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Latest headlines

The latest: How many coronavirus cases are there in Canada, by province, and worldwide?

If you are returning to Canada from anywhere, you need to self-isolate: Here’s how

Explainer: What you need to know about COVID-19 and its toll around the world


11:15 p.m. EDT

Doug Ford extends state of emergency, shutters all outdoor recreational amenities

Ontario Premier Doug Ford reiterated Monday that he is prepared to take further action, lamenting that he saw “the streets were packed” on the previous day’s sunny afternoon, but that he is waiting for advice from Williams.

Ford also said he would be extending the state of emergency, which had been set to expire Tuesday, and orders many facilities closed, including daycares, libraries, and bars and restaurants except to do take-out or delivery.

On Monday night, the province announced it is issuing a emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to close all outdoor recreational amenities, such as sports fields and playgrounds, effective immediately.

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- Canadian Press


4:10 p.m. EDT

Saskatchewan reports its first two deaths from COVID-19

The Ministry of Health says two people in their 70s died from complications related to the virus on Sunday.

It says they died in hospital in different parts of the province and one of the cases was travel-related.

The province has also reported 20 new cases of COVID-19, which bring the total to 176.

It says five people are in hospital and one patient is in intensive care.

The province says most of the cases are related to travel or large gatherings, but eight are the result of community transmission.

- Canadian Press

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3:30 p.m. EDT

Ontario reports 10 more deaths from COVID-19

The province’s daily update this morning listed the number of deaths at 23, but the associate chief medical officer of health says that since then, public health units have reported 10 more, for a total of 33.

Dr. Barbara Yaffe says the information is incomplete at the moment, but the regions that have seen more deaths include Haliburton, Lambton, Haldimand Norfolk and Huron Perth.

Dr. Yaffe wasn’t able to say if the Haliburton death is related to an outbreak at Pinecrest Nursing Home in Bobcaygeon.

Seven residents have died there and 24 staff members are infected.


2:30 p.m. EDT

Manitoba orders non-essential business to close

The Manitoba government is forcing non-essential businesses to close to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Starting Tuesday, salons, spas, bars and other establishments will be closed.Restaurants can remain open for takeout or delivery only.The closures do not affect health-care facilities, government services and other institutions.

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The measures are similar to those already in place in some other provinces, and are in place until at least April 14.

Premier Brian Pallister says it was not an easy decision, but is an important step to battle the novel coronavirus.

- Canadian Press


2:15 pm EDT

Two inmates test positive at federal prison in Quebec

Two inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 at a maximum-security prison in Quebec, the first confirmed cases involving prisoners in a federal institution.

The Correctional Service of Canada says that prior to the two inmates being diagnosed, nine employees who work at Port-Cartier Institution also tested positive for the virus.

The service says in a news release all of these employees are in isolation at home and are following direction from local health officials.As of Saturday, 50 tests were conducted on inmates in institutions with 45 negative and two positive results, with three others pending.

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- Canadian Press


1:50 p.m. EDT

Ottawa warns of prescriptions shortages because of hoarding

The federal government is warning people not to stockpile their prescriptions to avoid local shortages of medications.

While the government had encouraged people to make sure they were supplied with their usual medications, it now says people shouldn’t be hoarding more than they typically need.

The government has advised pharmacies not to dispense more than necessary, and is monitoring the supply of drugs.

- Canadian Press


1:45 p.m. EDT

Quebec reports jump in cases of COVID-19

Quebec is reporting another spike in the number of cases in the province to 3,430 confirmed cases of COVID-19.In addition to 590 positive cases compared to Sunday, the province says three more people have died as a result of the virus, bringing the total number of deaths to 25. Premier François Legault says the brightest stat of the day was that 78 people were in intensive care, an increase of just six cases.

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The premier said Monday that to give retail employees a break, stores will be closing on Sundays in April, with only pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores and takeout restaurants remaining open on those days.

- Canadian Press


1 p.m. EDT

Staff at Toronto Public Health HQ ordered home after office hit by COVID-19 outbreak

Staff at the headquarters of Toronto Public Health have been told to stay home if they came to the office in the last 10 days, after cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed among the employees.

The order, which was issued to staff in an emergency message Sunday evening, is a sharp escalation of the agency’s response as recently as Friday.

In an email to staff late Friday afternoon, sent on behalf of the city’s associate medical officer of health, Dr. Michael Finkelstein, the agency acknowledged that there were “some” positive diagnoses among staff. The message said that “everyone who needs to be in self-isolation is now at home.”

About 48 hours later, the message abruptly changed.

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“We carefully assessed this situation and at this time we are asking for all TPH staff who worked at [headquarters] from March 20-29 to work from home [Monday] and self-isolate,” read a note to staff Sunday evening, conveyed via the agency’s emergency notification system.

- Oliver Moore


11:25 a.m. EDT

Ontario reports 351 new COVID-19 cases

Ontario is reporting 351 new COVID-19 cases today, the largest single-day increase, by far. Health officials say the jump is at least partly due to clearing a large backlog of pending test results. The new total of cases in the province is 1,706 - including 431 resolved cases and 23 deaths.

The number of resolved cases had been stuck at eight for many days. But health officials had said to expect a large jump once the data caught up to a new definition for resolved.

The increase in the number of resolved cases also means there are actually fewer active COVID-19 cases in Ontario than Sunday’s data had indicated.

- Canadian Press

11 a.m. EDT

Charities seek help to keep services running

Canada’s charities say they have begun laying off staff and their services, which are usually in high demand during economic downturns, are being shut down as the sector feels the financial sting from COVID-19.

Now the almost 86,000 registered charities in Canada are looking to the federal government to help, with multiple groups calling for immediate cash injections.

Estimates from Imagine Canada, a charity that promotes the work other charities do, suggest donations will drop between $4.2-billion and $6.3-billion, and between 117,000 and 195,000 workers could be laid off depending on the length of the COVID-19 crisis.

So far, federal financial aid for businesses has either not mentioned charities or has been offered in the form of loans that charities generally have difficulty getting for reasons that include a lack of collateral.

Bruce MacDonald, Imagine Canada’s chief executive, says in an interview that COVID-19 has laid open all the structural flaws in the charity sector and many groups don’t think they’ll be able to ride out the storm.

His and other groups are now asking the federal government to create a $10-billion fund to provide grants to charities, or immediately match private donations between now and Canada Day.

- The Canadian Press


Orthodox Jewish community north of Montreal is under lockdown

An Orthodox Jewish community north of Montreal is under lockdown after some of its members tested positive for COVID-19.

Public health authorities on Sunday ordered the 4,000-person Tosh Jewish community of Boisbriand, Que., to be placed under 14-day quarantine and the group’s leadership asked police to help enforce the directive.

The region’s public health authority said today Tosh leaders agree strict measures need to be taken to stop the spread of COVID-19 in their community, even if only a small number of members have so far tested positive.

Authorities say Tosh members likely picked up the virus while travelling to New York State two weeks ago to celebrate a religious holiday.

Community leaders have had to translate relevant information into Yiddish as many members don’t speak English or French and eschew TV and radio.

Tosh members are manning a checkpoint leading into the community with the help of municipal police to ensure the quarantine is respected.

- The Canadian Press


9:30 a.m.

Newfoundland and Labrador reports first death

Newfoundland and Labrador has recorded its first death caused by COVID-19.

It’s believed to be the first fatality linked to the virus in the Atlantic region.

The Health Department in Newfoundland and Labrador says it will release more details at an afternoon news conference.

As of Sunday, the province was reporting 135 confirmed cases.

It attributed the rapid growth of infections to the clustering of a large number of cases linked to two services held earlier this month at Caul’s Funeral Home in St. John’s.

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the province’s chief medical officer of health, says that as of late Saturday, 99 of the province’s 135 infections were linked to the funerals.

- The Canadian Press


Ferry association urges stricter rules for passengers

The Canadian Ferry Association is flagging concerns that Canadians displaying symptoms of COVID-19 have not been banned from boarding ferries as they have been barred from planes and inter-city trains.

Association president Serge Buy says people with COVID-19 should be banned from ferries except in emergency situations such as going to the hospital.

Buy says the respiratory illness has already worsened already severe work shortages in the ferry sector.

- The Canadian Press


9:15 a.m. EDT

Police hand fines to people ignoring social distancing

Police in Nova Scotia are getting serious about imposing fines on people caught ignoring provincial orders aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.

On Sunday, Halifax Regional Police handed a $697 fine to a woman who was walking in Point Pleasant Park, which has been closed to visitors since the province declared a state of emergency on March 22.

As well, the woman’s car was impounded.

On Saturday, the Truro Police Service issued a similar summary offence ticket to a 65-year-old man for failing to self isolate for 14 days after entering the province.

Truro police say they received several complaints alleging the man was “blatantly disregarding” self-isolation rules.

Police Chief Dave MacNeil says the man was charged with violating the province’s Health Protection Act, which carries a fine between $700 and $1,000.

- The Canadian Press


8 a.m. EDT

Vancouver to fire Nine O’Clock Gun early to support health-care workers

A loud and beloved Vancouver tradition is being altered for the first time in its 164-year history to show the city’s appreciation for health care workers on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19.

The Vancouver Park Board says starting tonight and continuing for the month of April, the Nine O’Clock Gun -- a 12-pound cannon in Stanley Park fired every night at 9 p.m. -- will be fired two hours earlier, at 7 p.m.

That matches the time each evening when residents across the city stand on porches, balconies and street corners to honk horns, cheer, clap and bang pots in a show of support for health care workers.

The park board says the Nine O’Clock Gun has been silent just a handful of times since it was given to the city in 1856 and the firing schedule has never been altered, but the change reflects widespread public appeals.

- The Canadian Press


4:30 a.m. EDT

Ottawa to reveal wage-subsidy program details

Businesses and employees across Canada reeling from the COVID-19 crisis are expected to hear more about Ottawa’s proposed wage subsidy program today.

When the federal government announced on Friday that it was boosting the subsidy to 75 per cent from the original 10 per cent, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he hoped the details would be hammered out by Monday.

The unprecedented measures being taken to try to slow the spread of the new coronavirus have severely impacted the national economy, resulting in staggering job losses.

The government has responded, so far, by rolling out a bailout package totalling more than $200-billion.

Another 665 COVID-19 cases were reported in Canada Sunday, pushing the national total to 6,320, including 66 deaths and 485 cases resolved.

And while government officials in Quebec and B.C. have said there are indications social distancing efforts may be paying off in slowing the rampant march of the virus, Canada’s chief public health officer says it’s still too early to make that call.

On Sunday, Dr. Theresa Tam said this week will be “very, very important” for her in terms of looking at those trends. But in the meantime, she again urged Canadians to continue to physically distance themselves from others.

-The Canadian Press


Along certain Calgary sidewalks and pathways with larger volumes of pedestrian traffic, crews have placed pylons and other barricades onto a lane of adjacent roadway for people to step onto so they can safely maintain a two-metre separation between themselves and others.

Greg Glatz/The Canadian Press

Calgary blocks off some traffic lanes to give pedestrians and cyclists extra room

Starting Saturday along certain Calgary sidewalks and pathways with larger volumes of pedestrian traffic, crews placed pylons and other barricades onto a lane of adjacent roadway for people to step onto so they can safely maintain a two-metre separation from others.

“We’re not encouraging people to go and hang around these places, but what we have done is closed a couple of lanes, again in high-pedestrian-centric locations, just to allow people to have more space between them if they are walking,” explained Sean Somers with the city’s transportation department.

Kimberley Nelson, who represents Alberta on the Velo Canada Bikes board, said she and other cycling advocates began suggesting the idea of closing some traffic lanes a week ago. Since Calgary announced late last week that it would do it, she said councillors in some other Canadian cities are also advocating for it on social media.

Nelson noted many doctors in Calgary cycle to work, adding “Being able to ensure they’re able to do so in a safe manner is really important right now.”

-The Canadian Press


4 a.m. EDT

Advocates say Saskatchewan lacks plan for homeless

Some organizations are calling on the Saskatchewan government to provide a plan for how to help the homeless and those on income assistance during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Jason Mercredi of AIDS Saskatoon says he’s worried the virus will spread like wildfire through the city’s homeless population because proper screening protocols and housing options are not in place.

Mercredi says public health officials want people to take an online self-assessment tool and call the province’s health-line for a referral.

But he says the homeless don’t have guaranteed access to phones or computers, especially with public libraries being closed.

They also don’t have safe places to socially isolate.

The provincial government says in a statement that it’s working on strategies for services and ways to provide short-term and long-term housing for people who need it during the pandemic

Mercredi says he wants to see hotels made available for homeless residents to self-isolate.

-The Canadian Press


Archives:

March 29: Canada to make sure Chinese masks meet quality standards, Trudeau says; 5,866 COVID-19 cases nationally, 63 deaths

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