Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Thursday July 30, 2020

In this April 2020, file photo, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce takes part in a news conference at Queen's Park. Premier Doug Ford and Lecce are expected to release details about the upcoming school year on Thursday, July 30, 2020. (Premier of Ontario/YouTube via Newswatch Group)

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Thursday, July 30, 2020:

  • There have been 38,986 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 76 (or 0.2 per cent) from the previous day. There are 34,741 people recovered from the virus while 2,769 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 2,114,263 of which 18,268 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 115,470. The country has 8,917 deaths from the virus – 194 in British Columbia, 190 in Alberta, 17 in Saskatchewan, eight in Manitoba, 2,769 in Ontario, 5,670 in Quebec, two in New Brunswick, three in Newfoundland & Labrador and 64 in Nova Scotia.
  • There was no change in cases Wednesday in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit region with 355 confirmed cases, 52 deaths and 303 recoveries.
  • There was no change Wednesday in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region other than additional testing. That went up by 651 to 28,156. The regional total of confirmed positive cases remains at 176 with 154 resolved. Two people remain in hospital. There have been 11 deaths to date. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 117 cases (101 resolved + 11 deaths), SD&G 34 cases (29 resolved) and Cornwall 25 cases (24 resolved).
  • Toronto and Peel Region will be moving to Stage 3 on Friday. The Windsor-Essex region is the last area of Ontario still at Stage 2 and will remain until local trends of public health indicators make it safe to move to Stage 3, the government said.
  • A three-person independent commission looking into COVID-19 and its effect on Ontario’s long-term care home system will deliver its report by April 30, 2021. Premier Doug Ford says whether recommendations from the report are binding on the government will be a decision of the commission. The head of the panel, Frank Marrocco, worked on the Walkerton inquiry.
  • Residences at the Brockville and Cornwall campuses of St. Lawrence College will be at roughly half capacity when college begins this fall. They will have single rooms and separate washrooms. President Glenn Vollebregt says priority will be given to students who have on-campus classes.
  • The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will start Thursday (July 30) collecting personal information at the Cornwall border crossing for essential travellers, exempt from quarantine. That’s according to the Canadian Trucking Alliance, which says truck drivers are included in that data collection. The CBSA has been rolling out the information collection program to ports since March 31. The data collected under the Quarantine Act includes a person’s email address, phone number and secondary phone number (if applicable). The Lansdowne crossing was in the initial ports of entry on June 30 and Prescott (Johnstown) started data collection on July 9.
  • British Columbia will have full time school this fall for kindergarten to Grade 12. The province’s education minister says enhanced safety measures and resources will be in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Meantime, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce will unveil school plans later today (Thursday).
  • Health experts are worried about the amount of hoaxes, conspiracy theories and anti-mask myths circulating as they see a surge in cases in multiple states in the U.S. The American death toll has hit 150,000 – the highest in the world. For comparison, Canada has 8,917.
  • Canada has an ally in an American health expert for fair global distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. Thomas Bollyky with the Council on Foreign Relations says the U.S. and European countries pre-buying viable vaccines amounts to hoarding and would undermine a global attack on the virus.
  • Organizers of the cancelled Glengarry Highland Games in Maxville say, even if you’re feeling the urge for a “nostalgic visit to the grounds,” don’t go to the KAS Fairgrounds this weekend. It’s closed and marked with no trespassing signs. Instead, there will be a virtual event on its Facebook page.

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