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Lessons from SARS and dealing with the new coronavirus
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Feb 04, 2020
Now British Columbia's health officer, Bonnie Henry was on the front lines of the SARS crisis 17 years ago. (Jonathan Hayward/CP)

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Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following


Negotiations and strikes continue in teacher standoff

The province and the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario continued negotiations Friday, while talks have been scheduled with two other teachers’ unions next week. However, strikes still loom. Without a deal, both the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association will stage one-day strikes on Tuesday. The ETFO is planning a series of one-day rotating strikes next week — including a province-wide, day-long stoppage on Thursday.


First Canadian coronavirus patient released from Toronto hospital

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre sent Canada’s first confirmed coronavirus patient home Friday, CTV reports. In a statement, the hospital said that the man’s condition had improved “to the point where he no longer required in-patient care.” Also Friday, Ontario public health officials announced a person from London has tested positive for the virus, becoming the province’s third confirmed case.


A $6,000 bill sheds light on prison-phone system

Over the course of three months, a 65-year-old woman in a Montreal seniors’ home racked up a $6,072.12 phone bill, drawing attention to Ontario’s controversial prison-phone contract. The Globe and Mail reports that the charges are largely the result of calls from her son, who at the time was at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre. The province’s contract with Bell has been criticized by prisoner advocacy groups that say families are paying too much to talk with loved ones in jail.



Watch now


The Agenda: Dealing with the new coronavirus

With three confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ontario, The Agenda discusses the province's preparedness, progress on a new vaccine, and what our health system learned from the 2003 SARS outbreak.


Brilliant Ideas: The Playful Public Art of Luke Jerram

Have you ever seen a piano, free to play, in a public park? How about at a bus stop? If so, you’ve likely come across the work of artist Luke Jerram, whose whimsical installation “Play Me, I'm Yours” has visited cities around the world. His creations include large-scale installations, performance art, and intricate glass sculpture.



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Lessons from SARS, Part 3: The public-health officer

In the last instalment in his three-part series, Matt Gurney speaks to Dr. Bonnie Henry. Currently British Columbia’s health officer, Henry discusses her experience in Toronto during the 2003 SARS epidemic and the lessons we can apply to the coronavirus outbreak.



This weekend on TVO


Saturday, 9 p.m. — There Are No Fakes

Shortly after buying a painting believed to be by Indigenous art star Norval Morrisseau, musician Kevin Hearn learned he may have been duped by a fake. The world broadcast premiere of this TVO Original documentary traces the origin of Hearn's painting, and unravels the complex tale of a lucrative art forgery ring in Thunder Bay.


Sunday, 10 p.m. — Political Blind Date: Subways

This week’s episode brings together Toronto city councillors Jim Karygiannis and Anthony Perruzza to discuss how to approach the politically fraught issue of building new subways.



From the archive


Nov. 13, 2000 — On guard against the spread of disease

While cities around the world work to curtail the spread of the new coronavirus, this episode of More to Life looks back at how Canada dealt with disease control 20 years ago. Dr. Jay Keystone, an infectious disease specialist, speaks about guarding against malaria, tuberculosis, and West Nile virus.

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