Premier Ford says testing protocols for COVID-19 have been expanded and anybody who feels they were exposed to the virus can be tested. Ford says even asymptomatic people can get tested, marking a shift in previous testing practices. He made the comments yesterday saying no one will be turned away from an assessment centre and appointments are not necessary. Yesterday Ontario reported 460 new cases of the virus and another 25 deaths.
Here are Premier Ford’s remarks from yesterday:
House of Commons to Resume:
The House of Commons is meeting today to decide, again, how it will function as COVID-19 restrictions gradually lift across the country. The governing Liberals have put four sittings a week on the table, comprised of a special committee to talk about the pandemic and how the government is responding to it. A hybrid system with some M.P.’s in the Commons chamber in Ottawa and others participating by video conference would be utilized. Four days would also be scattered through the summer when M.P.’s could press cabinet ministers on other issues unrelated to the pandemic.
Justin Trudeau wants an audience, not an Opposition. This is weak leadership. He’s letting you down.
Parliament must resume so that Conservatives can keep getting results for Canadians. pic.twitter.com/PpKpZ0HcO2
— Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) May 25, 2020
Trinity Bellwoods Park:
Officials are condemning the behaviour of people who flooded a downtown Toronto park Saturday, saying we could cause a surge in COVID-19 cases. A statement from the City says thousands of people packed Trinity Bellwoods Park on one of the first warm days of the year, ignoring physical distancing rules. Toronto has made it illegal to come within two metres of someone from a different household in parks and public squares. Those who break the bylaw could be handed a $1,000 dollar ticket.
We’re not out of the woods yet. COVID-19 remains a serious health threat. Even as the weather gets nicer, we need to follow public health rules – or we risk losing the progress we’ve made. So wash your hands, keep two metres apart from others, and protect our front line workers.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 23, 2020
Toronto Mayor John Tory received some criticism for speaking with people at Trinity Bellwoods Park without physically distancing or wearing a mask over his nose and mouth. Yesterday he issued this statement:
I want to apologize for my personal behaviour yesterday. I visited Trinity Bellwoods Park to try to determine why things were the way they were. pic.twitter.com/2x1OIrnKI9
— John Tory (@JohnTory) May 25, 2020
Drive-Thru Eid Celebrations:
A mosque in the Toronto-area says it was still able to celebrate Eid with thousands of people while remaining physically distant. The Islamic Society of North America in Mississauga held a drive-thru service where two thousand cars with families dropped by to receive gifts. Eid al-Fitr is an Islamic holiday that celebrates the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. The chair of the mosque’s board, says it was great to still celebrate Eid despite the uncertainty of the pandemic.
An accountability group is calling on Ottawa and the provinces to make crucial COVID-19 records open by default as a measure of accountability to Canadians. The Canadian COVID-19 Accountability Group includes academics, lawyers and watchdog organizations. A report by the coalition says both public and private bodies have been less than transparent about what steps, both politically and financially, have been taken to slow the spread of the disease.
Predicting a Pandemic:
The Canadian researcher who was among the first to predict COVID-19’s deadly spread is calling for changes to the way the world monitors and reacts to such outbreaks. Doctor Kamran Khan and his team created the pandemic-predicting software — BlueDot. He says it uses big data and artificial intelligence to forecast potentially serious viral outbreaks. Khan adds this type of early-warning system is needed as the threat of a second wave looms large on the horizon.
A lot of people are asking when we'll get back to normal, but normal didn't work for so many
We can't ever go back to normal
We need to build a new normal – a better future
— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) May 21, 2020
Waterloo Region Numbers:
Yesterday’s update from Waterloo Region Public Health included four new COVID-19 cases and once again, no new deaths. That’s 4-days in a row without a fatality. The death toll remains at 112 and there are now 1,078 cases with 713 resolved. Of the cases in Waterloo Region, 58% of the infections are in women. 27% are healthcare workers. The majority of the cases, 73%, are in Kitchener.
Yesterday Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health confirmed 3-new cases for a total of 365. None of the new cases were in Guelph. Of those infected in the Region, 220 are recovered and there have been 33-deaths. Of the active cases, 8 are in hospital, 3 in the ICU and 74 are self isolating.
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot