WHAT TO KNOW
Global COVID-19 cases have reached 2,531,804, up from 2,435,876 yesterday. Canada is now reporting 39,807 cases, up from 38,205 cases of COVID-19 at 3:30 yesterday. Ontario reports 12,245 cases, up 4.3% from yesterday’s 11,735 cases. The province has now tested 184,531 individuals and reports 6,845 tests are currently under investigation. More information here.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures, Statistics Canada reports the consumer price index for March was up 0.9 per cent compared with a year ago. More information here.
The U.S. Centre for Disease Control warns a second wave of COVID-19 in the winter could strike much harder than the first wave since it would arrive during flu season. More information here.
At his daily briefing, Prime Minister Trudeau announced $9 billion in financial aid for post-secondary students, including a plan to create more than 70,000 student jobs. Each month from May to August students will be eligible for $1,250. If the student has a disability or is taking care of someone, they can receive up to $1,750. Students who are employed, but make less than $1,000 a month are also eligible.
Students who choose to do national service and serve their communities can be eligible for between $1000 and $5000. More information here.
To help battle the COVID-19 outbreak, starting immediately, the government will remove the restriction that allows international students to work a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session, provided they are working in an essential service or function, such as health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods. More information here.
Minister of International Development Karina Gould participated in a meeting of the Group of Friends of Food Security and Nutrition on the impact of COVID-19 on food availability and supply. A readout of the call can be found here.
While there has been some discussion about reopening Ontario’s economy after positive modelling was revealed by the government, yesterday Premier Ford asked Ontarians to be patient. “I’m getting lobbied hard by so many groups and organizations, but it’s easy to say, ‘Open, open, open,’ until we get a second wave of this and it bites us in the backside,” said Ford. Today, the Premier said opening the economy for the May 24 weekend is “absolutely not going to happen.”
This morning, the Premier told Newstalk 580 CFRA in Ottawa that schools will be among the last to open, after their parents go back to work. “I know our kids are resilient, but still my No. 1 concern is protecting our kids out there. We’re going to have an announcement in the coming days.” More information here.
Premier Ford, Minister of Heath Christine Elliott, and Minister of Long-Term Care Dr. Merrilee Fullerton provided an update on its efforts to help stop and contain the spread of COVID in long-term care homes. The Premier said that while province is making progress against the disease, it requires additional help. To further support ongoing efforts to fight COVID-19 in Ontario’s long-term care homes, the federal government has offered resources that could include personnel and other supports from Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Canadian Armed Forces. These supports would be deployed to five priority long-term care homes as one element of the province’s COVID-19 Action Plan for Protecting Long-Term Care Homes. The province will make this request for additional resources today. More information here.
Yesterday at a news conference where the City of Toronto released new information about the COVID outbreak in the City, Mayor Tory said there was no specific date for when the City’s recovery phase would begin. He reiterated that any reopening would be based on the advice of the City’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, not on politics, public frustration or weather.
During Dr. Eileen De Villa’s presentation she noted that due to the public’s efforts to stay home, Toronto, Ontario and Canada’s case trajectory was lower than many other countries including the U.S. UK, and Spain. She also said that we may have reached the peak of cases in the City, but that we would not know until after the peak has passed. More information here.
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