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Ontario recommends increased distancing
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Mar 31, 2020
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Good morning, Ontario.

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Ontario recommends increased distancing

Ontario's chief medical officer of health, David Williams, released a statement yesterday recommending that people stay home except for accessing health services, buying groceries, and walking their pets as necessary. He also said people over 70 should self-isolate and see other people only for “essential reasons.” Premier Doug Ford commented Monday that, over the weekend, “the streets were packed and it’s unacceptable.”

This came on the same day that the province announced 10 new deaths as a result of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 33. As of Monday, there were 1,706 confirmed active positive cases in Ontario. Another 431 cases have been resolved.

More measures for seniors

A long-term care home in Bobcaygeon is fighting an outbreak of COVID-19 that had resulted in nine deaths as of Monday afternoon. “It’s a war zone,” said Dr. Michelle Snarr, the facility’s medical director. In response, the provincial government has said it will introduce increased safety measures for vulnerable populations. Premier Doug Ford said Monday that the province is working to build an “iron ring of protection” around seniors. As part of the plan, Ford announced $10 million in funding to support community groups that coordinate meal delivery and other services for the elderly.

Province working to secure equipment

The government is “working every contact we have” to secure protective equipment such as masks and gloves for frontline workers, Doug Ford said Monday. “It will take time for local production to ramp up and for new supplies to reach us,” he said. “The reality is if there’s a massive surge of people coming into our hospitals in the next two weeks, our supply lines will be seriously challenged.”

According to journalist Randy Rath, the premier’s office has also been in contact with Abbott Laboratories to get the company’s rapid COVID-19 testing kits approved for use. According to Abbott, its test can return results in a matter of minutes.

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 Monday’s edition.


Watch now

The Agenda: Will virtual medicine become the new normal?

Will the COVID-19 pandemic push the province toward virtual medical care? Dr. Aman Sidhu, a respirologist with the University Health Network’s transplant program in Toronto, explains how physicians and patients can adapt to physical distancing.

Digging for Britain: West

Alice Roberts shares archeological discoveries from western Britain, including a Roman bath house, a German camp, and the biggest maritime excavation since the Mary Rose warship was salvaged.

Listen now

#onpoli: A grim warning from Doug Ford

Since the COVID-19 crisis started, Premier Doug Ford has been giving daily news conferences, assuring Ontarians that the government is working to procure more medical devices and protective equipment. But today’s briefing came with a stark warning: stay inside, because Ontario does not have the supplies for a sudden surge in cases. Podcast hosts Steve Paikin and John Michael McGrath discuss the change in messaging and dig into the details of the federal government’s wage subsidy.

Read now

Think the COVID-19 crisis spells the end of the traditional workplace? Think again

home office
(twitter.com/spaikin)

Across the province, people have been asked to avoid the workplace — and that applies to us at TVO, too. Steve Paikin writes about the challenges he has faced while working on The Agenda from home: “[T]he wonderful state-of-the-art digital equipment we normally use can’t be used now, leaving our program looking decidedly second-best. And anyone who feels that the kind of chemistry one can create with guests sitting in close proximity to one another in a studio can be replicated over Skype from numerous different locations — well, trust me, it just can’t.”

The joy of cooking in quarantine

food plates
Photo by Corey Mintz

With self-isolation and physical distancing, many Ontarians are spending more time in the kitchen than they’ve been accustomed to doing. Food columnist Corey Mintz offers advice on how to plan for and prepare delicious meals while you’re stuck indoors.


Tonight on TVO

8 p.m. — The Agenda: Talking to children about COVID-19

How do you talk to kids about a pandemic? Parenting expert Alyson Schafer discusses the effect that social distancing has on children.

9 p.m. — The Home Show

There is no silver-bullet solution for the housing crisis. But creative approaches — such as tiny houses, canal boats, and shipping containers — can make a difference when combined with bold public policy. This is the latest instalment in The Housing Gap, TVO’s month-long documentary series looking at affordable-housing challenges in Ontario and around the world.

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