Ontario announced more than 200 new cases of COVID19 yesterday, for the first time since late June. The province said there were 203 new cases and one new death. The rate of new infections far outpaced the number of resolved cases, which was only 92. Health Minister Christine Elliott said 57 per cent of yesterdays new cases came from people under the age of 39 and called the latest numbers concerning. Premier Ford says young people who refuse to follow COVID19 health measures are endangering their families — especially their parents and grandparents. Ford made the comment yesterday amid a rise in the proportion of coronavirus cases among younger Ontarians. Ford says most young people are following the rules but others must do better.
Canada’s Case Count on The Rise:
During the past four days, Canada’s new COVID19 case numbers have climbed to an average of 460 per day, up from about 300 a day. The increase has public health officials concerned about the ongoing easing of pandemic restrictions. Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, Dr. Howard Njoo, says the majority of the newly infected are young adults, who contracted the virus by going to bars, restaurants and indoor parties.
Here is yesterday’s federal briefing:
Ontario Legislature Rises for Summer:
The Ontario legislature has risen for the summer. Lawmakers wrapped up the most recent session last night by passing a controversial bill that extends some of the province’s COVID19-related emergency orders for as long as two years. The bill has come under fire from labour groups and constitutional lawyers who feel its an unjustified over-reach of government powers. Ontario’s legislators are not scheduled to meet again until September.
Here is Premier Ford’s news conference from yesterday:
Accessible Testing Might Be Making it Too Easy:
Experts are warning that people might be getting a false sense of security from COVID19 testing that is easily accessible in Ontario. They say a negative test does not mean people are clear to socialize in large groups. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch says the tests can’t detect the virus during its incubation period, and still yield a considerable rate of false negatives. Another epidemiologist at the University of Toronto says there’s a fairly large margin of error with nasal-swab testing.
While one day of data, today’s increase is concerning. Ontarians of all ages need to continue to adhere to public health guidelines: maintain only one social circle of 10 people, physically distance with anyone outside of it and wear a face covering when doing so is a challenge.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) July 21, 2020
Bill Morneau to Testify Today:
Finance Minister Bill Morneau will appear before the House of Commons finance committee today. He’ll be answering questions on the decision to have a charity with ties to both him and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau run a multi-million-dollar student-volunteer program. Morneau has apologized for not recusing himself from the cabinet discussions and vote on the now-cancelled agreement with WE Charity. MPs want Trudeau to appear before the Commons committee as well, but he didn’t answer a question from the opposition yesterday about whether he’ll accept the invite.
My statement on the administration of the Canada Student Service Grant: pic.twitter.com/kPbjp8kiaU
— Bill Morneau (@Bill_Morneau) July 13, 2020
Ontario Hospital Worker Protest:
Front-line staff held a five-minute protest in Ontario hospitals yesterday morning as their union tries to fight the proposed extension of the province’s emergency orders. The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, a division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, opposes the emergency order in its current form because it suspends their collective bargaining agreement. The Progressive Conservative government introduced a bill two weeks ago that would allow it to keep some emergency measures in place in the months ahead. The union says the bill strips their workplace rights and leaves them open to having the time and location of shifts changed without notice or forced vacation cancellations.
This means 640 new beds and 2 new homes, as early as 2021.
We’re supporting our seniors and making sure that safe and comfortable homes are available for them. pic.twitter.com/3G9drxlowp
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) July 21, 2020
Face Coverings Now Mandatory on Go and UP Express:
Face masks are now mandatory for passengers using GO Transit or the UP Express train from downtown Toronto to Pearson International Airport. Metrolinx spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins says face coverings are required in all stations and on platforms and vehicles. She says the new rules won’t apply to children under the age of two or passengers with pre-existing medical conditions that make it difficult to wear masks.
😷 Face coverings now mandatory😷
Starting today, face coverings are mandatory. Please remember to wear one when you ride with us!
— GO Transit (@GOtransit) July 21, 2020
BC Tourism Sector Hit Hard:
British Columbia’s tourism and hospitality sector says it has been hit the hardest by the global COVID19 pandemic, with 300,000 jobs affected at the peak of the crisis. The Tourism Industry Association of BC says therefore, $680-million dollars — or more than a third of the $1.5-billion-dollars in federal funding to help the province recover from the pandemic — should go to BC’s more than 19,000 tourism and hospitality businesses. The association is proposing a three-part recovery starting with $475-million-dollars for no-interest loans or other supports to businesses with the potential to return to profitability over the next 18 months.
Manitoba to Ease Restrictions:
Manitoba casinos could open for the first time in months this weekend, as the province looks at possibly easing more COVID19 restrictions. A draft plan released today would raise the limit on gatherings to 75 people indoors and 250 outdoors, while capacity for religious gatherings could be raised to 500 people or half capacity, whichever is lower. The plan also proposes lifting the 14-day self-isolation requirement for all domestic travellers.
Dogs Separation Anxiety:
Dogs have grown accustomed to having their owners around all day during the COVID19 pandemic. And now that people are starting to go back to work, those dogs are showing signs of separation anxiety. Veterinarian Dr. Ian Sandler says separation anxiety can affect all dogs, but younger puppies are more likely to experience it. Sandler says anxiety can be treated by gradually introducing separation back into the dog’s life.
Trump In Favour of Masks:
U.S. President Donald Trump now says he has “no problem” with wearing a face mask. The about-face comes after months of resisting wearing a mask in public and even once suggesting they might be a political statement against him. Trump now says he’s getting used to wearing a mask, and says anything that can potentially help alleviate the COVID19 crisis is a good thing. Critics have blamed the president for fuelling a partisan divide on the issue.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 21, 2020
California is About to Pass New York:
California has now surpassed 400,000 COVID19 cases and is on track to overtake New York for the highest number of infections – as it’s revealed the number of people to test positive in parts of the US could be up to 13 times higher than what is currently being reported. The most populous US state totaled 400,166 COVID-19 cases yesterday, putting it on the verge of surpassing New York – the original epicenter of the nation’s outbreak – for the highest number of infections in the country since the virus was first detected here in January. At that point, if California were a country, it would rank fifth in the world for total COVID19 cases behind only the United States, Brazil, India and Russia.
A Third Of New York’s Small Businesses May Never Reopen
As many as 76,000 small businesses in New York City – a third of the 230,000 citywide – may never reopen after forced to close during the COVID-19 lockdown, business leaders have warned. The Partnership for New York City, a not-for-profit organization that connects business leaders with local government, predicted that 76,000 small businesses will never be able to reopen in a report produced by 14 consulting firms.
Relief for Farmers:
U.S. farmers have called on Congress to pass legislation giving more emergency funding to agricultural businesses as the industry faces billions of dollars in losses due to the coronavirus crisis. The Republican-led Senate is expected to pass a coronavirus relief bill by the end of July, rivaling a $3 trillion package approved by the House in May.
Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:
6 new COVID19 cases were reported yesterday by Waterloo Region Public Health and only 2 more were marked as resolved so the number of active cases in the Region now sits at 53. Two of the new infections announced yesterday were in healthcare workers. Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph had 3 new cases. 21 are active at the moment. Of the 531 total cases, 231 are in Guelph, 87 are in Wellington and Dufferin County has 189.
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot