Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Sunday, March 22, 2020

In this provided photo, a cashier stands behind a Plexiglass shield at a gas station and convenience store in Lancaster, Ont. Convenience stores are deemed an essential service during Ontario's state of emergency. (MacEwen/County Line via Newswatch Group)

Here is the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Sunday, March 22, 2020:

  • There have been 377 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario. Six of those have been resolved. Three people have died. The positive total includes the two confirmed cases in Prescott-Russell, in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit jurisdiction. The number of Ontario people tested is 23,384; 15,768 were negative and test results are pending for 7,239.
  • Canada’s confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 case total is now 1,294. The country has 14 COVID-19 related deaths – nine in British Columbia, one in Alberta, three in Ontario and one in Quebec.
  • Walmart on Ninth Street in Cornwall is the latest store to adjust its store hours to accommodate seniors and those with vulnerable health conditions. Starting Monday, it will be open every day 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. that select group. The reduced store hours will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day for everyone else.
  • The Cornwall Community Hospital is reducing the number of visitors allowed for dying and pregnant patients. Both (palliative and compassionate reasons and obstetrics/pediatrics) are now one visitor per patient in the hospital at a time (previous it was two). If you’re in the ER, you aren’t allowed any visitors. The hospital also says if you feel unwell or you’ve travelled outside the country and are in self-isolation, don’t visit.
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford says “extraordinary times call for extraordinary efforts.” The government has launched Ontario Together which will help manufacturers to retool their production to make much-needed medical equipment like masks and swabs. It will also allow them to bring ideas to the government.
  • In a letter to the congregation, Alexandria-Cornwall Bishop Terrence Prendergast says he is proud of the local Church’s response to the coronavirus crisis through both prayers and efforts to reach out to the most vulnerable. “I know you are praying with fervour for divine intervention in this crisis,” he wrote. Weekend and weekday masses are cancelled until further notice. This is the Lenten period for Roman Catholics.
  • Some businesses deemed essential services are putting in extra safety measures for their employees. A gas station and convenience store in Lancaster will be installing Plexiglass shields to protect cashiers. Ontario Sobeys locations have put similar protections in place.
  • SD&G O.P.P. is responsible for enforcing Ontario’s mandatory closures outside the City of Cornwall. The police force says failing to comply with the order carries a fine of $750, obstructing a police officer carries a $1,000 and corporations can face a $500,000 fine under the Provincial Offences Act.
  • The United Counties Science Fair that was scheduled for April 4 has been cancelled. The organizing committee thank the students registered to take care, as well as parents, teachers, volunteer judges, donors, sponsors and volunteers. The science fair is expected to happen in April 2021.

Have a story or news release related to COVID-19? Send it along for possible inclusion in a future digest on Cornwall Newswatch. Email Please put “COVID-19 Digest” in the subject line.

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