Below are the recent COVID-19 related developments.
British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is now in the Intensive Care Unit in London, UK for COVID-19.
Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said it’s “sensible” at this stage to wear non-medical masks in cases where practising physical distancing isn’t always possible, such as when riding public transit or shopping for groceries, but it should not be used as a substitute for the public-health measures being taken.
Trudeau confirmed that the first instalment of emergency funds – up to $2,000 per month for those who lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic – will be deposited into the accounts of eligible Canadians within three to five days of applying. He said the government approved over 240,000 applications in the first few hours the portal was open. Potential applicants are urged to visit the CERB website, where they can find the time slot, based on birth month, for when they can apply.
The Prime Minister also noted that further CERB support is coming for those still employed but with drastically reduced hours or other precarious situations such as “gig” and contract workers. “We see you, and we’re going to be there for you,” he promised. He also mentioned help for university and college students who will be looking for summer work in the coming months. Details of these aid programs are being finalized, with Finance Minister Bill Morneau to provide updates shortly.
Ford confirmed that supplies of masks are getting low, re-emphasizing the importance of Ontarians staying at home to limit the spread of the virus (and the increase in demand for masks it entails). While sourcing new supplies of masks is a high priority and Ford said progress is being made, he acknowledged that the United States stopping a shipment of three million masks from crossing into Canada is straining Ontario, calling it a “hard truth” but expressing some optimism the blockade will be lifted. Ford noted that U.S. Ambassador to Canada Robert Lighthizer called him on Sunday and they had a productive conversation, resulting in Ontario getting approval for 500,000 masks out of the three million, with the shipment being expected in the next few days.
Premier Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced that the application portal for the Support for Families Initiative is now open at www.ontario.ca/supportforfamilies. This benefit provides one-time funding of $200 per child (age 0-12) or $250 per child or youth with special needs (age 0-21).
Windsor Regional Hospital recognizes, as a result of COVID-19 and visitor restrictions mandated by the Provincial Medical Officer of Health, being able to communicate with your loved one who is admitted to hospital is more complicated and difficult. As a result, Windsor Regional Hospital has created a process whereby families can request to video chat with their loved one. Information can be found here.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and crucial physical distancing orders by governments that non-essential services be stopped, the pick-up of all textile donations by Diabetes Canada from homes and donation bins across Canada stopped on March 23. Sadly, some residents continue to drop off donations at the bins even though they are not able to empty them at this time; and some individuals are using Diabetes Canada donation bins to dump garbage and more. This is posing a serious health and safety issue. At this time, please do not leave unwanted items at donation bins, as they can’t be collected.
There are now 204 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex with six long-term care facilities reporting outbreaks in our area. Dr. Wajid Ahmed, chief medical officer, said the sudden rise in cases for the area is due to the large number of tests that have returned at once, as there was a backlog in testing. However, tests are now coming back in a timely manner and that backlog is clear.
Wash your hands, practice social distancing, and stay safe.