Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Friday, September 25, 2020:
- There have been 48,496 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 409 (or 0.9 per cent) from the previous day. There are 41,886 people recovered from the virus while 2,836 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 3,680,614 of which 53,840 have pending results.
- Canada’s coronavirus case total is 149,094. The country has 9,249 deaths from the virus – 229 in British Columbia, 261 in Alberta, 24 in Saskatchewan, 19 in Manitoba, 2,836 in Ontario, 5,810 in Quebec, two in New Brunswick, three in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
- Two more cases were added Thursday for the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit region to bring the regional total to 376 confirmed cases. Ten cases are active and 314 have recovered. The breakdown is: Leeds-Grenville East (four active), Leeds-Grenville West (two active), Lanark County West (two active) and Lanark County East (two active). Fifty-two people have died during the coronavirus crisis.
- In what will hopefully take pressure off the Brockville assessment center, the LGL District Health Unit in conjunction with local health partners opened a North Grenville assessment center in Kemptville at the former Kemptville College site. It started Thursday morning.
- The Eastern Ontario Health Unit region added a case in Clarence-Rockland Thursday to bring the regional total to 243 confirmed positive cases. Thirty-nine are active and 192 are resolved. There are two people in hospital. There have been 12 deaths to date. Testing increased by 1,045 to 54,688.
- In order to take pressure off its Casselman drive-through location, which has seen appointments book up even before it opens, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit is opening another drive-through in the Calypso parking lot in Limoges. It opened yesterday (Sept. 24) and will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- The Ontario government is putting an additional $1 billion towards increased testing and contact tracing. Premier Doug Ford says the province will ramp up to 50,000 tests a day. Five hundred contact tracers will be hired. This is in addition to the $70 million for additional flu shots announced this week.
- Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe has recommended a change to testing guidelines to prioritize those at greatest risk. Ontarians should only go to assessment centers if you are showing COVID-19 symptoms, have been exposed to a confirmed case, work or are a resident where there’s an outbreak, or are part of the targeted testing initiative under the Ministry of Health or Ministry of Long-Term Care. Those who are not part of the those groups should not get tested but Premier Doug Ford says those who need a test won’t get turned away.
- On Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced tough questions over those long lineups to get a COVID-19 test as Parliament resumed for the first time in six months. Trudeau says the government is working with provinces and health officials to get faster testing and tracing done.
- Just stay home. That message from Quebec for people to stop non-essential gatherings in order to put the brakes on a second wave of coronavirus. The health minister says the virus is being spread through family gatherings, private parties, weddings and funerals.
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