On Friday many regions outside the G.T.H.A. made the move to “Phase 2” of the COVID19 reopening plan. Restaurant patios, hair salons, nail salons, shopping malls and more opened their doors for the first time in nearly 3-months. Today the government will announce which, (if any) more regions are moving to Phase 2 this Friday.
Ontarians Can Now Have A Social Circle of 10:
Households in Ontario are being allowed to create social circles of up to 10 people without having to practise physical distancing. Chief medical officer of health Doctor David Williams says if a household has less than 10 people they can add to their circle, but a person can only be part of one group. Premier Ford says the change means people can finally hug a grandparent or share a meal with their parents or closest friends.
Follow these 5 steps from @celliottability to build a safe social circle.
A social circle is a group of set people who you do not have to social distance with. pic.twitter.com/BArMvsQV5t
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) June 14, 2020
Weddings and Funerals
The Ontario government is easing restrictions on wedding and funeral ceremonies as part of the phased reopening during the COVID19 pandemic. The number of people allowed to attend an indoor ceremony is restricted to 30 per cent capacity of the venue, while outdoor events will be limited to 50 people. However, the number of people allowed to attend all wedding and funeral receptions remains at 10. Guests must follow health and safety protocols, including to physically distance from people not from the same household or their established 10-person social circle.
Here is Premier Ford’s news conference from Friday:
Ontario reported another 197 cases of COVID19 yesterday for a new total of 32,189 confirmed cases. There were also 12 new deaths for a new toll of 2,519. The province was able to complete more than 23,000 tests, which is a drop from previous days, but officials generally test at lower numbers on weekends. There are currently 103 people in intensive care with the coronavirus and 77 are on a ventilator.
A woman is facing charges after police say she fraudulently tried to open bank accounts in Toronto with the aim of applying for the federal COVID19 aid benefit. Police say the 40-year-old Montreal woman travelled to Toronto for the sole purpose of fraudulently making applications for the CERB. They say her aim was to open up various bank accounts but officers seized counterfeit ID during the investigation. She has been charged with fraud, uttering a forged document, impersonation and more.
As stores and offices re-open, Canadian businesses can make a commitment to help employees and customers stay safe from COVID-19 by following five key steps that help prevent the virus from spreading – the #POSTPromise: https://t.co/4TX6Omrhut pic.twitter.com/ZOKBc0Bpr2
— Filomena Tassi (@FilomenaTassi) June 14, 2020
National Housing Council COVID19 Controversy:
Despite last year’s vow to tackle the country’s broken housing system, the Trudeau government has left a proposed council, tasked with finding solutions, unstaffed. The Liberals say delays in appointments to the national housing council can be chalked up to the COVID19 pandemic — even though applications closed last October and the pandemic didn’t hit until mid-March. Leilani Farha, the head of a human rights and housing group, says that while Ottawa’s primary pandemic response has been to “stay home,” they have dropped the ball and left many with no home to stay in.
Nova Scotia Reopening:
Nova Scotia reported no new cases of COVID19 over the weekend. The welcome news came as the province prepared to re-open its licensed child-care centres and family day care homes. As of today, child-care centres can begin reopening at 50 per cent capacity and they’ll be able to increase to full capacity if they meet public health guidelines. Family daycare homes can re-open at full capacity. Meanwhile, provincial campgrounds can reopen today at reduced capacity.
More Americans Flying:
It seems more people are taking to the skies. The TSA has released its most recent travel numbers, which continue to show an increase in passenger traffic. According to the figures, TSA screened more than 500,000 passengers on Thursday for the first time since March 21.
CDC Threatens Another Us Lockdown If Coronavirus Cases Spike:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has threatened that another U.S. lockdown will be on the cards if coronavirus cases spike. “If cases begin to go up again, particularly if they go up dramatically, it’s important to recognize that more mitigation efforts such as what were implemented back in March may be needed again,” the CDC’s deputy director for infectious diseases, Jay Butler, warned in a press briefing Friday. Fears are mounting that several states embarked on reopening their economies too early, with a renewed spike in cases recorded in Texas, Florida and Arizona. Experts are warning that the surge in such states is still the first – and not a second – wave of the virus that never truly went away. CDC officials issued the grave warning Friday that the U.S. could be headed for a second lockdown, after the first plunged the economy into a recession and sparked historic levels of unemployment across the nation. “Right now, communities are experiencing different levels of transmission occurring, as they gradually ease up onto the community mitigation efforts and gradually reopen,” said Butler. The “pandemic is not over,” he added, and so states may need to may need to reimplement the strict measures that were put in place back in March if cases rise dramatically.
Kitchener Drive-Thru Testing:
Grand River Hospital in Kitchener is now offering drive-thru testing for COVID19. The drive-thru is in the parking lot at 137 Glasgow Street. It’s open from 7:30am to 6:30pm seven days a week. No appointment is necessary.
Waterloo Region Numbers:
Waterloo Region Public Health reported just 2 new COVID19 cases on Friday. They did not post any updates over the weekend. Heading into today there are 1,191 cases but only 102 of them are active because 974 are now resolved. On Friday Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph reported 4 new coronavirus cases. Heading into today’s update there are 417 infections, 299 are resolved. 166 cases are in Guelph, 72 in Wellington and 172 in Dufferin.
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot