Most Ontario Stores Can Reopen Starting Today – Full COVID-19 Update

Some of Ontario’s lockdown restrictions will be eased today, with retail stores being allowed to offer curb-side pickups to customers. The government is also beginning to open provincial parks today, with access granted for walkers, hikers, cyclists and bird-watchers. However, certain areas will still be closed in the parks, including beaches and camping grounds. The province re-opened hardware stores and gardening centres last week.

Ontario Numbers:

Yesterday only 294 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Ontario. That 1.5 per cent increase in cases over Saturday is the lowest daily growth rate in the province since March. Ontario now has a total of 20,238 confirmed cases with the death toll standing at 1,634. 35 deaths were reported yesterday.

Yesterday Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott put politics aside to praise for her Federal counterparts:

Government Funding More Childcare:

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says the government will provide financial aid to prop-up childcare centres forced to close during the lockdown. Lecce says the amount of money the facilities get will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Most Child-care centres were ordered to close and stop collecting fees from parents because of COVID-19. However, some have been allowed to stay open to provide services to the children of front-line workers. 

Trudeau Says Go Slow:

The prime minister says he gets that Canadians are tired of spending weeks abiding by COVID-19 restrictions. But Justin Trudeau says loosening regulations must be done gradually, with the priority being keeping people safe. The PM says he’s concerned about Montreal, as Quebec prepares to loosen confinement measures, despite a rash of deadly outbreaks at nursing homes in the city. Quebec accounts for more than half the country’s total caseload and Montreal accounts for half of those. 

Westjet Canceling More Flights:

WestJet says record-low passenger numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic will keep the bulk of its planes parked on the tarmac. The carrier says it’s extending many flight cancellations into early July. Back in April, WestJet said it was cancelling some 18,000 flights between May 5th and June 4th. Sunday’s announcement now pushes domestic route suspensions through July 4th.

Quebec Reopening Today:

It’s not clear how many parents will opt to send their children out the door when elementary schools outside of the greater Montreal area open this morning. Attendance is not mandatory. Quebec is the first province to reopen its elementary schools. Health officials and politicians in the rest of the country are watching and waiting to see what happens. Some schools have made videos to prepare parents and kids for the sight of teachers wearing goggles, masks and gloves; arrows taped on the floor to remind students of the two-metre distancing rule and playground equipment closed off with caution tape. 

Another Meat Plant Impacted:

Another meat processing plant is closing its doors temporarily due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Officials at the Cargill plant south of Montreal say at least 64 workers tested positive for the dangerous virus. It’s the second Cargill plant to be shuttered — following the closure and recent reopening of a sister-facility in High River, Alberta. More than 900 of the 2,000 workers at that plant tested positive, and one died. 

White House Infections:

COVID-19 continues to impact the White House. Three members of the White House coronavirus task force, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have now placed themselves in quarantine after having contact with someone who tested positive. Their concern about infection is another stark reminder that not even one of the nation’s most secure buildings is immune to the virus.

Pope’s Message To Europe:

Pope Francis used his Sunday blessing to urge European Union leaders to work together to deal with the social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. He referred to the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day and said the challenging process of reconciliation after the Second World War spurred European integration and the long period of stability and peace that exists today. During the pandemic, hard-hit countries like Italy and Spain have insisted that EU leaders demonstrate solidarity.

Waterloo Region:

Waterloo Region is now up to 932 COVID-19 cases after a jump of 20 yesterday. The good news is there were no new deaths reported yesterday. 479 cases in the region are now resolved. There was 3 new confirmed cases yesterday in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, bringing the total in that region to 325. 121 of those are in Guelph and more than half of those are now resolved. Wellington has 53 cases and Dufferin County has 142.

Waterloo Region Food Trucks:

If you’ve been missing your food truck fix, there’s good news. Food trucks have been given the go ahead from Public Health to hit the road again starting today. Only one food truck per parking lot is allowed for now and physical distancing still applies. No tables or chairs will be set. This is for takeout-only.

Contains files from The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot

Posted in COVID19, News
Scott Fox and Kat Callaghan