Ontario Schools in Hotspot Regions are Getting More Money – Full COVID19 Update

Premier Ford has authorized an additional $35-million dollars in funding for schools in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel and York Regions. Ford says the funding can be used to hire more teachers to allow for more physical distancing in the classroom and to buy computers to boost online learning. The funding is going to regions facing higher rates of COVID19 transmission. Education Minister Stephen Lecce says the province is committed to keeping schools open during the pandemic for those parents who want to send their kids.

Here is Premier Ford’s news conference from yesterday:

COVID19 Tests Are By Appointment Only:

COVID19 tests are now by appointment only across Ontario. Premier Ford announced the change last week, saying it will help reduce long lineups that have been occurring at testing centres. He says it’s also going to allow the 155 assessment centres to prepare for winter.

This is Why There is a Backlog of Tests:

The provincial government says a shortage of diagnostic technicians is contributing to a backlog in COVID19 testing. Premier Ford also says a worldwide shortage in the chemicals needed to process tests is also part the problem. The province says it has a backlog of just over 68,000 — down from more than 90,000 on Friday. It ended walk-ins at COVID19 assessment centres on Sunday in a move to help clear the backlog and will move to an appointment only system starting today.

CDC Acknowledges That COVID19 Can Spread Through The Air:

Two weeks after removing language that acknowledged COVID19 spreading through aerosols, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially added a new section to its website yesterday declaring that “COVID19 can sometimes be spread by airborne transmission.”  The update reads: “Some infections can be spread by exposure to virus in small droplets and particles that can linger in the air for minutes to hours. These viruses may be able to infect people who are further than 6 feet away from the person who is infected or after that person has left the space.”

To read the updated information: CLICK HERE (You will be redirected)

Ontario Numbers:

There were 615 new cases of COVID19 in Ontario yesterday and five new deaths reported. Health Minister Christine Elliott says that of those new cases 289 were in Toronto, 88 were in Peel Region and 81 were in Ottawa. Particularly concerning is that 42% of the new cases were in people over the age of 40.

Deputy PM Says Rapid Tests Won’t Be Here Until Next Week:

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says millions of rapid tests for COVID19 are coming within days. As she faced continued questions from Opposition Conservatives in the House of Commons, Freeland said 7.9-million rapid tests will be in Canada next week. She also stated the federal government will have more announcements on the rapid tests very soon. Critics have complained about the slowness of Canada’s testing for COVID19, which has resulted in long lineups for tests and a backlog of results.

Trudeau Explains That COVID is Harder to Deal with Than SARS:

Prime Minister Trudeau says COVID19 is a much larger and more complicated health crisis than the SARS outbreak in 2003 that killed 44 people. Trudeau is dismissing criticism that his government didn’t heed the lessons learned from SARS. He says many of the government’s actions in the early days of the COVID19 outbreak were based on past experiences. Trudeau also revealed yesterday that he tested negative for the coronavirus last month. Trudeau said he felt a bit “off” and his doctor advised him to get tested.

Dr Tam is Concerned About Rapidly Rising Case Counts:

The chief public health officer is calling for vigilance as COVID19 case counts rise. Dr. Theresa Tam says infections are growing at an alarming rate, with more than 1,800 new cases reported daily over the past seven days. Tam says there needs to be a re-doubling of efforts to follow public health measures designed to reduce the spread: handwashing, physical distancing and wearing masks. Quebec and Ontario account for more than 80 per cent of the country’s total cases. Quebec is reporting 1,191 new infections — the highest single-day total since the start of the pandemic, and fourth straight day with more than one-thousand new cases. Ontario saw 615 new cases and five new deaths.

Help is on the Way For Some Farmers:

The federal government is rolling out emergency funding for some Canadian farmers to help protect their workers during the COVID19 pandemic. Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says the previously announced $35-million-dollar program will subsidize the purchase of personal protective equipment and sanitary stations. It will also help to cover extra costs in cases of any COVID19 outbreaks. Farmers in Saskatchewan, Alberta, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon and the Northwest Territories can now apply.

