Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Saturday June 20, 2020

(LGL Health Unit via Newswatch Group)

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Saturday, June 20, 2020:

  • There have been 33,095 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 178 (or 0.5 per cent) from the previous day. There are 28,250 people recovered from the virus while 2,564 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 1,123,932 of which 21,479 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 100,629. The country has 8,346 deaths from the virus – 168 in British Columbia, 152 in Alberta, 13 in Saskatchewan, seven in Manitoba, 2,564 in Ontario, 5,375 in Quebec, two in New Brunswick, three in Newfoundland & Labrador and 62 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit area stayed at 352 confirmed cases on Friday. The number of deaths also remains at 52. There are 298 cases (99 per cent) resolved. For community cases in Leeds-Grenville, there are 23 in the central region (0 active), 13 in the west (1 active) and 17 in the east (0 active).
  • Two more cases have been resolved in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area, bringing the number of resolved cases to 134. There are still 162 confirmed positive cases. Two people in hospital, one in ICU and there have been 11 deaths to date.
  • The Ontario government has instructed school boards to prepare for three scenarios for student learning in September. In one scenario, it would limit classrooms to 15 students and one instructor, by having students going to school on alternate day or week learning. Parents will also be left with the choice to keep their children home for at-home learning. The third option is just regular in-class learning. The province has also boosted education funding for school boards by $736 million (an average of $250 more per student), for a total of $25.5 billion. What model will be in place will be the decision by school boards in consultation with local health officials.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly scolded three grocery store chains – Loblaw, Metro and Empire Company (owner of Sobeys, Safeway and FreshCo) – for ending the temporary $2 per hour wage top-up program for front line workers. A House of Commons committee has called on them to testify after the three cut the bonus pay all on the same day.
  • As part of stage two reopening, the City of Brockville opened the public washrooms at Blockhouse Island. They are open 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily. City parks are open though play structures, exercise equipment and washrooms are off limits. Athletic fields are open but not for league play. Also available following guidelines are basketball, tennis and pickleball courts, the off-leash dog park, skateboard and BMX parks.
  • The Town of Prescott is now allowing yard sales on private property, subject to various health and safety guidelines. Kelly’s Beach also opened as of Tuesday, however the washrooms are still off limits, possibly until sometime next week.
  • Via Rail passengers will be required to wear a mask as of Tuesday, June 23. Travellers are being encouraged to bring their own but Via Rail will have some available. Those with breathing troubles unrelated to COVID-19, children under two and small children will not be required to wear a mask.
  • With non-essential businesses closed for the entire month of April, retail sales in Canada plunged 26 per cent that month or nearly $35 billion – much more than the 15 per cent analysts had expected.
  • Quebec’s finance minister says COVID-19 has wiped out an expected surplus and the province is now looking at a nearly $15 billion deficit.
  • America’s largest movie theater chain – AMC Theaters – will require movie-goers to wear masks when they reopen in July.
  • While COVID-19 might have put a damper on Canada Day celebrations in Westport, such as the bicycle parade and fireworks, the village’s mayor is asking people to dress up the town. Robin Jones is recruiting volunteers to decorate various streets the night before the country’s birthday. “July 1st is still an important day for Canadians to celebrate,” she wrote.

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