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Prepare for COVID-19 surge, Ford says
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Apr 06, 2020
Premier Doug Ford told reporters Wednesday that “we know a surge is coming” in COVID-19 illnesses. (iStock.com/ffikretow)

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Ford says ‘a surge is coming’ in COVID-19 cases

Premier Doug Ford told reporters Wednesday that “we know a surge is coming” in COVID-19 illnesses. He went on to say that “very little is separating us” from places such as Spain and Italy, where health-care systems have become overwhelmed. Ford underlined the need for all Ontarians to isolate themselves as much as possible and said that the government will force more businesses to close in the coming days. The province also announced a $50-million Ontario Together fund that will help businesses retool to make gear needed for fighting the pandemic.

As of Wednesday, Ontario reported 2,392 confirmed active cases of COVID-19. Another 689 cases have been resolved and 37 people have died, according to the official tally, but the Toronto Star is reporting 2,806 confirmed or probable cases in the province, including at least 82 deaths.

Public health officials to get ‘more aggressive’

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health says the province needs to begin “more aggressive” contact tracing and management to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 cases. In a memo, Dr. David Williams instructed local health officials to use Section 22 of the Health Promotion and Protection Act, which gives them the power to force people who have the disease, or who have come into contact with someone who has, to be quarantined.

Long-term-care deaths could be higher than reported

At least 30 people have died of COVID-19 in Ontario seniors' facilities, more than double what provincial officials had reported, according to CBC News. Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario's associate chief medical officer of health, said Tuesday afternoon that at least 11 long-term-care residents have died after contracting the coronavirus, but she added that the figure was not up to date. At least 22 seniors’ facilities in Ontario are contending with COVID-19 outbreaks.

Hospital group warns of looming shortages

In a blunt statement, the Ontario Hospital Association has warned that it is “extremely concerned that many Ontario hospitals are running low on personal protective equipment (PPE), particularly masks.” In the statement issued Wednesday afternoon, association president Anthony Dale asked governments to “clearly and specifically inform hospitals on when new PPE supplies will be delivered” and “to work unceasingly to ensure that new supply is provided immediately to Ontario’s hospitals.”

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 Wednesday’s edition.


Watch now

The Agenda: Will COVID-19 end globalization?

Has the pandemic exposed faults in our globalized world? And if so, how will we respond? The Agenda welcomes Daniel Drezner, professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University; Janice Stein, Belzberg Professor of Conflict Management in the department of political science at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto; and Sean Speer, public policy professor at the Munk School.

Impossible Railways: Reaching new heights

Tough climbs, perilous descents, and extreme weather conditions make mountains a challenging obstacle for railroad construction. This episode explores how engineers have faced the mighty Swiss Alps, California's Sierra Nevada, and a near-vertical cliff in southern Australia.


Read now

How do COVID-19 assessment centres work?

a person walking into a COVID-19 assessment centre
Lars Hagberg/CP)

COVID-19 assessment centres are being constructed across the province — some are drive-through, while others are in tents outside hospitals. Emergency-room doctor and health journalist Sahil Gupta explains what goes on inside.

The province isn’t ready for ‘bad-apple’ landlords

Columnist John Michael McGrath looks at the threat of eviction for Ontario’s renters, who in many cases have been laid off or have had working hours cut due to COVID-19. “Ontario’s support for renters so far has ushered in a period of ambiguous anarchy: the law is going to be silent, for the next little while, on whether or not you’re lawfully in your home,” he writes. “But, for now, that’s all the government has said to renters, and it’s entirely unclear what’s going to come after the state of emergency eventually lifts.”


Listen now

#onpoli: What lies ahead for Ontario and COVID-19 

Premier Doug Ford says the province has signed a deal to procure 10,000 ventilators — part of a new surge of funding to help Ontario companies join the fight against COVID-19. Hosts Steve Paikin and John Michael McGrath discuss the announcement and whether it's an indicator of even more difficult times ahead. Also, why officials are hesitant to release projections about the number of expected cases, and how the City of Toronto is escalating the punishment for people who don’t self-isolate.


Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: COVID-19 deniers

Why are some people less willing to fall in line with physical distancing and self-isolation? To help understand their resistance, The Agenda speaks with Steve Joordens, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough; Peter Loewen, a political science professor at the University of Toronto; and Amanda Galbraith, a principal at the communications firm Navigator.

9 p.m. — The Innocence Network: The Barry Gibbs case

After a sex worker was found strangled next to a Brooklyn highway in 1986, Vietnam War veteran Barry Gibbs was sentenced to life in prison for her murder. Gibbs maintained his innocence and contacted the Innocence Project New York, which uncovered a trail of police corruption and Mafia connections.

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