Ontario Preparing For A Possible Second Wave – Full COVID19 Update

Ontario reported another 111 cases of COVID19 yesterday and one new death from the virus. The number of active cases dropped by 122 so the numbers continue to trend in the right direction.  Ontario completed more than 16,000 tests in that 24-hour span.

Ontario Prepared for a Second Wave:

Premier Ford says his government is making plans to prepare for a possible second wave of COVID19 but is providing no details. The Ontario Hospital Association says the province needs to develop a contingency plan to ensure regional service and staffing plans are in place ahead of a possible new surge this fall during the flu season. OHA president Anthony Dale says Ontario’s move to Stage 3 of its re-opening plan will present a heightened risk for the province and it must be prepared to respond. But Ford says the province’s health system is better off now than in the early stages of the pandemic.

Here is Premier Ford’s update yesterday:

Ontario Colleges and Universities Reopening:

Colleges and Universities Minister Ross Romano says Ontario’s post-secondary campuses will begin to gradually reopen this summer. Romano says the number of people allowed on campus will be restricted to students who need to finish hands-on work to graduate, their instructors and other essential personnel. The province ordered colleges and universities to close their campuses as part of its COVID19 pandemic response in March. Romano says the schools have all worked hard to move classes online but some practical programs could not make the transition.

Border Expected to Remain Closed:

Canada’s deputy chief public health officer says cross-border travel in a public health emergency is usually a matter of ensuring that both countries have a similar grip on the circumstances. Dr. Howard Njoo says that means taking into account factors like their respective health-care systems, testing and contact-tracing regimes and strategies for preventing transmission. He says given the increasing number of COVID19 cases being reported across the U.S., it’s unlikely the border will re-open any time soon. An official announcement from the Prime Minister is expected as early as today.

Here is yesterday’s federal update:

Trump Rescinds Order Expelling Students:

To the relief of thousands of foreign students in the U.S., the Trump administration has rescinded an order that would have forced them to transfer schools or leave the country if their classes were entirely online due to the COVID19 pandemic. The decision was announced as a court hearing was getting underway on a challenge to the rule by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. University leaders had suggested the new rule was part of U-S President Donald Trump’s effort to pressure schools and colleges to reopen this fall, even as COVID19 number rise.

The State of Business in Canada:

If present COVID19 conditions last for six months or more, almost one in five businesses may have to make further cuts to staff, declare bankruptcy or close their doors. That’s according to a new survey by Statistics Canada. The poll found 19.3 per cent of businesses could operate at their current level of sales and spending for less than six months but would have to take additional action if it lasts for a longer duration. Nearly 35 per cent of hotels and restaurants only have the leeway for six more months of lockdown measures.

Calls to Change The CERB:

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is calling on his fellow provincial and territorial leaders to help him pressure Ottawa to change the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Pallister says the COVID19 financial aid program has become a disincentive for people to return to work. He says the federal government should reduce the benefit gradually as people’s incomes rise, rather than cutting off benefits after people earn $1,000-dollars a month.

GTAA Layoffs:

Canada’s largest airport is cutting more than a quarter of its workforce due to the COVID19 pandemic. The Greater Toronto Airports Authority says passenger levels at Toronto Pearson International Airport have dropped to levels not seen since the mid-90s. The GTAA says 500 positions are being eliminated, although 200 of those were already vacant. Some of the cuts were effective yesterday, while others will take effect through the fall.

Toronto Budget Shortfall:

The City of Toronto says it could face a $1.3-billion-dollar shortfall in its operating budget this year, despite saving hundreds of millions in cost-cutting measures. The number was outlined in a city report that will be considered by the local government’s executive committee next week. At one point, the city believed its shortfall could have been between $1.5- and $2.7-billion dollars. Big city mayors have been calling on the Provincial and Federal governments for assistance.

Americans Caught in Canada:

OPP in North Bay say they have charged a couple under the Quarantine Act after they failed to self-isolate after entering Canada. Police say the Florida couple, aged 68 and 70, were charged after a compliance check. They were each issued a Provincial Offence Notice that included a fine of $1,000 dollars.

Anti-Racism Rally Infections:

Eight COVID19 cases have been identified among thousands of people who attended recent anti-racism rallies in Calgary and Edmonton. Alberta’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, says the outcome could have been worse had so many people at the events not been wearing masks. Hinshaw says she’s concerned about the rise in new cases in recent weeks, and that people might be starting to tune out public health messages urging the use of masks, hand-washing and physical distancing.

Here is yesterday’s Alberta Update:

B.C. Finances:

B.C. Finance Minister Carole James is forecasting a $12.5-billion-dollar deficit this fiscal year because of losses caused by the COVID19 pandemic. The province has provided $6.26-billion dollars in financial aid to businesses and individuals affected by the pandemic. James says B.C. has lost more than 230,000 jobs and predicts economic growth will contract by 6.8 per cent by the end of the year.

American Numbers:

Deaths related to COVID19 have increased across the United States by 46 percent in the past week with Texas, Arizona and Mississippi reporting the biggest weekly spikes.  More than 5,000 people died from COVID19 between July 6 and July 12, which is an increase of 46 percent compared to the previous week, according to a Reuters analysis of data from The COVID Tracking Project.   About a dozen states have reported increases in deaths for at least two straight weeks, including California, Florida and Texas.

New U.S. Relief Package:

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’ll begin to roll out details of the new COVID19 relief package to senators next week. McConnell suggests the measure will include new funding for school reopenings, some unemployment benefits and money for health care providers. The cost of the emerging Republican package could reach a trillion dollars U.S.

Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:

Only 2 new COVID19 cases were reported by Waterloo Region Public Health yesterday. One more was marked as resolved so the number of active cases sits at 49. Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph had zero new cases yesterday and the number of active cases is just 19. Only 8 of those are in Guelph itself.

Contains files from The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot


Posted in COVID19, News
Scott Fox and Kat Callaghan