which lived realities of First Nations are not captured and represented fairly. Clearly, First Nations have less access to health care, reporting, transparency. It's frustration because you want to see people treated fairly, and considered equally."

Northern

  • The City of Greater Sudbury is extending hours at the Sudbury Community Arena "to ensure a safe, indoor space for people outside of overnight shelter hours."  
  • Canadian Lakehead Exhibition president Al Law is advising his board to cancel the annual fair.

  • Transport Canada has sets a June 30 date for launching tour boats, such the MS Kenora.

Eastern

  • Kingston's Skeleton Park Arts Festival, scheduled for June 17-21, has been cancelled

  • Ottawa mayor Jim Watson says that, effective immediately, green spaces in all city parks will be open to the public. He also says the city has developed a plan to allow window visits at long-term-care homes beginning tomorrow. 

  • Two Liberal MPPs from Ottawa are asking the province to step in and install "management oversight" at the city's Madonna Community Care home, where at least 30 residents have died of COVID-19.

  • An employee at a Real Canadian Superstore in Orléans has tested positive for COVID-19. 

  • A $10-million class action lawsuit has been launched by a Peterborough lawyer against an Ottawa lab that produced false-positive COVID-19 tests. The Peterborough Examiner reports that eight people who live or work at Case Manor long-term-care home in Bobcaygeon are suing for financial losses and emotional harm.

Southwestern

  • Waterloo Region Public Health is considering collecting race-related and socio-economic data related to COVID-19 outbreaks, the Kitchener-Waterloo Record reports.

  • A COVID-19–related nursing-home lawsuit has been announced against Revera, the Kitchener-Waterloo Record reports

  • London city council has approved several more relief measures for residents. According to a news release, these measures include the launch of a London Good Food Box program, a housing-stability bank program, and rent deferrals on city-owned properties. The city is also expanding a program that offers high-speed internet at reduced prices for tenants of public housing.
  • John Yoo, the new dean of Western University's Schulich School of Medicine and Dentristry, tells the London Free Press that COVID-19 will change how medicine is taught — for example, by placing a greater emphasis on virtual learning.

  • International students in Windsor are turning to food banks and other charities, the Windsor Star reports.

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