The University of Guelph is Testing Sewage for COVID19:

Researchers at the University of Guelph are testing wastewater from campus residences because they say it can be an early warning system for cases of COVID19. Professors Lawrence Goodridge and Ed McBean say they began testing last week that shows levels of the novel coronavirus released in human feces. Goodridge says previous research has found the virus appears in wastewater around a week before a person starts showing symptoms. Results that could help the university take early action against potential outbreaks are expected this week.

COVID Has Created Issues For Appliance Shoppers:

Some appliance retailers say sales have been so brisk since they re-opened after COVID19-related shutdowns that they’re worried about mounting back orders. Retailers say a combination of home renovations, new construction, discounts for energy-efficient appliances and pent-up demand has led to record sales. At the same time, manufacturers have run into problems obtaining parts and have also scaled-back production lines to adhere to COVID19 safety protocols. Jason Goemans, president of Goemans Appliances, says demand has been so high that the retailer is concerned about keeping up with Black Friday sales next month.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany Tests Positive For COVID19

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tested positive for coronavirus, she disclosed yesterday.   McEnany said she tested positive yesterday, a day after she informally briefed reporters outside the West Wing.   “After testing negative consistently, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for COVID19 on Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms,” McEnany posted to Twitter.  “As an essential worker, I have worked diligently to provide needed information to the American People at this time,” she wrote. “With my recent positive test, I will begin the quarantine process and will continue working on behalf of the American People remotely.”

Melania Trump Tweets She Is Feeling Good Following COVID19 Diagnosis:

First Lady Melania Trump provided an update on her health yesterday, saying she is feeling good and continuing to rest at home days after testing positive for the coronavirus.  “My family is grateful for all of the prayers & support! I am feeling good & will continue to rest at home,” she wrote in a tweet.   “Thank you to medical staff & caretakers everywhere, & my continued prayers for those who are ill or have a family member impacted by the virus,” she went on.  The first lady has been quarantining in the White House residence after she and President Trump were diagnosed with the illness on Thursday evening and began experiencing symptoms.

Preparing for the Vice Presidential Debate:

There’s going to be an extra level of protection between Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris during tomorrow’s vice presidential debate, insiders tell Politico. In a plan supported by the Cleveland Clinic, which is advising the debates on COVID19 precautions, there will be a plexiglass barrier separating the candidates from each other and from moderator Susan Page, the sources say.  The AP, citing “a campaign aide with knowledge of the request,” reports that the Biden-Harris campaign asked for the shield for the Salt Lake City debate, and the request was granted by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Paris Goes Back into a Partial Lockdown:

French authorities have placed the Paris region on maximum COVID19 alert as numbers of infections are rapidly increasing. Starting today, bars will be closed in Paris and its suburbs while restaurants will remain open with strict limits on social distancing. Student parties and all festive and family events in establishments open to the public will be banned. Paris police say the new restrictions will apply at least for the next two weeks.

UK Testing is Under Investigation:

The British government has launched an investigation into how nearly 16,000 new COVID19 infections went unreported as a result of a technical glitch. The glitch could have led to a surge in the country’s coronavirus outbreak and ultimately to an uptick in deaths. The Labour Party’s spokesman on health issues, Jonathan Ashworth, slammed the government for its latest failing on testing “at one of the most crucial points in the pandemic.”

Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:

Region of Waterloo Public Health announced 17 more COVID19 infections yesterday. The number of daly new infections has been creeping up again. There are still two people in local hospitals being treated. The number of active cases is 127. In Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, 11 more people have caught COVID but there are now 0 people in hospital. Guelph remains the hotspot in the Region with 9 of those new infections. 1 was in Wellington and 1 was in Dufferin.

Contains files from The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot


Posted in COVID19, News
Scott Fox and Kat Callaghan