More regions of Ontario are moving into the second stage of the province’s reopening plan today, including parts of the Greater Toronto Area. York, Durham and Niagara are among the areas allowed to further open their economies, though Toronto, Peel and Windsor-Essex will remain in the first stage until at least next Friday. In the second stage, restaurants can open up their patios and hairdressers can accept clients — all with proper physical distancing. Much of the province entered this stage last week.
The lowest number of new COVID19 cases since late March. That was reported yesterday by the Province. There were only 173 new cases and just three deaths. The numbers of patients with COVID-19 in hospital, in intensive care and on ventilators all dropped to their lowest levels since the province started publicly reporting those figures at the beginning of April. Overall, Canada has now surpassed 100,000 total cases of COVID19.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) June 19, 2020
Mobile App for Contact Tracing:
Premier Ford is encouraging Ontarians to download a new mobile app to help track the spread of COVID19. The app — named COVID Shield — is expected to launch in the province on July 2nd and will soon roll out nationwide ahead of a potential second wave of the virus in the fall. The app will notify people if they were within two metres of a person who tests positive for COVID19 and if that contact was over an extended period of time. Ford says privacy for users was the top priority in developing the app and its success will depend on people downloading and using it.
Here is Premier Ford’s news conference from yesterday:
Federal Deficit Projection:
The parliamentary budget officer says in a new report that this year’s federal deficit could hit $256-billion-dollars. The result is the combination of an estimated total of $169-billion-dollars in federal spending on emergency aid and a historic drop in economic output due to the COVID19 pandemic. The budget office estimates the economy could shrink by 6.8 per cent this year, which would make it the weakest showing since 1981. Yves Giroux stresses that the figures are the outcome of one of many possible scenarios and not a certain forecast.
Mid-sized Canadian businesses that are strapped for cash because of COVID19 can now apply through their own banks to get loans. The federal government will loan up to $60 million dollars. The loans are set to be administered by the Business Development Bank of Canada. It’s for companies with revenues between 100 million and half a billion dollars that were financially viable before the pandemic.
Here is Prime Minister Trudeau’s news conference from yesterday:
Toronto’s medical officer of health says the city has reached the tragic milestone of one-thousand deaths due to COVID19. Dr. Eileen de Villa is expressing condolences to everyone who has lost a friend, family member or loved one to the virus. De Villa says in a statement that things could have been a lot worse without the commitment of the community to public health measures. But she warns the city will see more deaths from COVID19 because the virus is still circulating.
— Stephen Lecce (@Sflecce) June 18, 2020
New York Reopening on Monday:
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says restaurants will be allowed to open with outdoor seating on Monday. De Blasio says the outdoor seating plan will provide a lifeline for New York’s crucial restaurant industry. He says that for New Yorkers, restaurants are “part of our identity.” The rest of New York state is farther along in the re-opening process than New York City, which was the epicenter of the virus in the United States.
Poll on Donald Trump:
A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that Americans are deeply unhappy about the state of their country — and Donald Trump. The survey also reveals that a majority think the president is exacerbating tensions in a moment of national crisis. Most Americans say the country is heading in the wrong direction, including 63 per cent of Republicans. Close to two-thirds of Americans say Trump is making America more divided. There now 2,182,285 cases of coronavirus in the U.S. There have been 118,296 deaths.
Chinese Second Wave?
This is a little odd. China’s capital has reported a decline in newly confirmed cases of COVID19. A public health expert says a recent outbreak in Beijing is under control and the number of new cases should drop in the coming days. Beijing is reporting 21 cases, down from 31 yesterday. Authorities have confirmed 158 cases in the city in the past week — most linked to a major wholesale food market where thousands of people work. There are many who believe China manipulated their numbers to downplay the virus when the pandemic first began earlier this year.
Waterloo Region Numbers:
There were only 4 new COVID19 cases reported yesterday by Waterloo Region Public Health and the number of resolved cases jumped to 1,024. That’s an increase of 4, so there are only 86 active cases in the region right now. Of those, only 11 are hospitalized. Again, no new deaths were reported yesterday.
Your social circle, or household bubble, are your close contacts. If it makes sense for your household, you can now expand your bubble up to 10 people. But you can only be in one bubble, so there are things to consider. Check out the five steps at https://t.co/SQNVBNSiXC pic.twitter.com/zPZWazcM8s
— Region of Waterloo Public Health (@ROWPublicHealth) June 17, 2020
Yesterday Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph reported 6 new COVID19 cases. Wellington had 2, Dufferin County had 1 and the rest were in Guelph. Of the 434 cases, only 6 are in hospital at the moment.
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot