Dentists, optometrists and other providers in Ontario will soon be able to start taking clients again. They’re included in a list of more than two dozen health-care providers that can gradually reopen after being closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also on the list: chiropracters, physiotherapists, psychologists, dieticians, denturists, and midwives are also included on the list released as part of a new order from the province’s chief medical officer of health. A spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott said while the order takes effect immediately, that does not mean that all health services are available. The bodies that regulate those professions will have to develop health and safety guidance before allowing the services to continue.
Here is Premier Ford’s news conference from yesterday:
Long-Term Care Homes:
Ontario is taking over the management of five more long-term care homes battling COVID-19 outbreaks following the release of that damning Armed Forces report. Four of the homes were included in that report; outlining neglect, poor infection controls and feeding problems at homes where troops have been deployed. The fifth is the Camilla Care Community where 61 residents have died from the outbreak. Premier Ford says the province will be conducting `”extremely rigorous” inspections of the homes, as well as 13 others facing challenges managing COVID-19. He says it will also be doing random spot checks across the province and is fully prepared to take over management of more homes or shut down facilities if necessary.
Ontario only had 292 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. It was the second straight day of fewer than 300 new cases. The number of tests reported also jumped to more than 15,000, from just under 10,000 on Monday.
Ontario Emergency Order Extended:
The province has extended the emergency orders until June 9th. That means Ontarians won’t be allowed to dine in bars and restaurants, gather in groups larger than five or use playground equipment until that date at the earliest. The emergency orders had been set to expire on Friday. Ontario has been in a state of emergency since March 17th.
Today we took decisive action to protect residents in long-term care. Our seniors deserve nothing less than dignity and respect. Here’s today’s update: pic.twitter.com/UTnH3devYF
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) May 27, 2020
First Ministers Call:
The Team Canada spirit that has prevailed among first ministers during the COVID-19 crisis will be put to the test today. During his eleventh first ministers’ conference call, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to address two topics that fall squarely within provincial jurisdiction — the operation of long-term care homes and paid sick leave for workers. The PM has promised federal support in both areas, but the offer received a mixed reaction from the provincial and territorial leaders.
Are you between the ages of 15 and 30 and looking to put your skills to use? There are thousands of job opportunities available across the country right now, and more are being added – this is your chance! Take a look at the openings and apply today: https://t.co/uTjXneGWzS pic.twitter.com/s34DzEQqZx
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 27, 2020
Painting Lines in Parks:
Things will look a little different at Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods Park later today. The park — which drew criticism after a crowd of thousands gathered there over the weekend — is getting a paint job. City officials say they’re going to paint circles on the ground to show what is (and is not) appropriate physical distancing. Premier Doug Ford has urged everyone who was at the hotspot on Saturday to get tested for COVID-19.
Park staff will be in Trinity Bellwoods Park tomorrow painting circles on the grass to help illustrate proper physical distancing measurements, while also encouraging compliance during a time when personal responsibility is so important. pic.twitter.com/uSazJ1UgHq
— John Tory (@JohnTory) May 27, 2020
The G7 Meeting:
Prime Minister Trudeau says before the United States hosts an in-person gathering of G7 leaders, it needs to first have a plan to deal with the potential COVID-19 risk. The Trump administration has been talking recently about resuming plans to reconvene the G7 in or near Washington DC sometime next month. While Trudeau says a physical meeting would be more effective than the virtual alternative, there are multiple health and safety issues to be tackled first.
Here is Prime Minister Trudeau’s news conference from yesterday:
Grim Outlook For The Housing Market:
A special housing market outlook from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. predicts fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic will still be felt by the end of 2022. The federal housing agency says it expects home prices to decline between 9 and 18 per cent, and as much as 25 per cent in oil-producing regions, before starting to recover by mid-2021. CMHC says home sales could decline by 19 to 29 per cent from pre-COVID levels before starting to recover late this year. Home building will also be affected, with housing starts expected to see declines of between 50 and 75 per cent this year compared with pre-COVID-19 levels before starting to rebound next year.
New Cases in New Brunswick:
Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting the province’s third case of COVID-19 in less than a week. Chief Medical Officer of Health, Doctor Jennifer Russell says the latest case involves a person in their 50’s from the Campbellton area, bordering on Quebec. Russell says all three cases are a single cluster related to someone who travelled but did not self-isolate upon return.
100,000 Americans Have Now Died From The Coronavirus:
The U.S. has surpassed a jarring milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic: 100,000 Americans are dead. Officials suggest that number is a “best estimate,” noting that it most assuredly is an undercount. The once-unthinkable toll appears to be just the beginning of untold misery in the months ahead as Las Vegas casinos, and Walt Disney World make plans to reopen, crowds of unmasked Americans swarm beaches and public health officials predict a resurgence by fall.
Disney World Reopening:
Walt Disney World plans to reopen July 11, according to a presentation the company made to an economic recovery task force yesterday. Disney’s Florida theme parks have been closed since March 15 because of the coronavirus pandemic, and their reopening will follow its Florida rival, Universal Orlando, which is set to reopen June 5. SeaWorld Orlando also presented its plan to Orange County’s Economic Recovery Task Force and plans to re-open for employees as soon as June 10, and the public on June 11.
Waterloo Region Numbers:
The COVID-19 count now sits at 1,095 after 6 new cases were reported yesterday by Region of Waterloo Public Health. The death toll remains at 113 as no new deaths were reported yesterday. 775 cases have been resolved in the area. That’s 71% and means there are only 207 active cases at the moment. For a second day in-a-row, no new coronavirus cases were reported yesterday in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph. Now 104 of the 136 cases in Guelph have been resolved.
Planning to Reopen City Hall:
Waterloo Region and area municipalities say they are making tentative plans to begin reopen city halls and administrative buildings in the coming weeks. They are waiting for the province to announce Phase 2, which could happen by mid-June. Until then work is being done for reopening. Plexiglas barriers are going in in customer service areas and on buses, rules for physical distancing are being implemented, more hand sanitizing stations are being added and even more services are being added online.
Contains files from The CanadianPress
Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube