Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Saturday August 1, 2020

(LGL Health Unit via Newswatch Group)

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Saturday, August 1, 2020:

  • There have been 39,209 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 134 (or 0.3 per cent) from the previous day. There are 35,074 people recovered from the virus while 2,775 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 2,171,972 of which 29,215 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 116,312. The country has 8,935 deaths from the virus – 195 in British Columbia, 196 in Alberta, 18 in Saskatchewan, eight in Manitoba, 2,775 in Ontario, 5,674 in Quebec, two in New Brunswick, three in Newfoundland & Labrador and 64 in Nova Scotia.
  • There was no change in cases Friday in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit region with 355 confirmed cases, 52 deaths and 303 recoveries.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit region added two cases in the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Friday to bring the regional total to 179 confirmed cases. One was expected – an asymptomatic worker at Maxville Manor that triggered an outbreak declaration. There are 157 cases resolved, one more than Thursday. Testing went up by 581 to 29,285. Two people remain in hospital. There have been 11 deaths to date.
  • The next time you go to a bar or restaurant, don’t be surprised when they take your name, phone number or email address. The province has amended an emergency order and now requires bars and restaurants to keep a 30-day log book of all their customers. It’s meant to support contact tracing. Patrons will also be required to “be seated at all times” – both indoor and outdoor – with “limited exceptions.”
  • With people stuck at home during the pandemic, one of the region’s conservation authorities saw an all-time record spring turnout. The South Nation Conservation Authority says over 50,000 people came to conservancy areas between March and June – an all-time record for those months since the authority was established in 1947. Not all areas and trails monitored so authority staff say it’s only a “base-level snapshot” of visitation.
  • After a delay, Health Canada has finally launched its contact tracing app. The app will let you know if you get closer than two meters (six feet) for more than 15 minutes to someone that has recently tested positive for COVID-19. Right now the app is only linked to the Ontario health system with other provinces expected to sign on later.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will be a transitional benefit for gig and contract workers, similar to Employment Insurance. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will wind down in the coming weeks and many will move over to EI. More details will be coming.
  • Many Ontario DriveTest centers will start G2 and motorcycle road tests on Tuesday (Aug. 4). The number of commercial testing locations will also expand. It’s the second phase of the centers’ reopening plan.
  • Via Rail is temporarily laying off 30 management and professionals as the slowdown in train travel continues. With retirements and vacant positions not being filled, it means a total of 80 positions are affected. Even though there’s been a slight increase in travel, the company says a number of its routes remain suspended. The temporary layoffs take effect Aug. 14.
  • Closed since March, the playground in Lockwood Park in Westport is now open. Mayor Robin Jones says municipal playgrounds will be disinfected twice a day but parents are encouraged to take safety precautions.
  • Go easy on the partying this holiday weekend. That word from Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, saying that COVID-19 is waiting in the wings to make an appearance at large backyard gatherings.

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