NOTE: This article contains a lot of information, along with video and various social media components. Please scan down to see the latest news on COVID-19:
To all of those who were skeptical and for those who deny it’s a real thing, today is the day everyone needs to start taking COVID-19 seriously. Yesterday the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. WHO officials said they are “deeply concerned by the alarming levels of spread and severity” of the outbreak.
Here is video of the announcement:
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 11, 2020
The effects are being felt already. Last night the NBA took the unprecedented step of suspending the NBA season until further notice. A player from the Utah Jazz has tested positive for COVID-19. The last team to play Utah was …. The Raptors. The team is being spoken to today. The NCAA has announced March Madness will not be played in front of fans this year. Large gatherings are discouraged in many areas so many sports events will not be played over the next few months.
NBA To Suspend Season Following Tonight's Games pic.twitter.com/2PTx2fkLlW
— NBA (@NBA) March 12, 2020
South of the border, last night President Trump made a rare address to the nation and announced various measurers to stop the spread including a flat-out ban on flights to the U.S. from Europe, where the virus appears to be spreading faster than here in North America. It’s projected that the coronavirus pandemic could cost airlines over $100 billion in global revenue. Analysts predict global travel and airlines sales will be worse than in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
Yesterday the federal government announced a $1 billion-dollar funding package to help tackle to growing impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the measures saying the deal would help provincial health-care systems cope with the increasing number of COVID-19 cases — as well as easing the burden for Canadian workers who are forced to isolate themselves.
As COVID-19 continues to spread, we are taking every precaution to minimize the health, economic, and social impacts of the virus in Canada. And today, we announced a billion-dollar COVID-19 Response Fund to address the impacts of the virus on our country and to keep you safe. ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/1HWcDIDTra
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 11, 2020
Worldwide there are now more than 120,000 COVID-19 cases. Nationally, Canada now has more than 100. Here in Ontario, the number climbed to 42 last night. That’s a jump of five over the course of a day. Among the new patients is an oncologist who works at a Hamilton hospital. Premier Ford says he and his counterparts in other provinces are set to meet with the prime minister today. Ford says they’re going to discuss the ongoing COVID-19 situation. The meeting comes a day after Ford announced a $100-million-dollar contingency fund to deal with the outbreak.
Today our government met with leaders from all parties to discuss taking a unified stance on COVID-19. We will continue to work alongside our partners and health officials in the coming weeks. Thank you to all frontline staff who are tirelessly working to keep on Ontarians safe. pic.twitter.com/TIhTbRljLV
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) March 11, 2020
Here are some K.W. events cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday Conestoga College cancelled today’s job fair at the Doon Campus. They said it was out of an abundance of caution. Also: The 56th annual Elmira Maple Syrup Festival has been called off. A statement posted to social media reads cites the WHO declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic.
It is with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of the 2020 Elmira Maple Syrup Festival. pic.twitter.com/VgSe3XUzcJ
— ElmiraMapleSyrupFest (@ElmiraSapfest) March 12, 2020
U.S. government researchers have found that it can linger for hours in the air, and even days on some surfaces. Scientists simulated a cough or sneeze containing the virus by using a nebulizer device. But they stress their work does not prove that anyone has been infected through breathing it from the air or by touching contaminated surfaces.