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Public-health officials stage 'mutiny'
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Jun 02, 2020
There is debate in Ontario about how the province should reopen its economy. (iStock/Kameleon007)

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Good morning, Ontario. 

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Public-health officials stage ‘mutiny’ against province’s COVID-19 plan

The heads of all 34 local public-health units in Ontario have signed on to a plan that diverges from the province’s COVID-19 strategy in key ways. It lays out more detailed conditions for reopening, such as a two- to four-week decline in new daily cases and a seven-day decline in new illnesses caused by community spread. It also suggests taking a region-by-region rather than a provincewide approach to reopening. “It’s a mutiny. Wow,” said Andrew Morris, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Toronto, to the Toronto Star.

In response, Premier Doug Ford said yesterday that he’s listening to what public officials have to say but that he disagrees with the regional-reopening approach. He argued that people from areas with high COVID-19 numbers would end up travelling to regions with fewer restrictions, creating more spread.

Ford says inspectors refused to enter long-term-care homes

Ford said yesterday that some long-term-care inspectors represented by OPSEU refused to work at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ford was responding to allegations that the province has been too lax in enforcing LTC rules and to reports that some inspections have been conducted by phone during the pandemic. “I’ve been taking bullets every day up here for the union,” Ford said, thanking OPSEU president Warren “Smokey” Thomas for getting his members back to work. (The government acknowledged that, under labour laws, inspectors have the right to refuse work they feel is unsafe.) 
Thomas released a statement in response, saying, “We never told our members not to go into long-term homes. There was not one work refusal. Managers gave direction not to enter the long-term-care homes.”


Uptick in COVID-19 cases due to province reopening, minister says

Health Minister Christine Elliott said that the slightly higher number of new COVID-19 cases reported yesterday was due to the province’s decision to begin reopening the economy last week. There were 383 new cases reported Wednesday, up from 287 and 292 the previous two days. She said the government is comfortable with yesterday’s numbers, but added that, if the number of new cases per day rises into the 400s and 500s, the province will have to consider slowing the economic recovery. Elliott said it will be at least a week before the province can consider further loosening economic restrictions.


TVO.org publishing regional updates

Every day, we publish a collection of COVID-19 news items from across the province. Please visit TVO.org for the latest. Here is Thursday’s edition.

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