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The best- and worst-case COVID-19 scenarios
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Apr 06, 2020
Official projections released Friday show coronavirus cases could skyrocket from just over 3,000 now to 80,000 by April 30 if increased public health measures aren’t adopted. (CP24.com)

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Good morning, Ontario

Here's what we're following

Province releases COVID-19 projections

Official projections released Friday show coronavirus cases could skyrocket from just over 3,000 now to 80,000 by April 30 if increased public health measures aren’t adopted. According to provincial health officials, steps already taken by the government and public have helped avert nearly 220,000 potential COVID-19 cases, and additional measures could limit the total number of cases by the end of the month to 12,500. “We must take these warnings seriously,” Premier Doug Ford said in response to the projections. “We must recognize that the numbers also show that everything we’ve done so far, everything we’ve done together since this started, is working.”

More businesses ordered to close

Queen’s Park has trimmed the list of “essential” workplaces from 74 to 44. Among those remaining open are grocery stores and pharmacies, transportation services, financial services, and companies needed to maintain supply chains. Non-essential construction sites are among the workplaces that will now close. The LCBO and the Beer Store will remain open, but in-person cannabis shops will not. The changes take effect at midnight tonight.

Trudeau and Ford warn U.S. about mask export restrictions

Manufacturing giant 3M says it’s been told by the Trump administration to stop sending personal protective equipment to Canada and Latin America, a move that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned would be a “mistake,” Politico reports. He added that keeping back-and-forth trade across the border is crucial for both countries. Premier Doug Ford said he has already brought up the White House order with U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer, and would also be calling the president of 3M Canada.

TVO.org publishing regional updates

Every day, we will publish a collection of news items from across the province about the pandemic. Please visit TVO.org for the latest. Here is Friday’s edition.


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#onpoli: Ontario’s oncoming COVID-19 toll 

Dr. David Fisman, an epidemiologist with the University of Toronto, joins the podcast to explain why he believes the actual COVID-19 toll is likely to be even worse than the numbers released by the province on Friday. Health officials said their data predict 3,000 to 15,000 deaths over the course of the pandemic, which could last two years. Some 1,600 of those fatalities are expected in April alone if no further public health measures are taken. 


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The Agenda: Polly and the pandemic

During the 2019 federal election, The Agenda showcased Polly — an artificial intelligence created by Ottawa-based Advanced Symbolics — which measures the mood of the public using social media data. With the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed like a good time to check in with Polly again. Erin Kelly, CEO of Advanced Symbolics, joins the show.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Inside the Brockville Psych

What happens to people who suffer from mental illness and commit violent crimes? Some are sent to forensic psychiatric hospitals, where they disappear from public view. Filmmaker John Kastner gained unprecedented access to one such facility, the Brockville Mental Health Centre.


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Ontario's COVID-19 numbers: Where we are now and where we may be headed

Provincial public-health officials briefed the media Friday on the best- and worst-case scenarios for Ontario's COVID-19 outbreak. They outlined the lives already saved by isolation measures, and the lives still at risk if current trends continue. Columnist John Michael McGrath lays out the repercussions of the announcement. "What we don’t have any clarity on, or even any real guidance on, is when some of these measures may start being lifted," he writes. "The modelled results still show more than 800 people in ICU beds by the end of April. Will schools really reopen on May 4 as currently planned? How long can Toronto’s population of apartment-dwellers reasonably be asked to stay home when so many of them don’t have as much as a backyard to relieve the stress of confinement in? The models tell us many things, but today they couldn’t tell us that."

Why you should think twice before heading to the cottage

City-dwellers with summer homes are fleeing major centres, hoping to wait out COVID-19 more comfortably. But can cottage-country health-care services handle an increased load? Northeastern Ontario journalist Nick Dunne examines the issue.


This weekend on TVO

Saturday, 9 p.m. — Coppers

In this TVO Original, documentary filmmaker Alan Zweig examines the lives of retired police officers with a hard-hitting and empathetic look behind the fabled “blue wall.” Policing is a profession marked by adrenaline and chaos, but also by suicide and relationship breakdown. Zweig’s trademark probing interviews shed light on what it really means to serve and protect.

Sunday, 9 p.m. — Forgotten

Starting in the 1860s and for nearly a century, more than 100,000 children were brought to Canada from the United Kingdom to work as indentured servants for farm families. Director Eleanor McGrath's documentary about the British “home children” and their descendants examines this oft-forgotten part of the country’s history.

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