Education Minister Stephen Lecce says he will be announcing a return to school plan next week. With just six week left before students are due to go back to class, Lecce says he’s working with Ontario’s chief medical officer of health and other officials to finalize the plan for students to safely return amid the COVID19 pandemic. He says the province could not have announced the plan sooner because COVID19 case numbers have changed over the past month. School boards and teachers have said they need more funding to adapt to the pandemic and Lecce says there will be additional resources and training for staff.
103 new cases of COVID19 were reported in Ontario today. Health Minister Christine Elliott said the majority of the province’s public health units — 28 out of 34 — reported five or fewer new cases. Yesterday there were no new COVID19 deaths province wide.
Here is yesterday’s news conference with Premier Ford:
Toronto to Expend Mask Bylaw:
Toronto Mayor John Tory says he’s prepared to extend the city’s mandatory masking orders to shared spaces inside apartment and condo buildings. Tory says the city has thus far hesitated to make the move on private property, but it would go forward with a bylaw if management companies refuse to enact masking rules voluntarily. Earlier this week, Tory called on an industry group, the Greater Toronto Apartment Association, to require masks in hallways, elevators and common rooms. He says mandatory masking would protect more Torontonians from COVID-19.
I have fought throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for tenants – both residential and commercial tenants who have been hit hard by this crisis. pic.twitter.com/3eZ5YxI41g
— John Tory (@JohnTory) July 23, 2020
Unions Want Changes to Long-Term Care:
Several unions have launched a campaign calling on the Ontario government to get money-making companies out of long-term care. Unifor and other unions say the COVID19 pandemic hit for-profit homes much harder than their non-profit or municipally run counterparts. They note 13 of the 15 Ontario facilities with the highest death tolls due to COVID19 are for-profit homes. The unions say they eventually plan to take their campaign national.
New COVID App is Now Beta Testing:
The Canadian Digital Service — an agency that puts federal services online — is asking people to sign up for a new COVID19 contact tracing app. The app is in an early developmental stage, and the agency is hoping that Canadians will put it through its paces over two to four days. Participants will be asked to complete certain tasks with the app and report on how well it works for them. So far, nearly five-thousand testers had joined the program. To sign-up for the beta test: CLICK HERE (You will be redirected)
Manitoba Cancels Some Planned Lifting of Restrictions:
The Manitoba government is not going to lift some of its COVID19 restrictions this weekend. The province initially floated the idea of ending a 14-day self-isolation rule for travellers from Eastern Canada. Chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, says public feedback on the idea was negative. Casinos, cinemas and theatres will be allowed to reopen Saturday, but at 30 per cent capacity instead of 50.
The World Got Quieter:
An international team of researchers has discovered one good side effect of the COVID19 pandemic. It’s made the world a quieter place. They say restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus have led to an unprecedented drop in noise. The study, published in the journal Science, shows seismic noise, or vibrations generated by human activity, dropped by as much as 50 per cent in March and April.
American Survey on Masks:
Three out of four Americans favour requiring people to wear face coverings while outside their homes to help slow the spread of COVID19. That’s according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Support for wearing masks is overwhelming among Democrats, while 58 per cent of Republicans say they back such policies.
Here is President Trump’s news conference from yesterday:
U.S. Cities That Need to Take Urgent Action:
The head of the White House coronavirus task force, Dr. Deborah Birx, has warned that 11 major cities – including Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Baltimore – need to take aggressive steps to mitigate COVID19 outbreaks. Birx issued the grave warning on Wednesday during a phone call with hundreds of state and city leaders. The 11 cities she mentioned include: Baltimore, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and St Louis.
Fauci Had A Rough First Pitch:
His curve was a little too flat. White House coronavirus task force member and diehard baseball fan Dr. Anthony Fauci threw the MLB Opening Day pitch in DC last night as the New York Yankees took on the World Series champion Nationals. Choosing a career as an infectious disease expert was probably the right call — Fauci fumbled the first pitch. A Nationals fan, he wore his team’s jersey and a red MLB mask over his face to play ball. Fauci did have some pre-game jitters, telling the Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman he was “quite nervous” about throwing the first pitch.
Trump to Throw First Pitch for Yankees:
Donald Trump revealed yesterday that he will be throwing the first pitch at Yankee Stadium at a game in mid-August as Major League Baseball finally resumed after months of delay – but will be played in empty stadiums.
Reopening U.S. Theatres:
There’s more musical chairs when it comes to movie theatres re-opening in the U.S. With word earlier this week that Warner Brothers was moving Tenet off of its August 12th opening date, now AMC Theaters, the largest chain in the world, is pushing back its re-opening. Originally planned for the end of the month, AMC now says theatres will open again in mid-to-late August in the U.S. With Tenet out of the running, the first big studio release is now Disney’s “Mulan,” scheduled for August 21st.
Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:
Only 1 new COVID19 case was reported yesterday by Yesterday Waterloo Region Public. The number of active cases in the Region is down to 49 because 5 more cases are now resolved. Only 12 people are hospitalized in the Region at the moment. Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph had 3 new cases yesterday and 1 newly resolved so there are 24 active cases at the moment with only 1 person is in hospital there for COVID19.
Our children’s education is one of our top priorities, and we are excited to get shovels in the ground to build more spaces for them to learn. pic.twitter.com/iZzZkIzKME
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) July 23, 2020
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot