Parliament’s spending watchdog estimates less than 10 per cent of the government’s new sickness benefit will go to people with COVID19. Parliamentary budget officer Yves Giroux says the new sickness benefit is estimated at $655-million dollars but says only $50-million will go to those with novel coronavirus. He says most of the money will go to people who have to take time off from work for other illnesses, or because they would be at high risk if they caught COVID19. His office also estimates the majority of $1.4-billion dollars in spending on a new 26-week caregiving benefit will go to parents caring for children at high risk if they catch COVID19.
— Parliamentary Budget Officer (@PBO_DPB) October 7, 2020
— Parliamentary Budget Officer (@PBO_DPB) October 7, 2020
There were 583 new cases of COVID19 in Ontario yesterday, and one new death due to the virus. Health Minister Christine Elliott says 173 of those cases were in Toronto, 121 in Ottawa, 75 in York Region, and 70 in Peel Region. The province said it has a backlog of more than 55,000 tests, and has conducted more than 43,000 tests since the last daily report.
Ontario is reporting 583 cases of #COVID19 as nearly 43,300 tests were completed. Locally, there are 173 new cases in Toronto, 121 in Ottawa, 75 in York Region and 70 in Peel. 60% of today’s cases are in people under the age of 40. There are 707 more resolved cases.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) October 7, 2020
Police Lay Charges Against 10 People for Violating Public Health Rules:
Ten people have been charged with violating COVID19 rules after provincial police broke up two parties that exceeded gathering limits at the same Ontario residence. Officers charged two people after receiving a noise complaint early Tuesday morning and finding a large gathering at a short-term rental in Adjala-Tosorontio. Eight people were charged yesterday morning after a second noise complaint about the same address led police to another large group at the home. The Reopening Ontario Act allows groups of 10 people to meet indoors and 25 to meet outdoors.
Toronto Nursing Home Taken Over:
A Toronto hospital network is now managing a nursing home dealing with an outbreak of COVID19. The provincial ministry of long-term care announced the agreement yesterday. It says Unity Health Toronto Hospital’s 90-day management contract at Norwood Nursing Home began September 30th, following an order from the Toronto Public Health Unit. There have been 19 positive COVID19 cases among residents at the home, seven cases among staff and fewer than five residents have died, according to provincial data.
Ontario Moves to Make Takeout and Delivery Alcohol Permanent:
The pandemic measure that allowed restaurants and bars to deliver alcohol is on its way to becoming a permanent service in Ontario. The government says its exploring ways to change laws surrounding the delivery of alcohol before they expire at the end of the year. The change is part of new legislation which will be introduced later today to help small businesses which have struggled during the COVID19 pandemic. The government also says it will provide grants of up to $1,000 dollars for small businesses to buy personal protective equipment.
Here is Premier Ford’s news conference from last night:
Changes at the Border Kick in Today:
Starting today, the federal government is lifting travel restrictions on family members and romantic partners of more than one year during the COVID19 pandemic. They can ally apply to enter Canada on compassionate grounds. Ottawa has asked people not to make travel plans without receiving approval. but some are already packing their bags.
Min Blair: Travel restrictions put in place due to #COVID19 have had significant impacts. We continue to follow the best public health advice to restrict access to Canada, allowing for exemptions in exceptional circumstances. https://t.co/hY7oJGGix0 pic.twitter.com/39WQHwEy31
— Public Safety Canada (@Safety_Canada) October 2, 2020
Trudeau Confirms the COVID19 Vaccine Will be Free:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says when Health Canada approves a COVID19 vaccine, it will be free for all Canadians. Trudeau made the pledge yesterday after NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh told the House of Commons Canadians are concerned about whether they will have to pay to be inoculated against the deadly virus. But how the vaccine will be distributed and who will receive it first is still unclear. Trudeau told the Commons a committee of experts will counsel the government on how to fairly distribute vaccines to everyone.
Toronto to Add More Shelter Beds:
The City of Toronto plans to add 560 new beds for the homeless this winter in shelters, hotels and supportive housing. It says that includes 100 beds at a 24-hour respite centre on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition. The city says plastic barriers will be put in place to try to prevent the spread of COVID19. Outreach worker Greg Cook says the winter plan falls short given the unprecedented number of people living outside in tents during the pandemic.
— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) October 7, 2020
How Business is Responding to COVID19:
A new study finds the top priority of business owners following the first wave of COVID19 is getting their financial houses in order. The study by the Business Development Bank of Canada says that includes reducing operating costs and improving cash flow. A survey of small- and medium-sized businesses found 76 per cent reported a drop in revenues and profits during the pandemic and about 39 per cent took on more debt to survive. BDC chief economist Pierre Cleroux says the good news is that businesses are more prepared for a second wave of COVID19. But he says the bad news is that they’re more in debt than they were six months ago and therefore more fragile.
Battle-of-the-Blades on Hold:
Producers are putting the upcoming season of Battle of the Blades on hold after a member of the production team tested positive for COVID19. Insight Productions says it’s halting preparations and training for the televised skating competition as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of cast and crew. CBC says it supports the decision and will postpone the planned October 15th premiere of the Toronto-based show. The public broadcaster says the individual is “currently asymptomatic and self-isolating” in accordance with Toronto Public Health guidelines.
A Second Wave is Hitting Manitoba and Quebec:
Manitoba reported 32 new cases and three COVID19 deaths yesterday, making it the deadliest day since the beginning of the pandemic. The fatalities bring the province’s death toll to 27. For the first time in six days, Quebec recorded fewer than 1,000 cases, with 900 new infections yesterday and seven additional deaths linked to the virus.
Québec has joined Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Saskatchewan and Ontario in using the COVID Alert app! Download the app to keep each other safe. pic.twitter.com/4zNknTaLaA
— Patty Hajdu (@PattyHajdu) October 7, 2020
An Update on President Trump:
In an update yesterday, the White House physician says President Donald Trump reports he feels great, and has been COVID19 symptom-free for over 24 hours. His oxygen saturation levels and respiratory rates are normal. More than a dozen White House staffers have already tested positive for COVID19, including one of Trump’s closest advisers, Stephen Miller.
— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) October 7, 2020
Trump Talks About His Recovery:
President Trump is crediting an experimental drug treatment with helping his recovery from COVID19. He suggests his diagnosis could be a “blessing in disguise” for the country’s battle against the pandemic. But there is no way for the president or his doctors to know whether the drug had any effect. In a new White House video posted last night, Trump says his improving condition sheds light on an experimental antibody cocktail that he promised to get approved for broader use.
Waterloo Region School Infections:
Wilfrid Laurier University has confirmed five more students have tested positive for COVID19. None of them live in res and they’ve all been directed to self-isolate. The University of Waterloo has also confirmed an infection. They didn’t say if it was a student or faculty member but contact tracing is underway.
Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:
13 new COVID19 cases were reported yesterday by Region of Waterloo Public Health. There are now 131 active cases in the Region with two hospitalized. There has not been a COVID death in the Region since August 21st. Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph is now up to 30 active cases. 8 new infections were announced yesterday. 2 were in Wellington, 1 in Dufferin and 5 in Guelph. The Region’s hospitals have zero patients being treated for COVID19 presently.
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot