Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Saturday, March 28, 2020

The normally bustling Brookdale Avenue in Cornwall, Ont. is almost empty at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 26, 2020 as people practice physical distancing and isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

Here is the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Saturday, March 28, 2020:

  • There have been 993 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario. Eight of those have recovered. Eighteen have died. The positive total includes four confirmed cases in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s jurisdiction – all in Prescott-Russell. The number of Ontario people tested is 41,032; 29,967 were negative and test results are pending for 10,074.
  • Canada’s confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 case total is 4,689. The country has 53 COVID-19 related deaths – 14 in British Columbia, two in Alberta, one in Manitoba, 18 in Ontario and 18 in Quebec.
  • Local Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says COVID-19 testing centers in Cornwall and Winchester will likely be up and running sometime next week. The Cornwall site will be at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health on McConnell Avenue. The Winchester site will be at the Lions Club on Albert Street. They won’t be running until local emergency rooms become burdened with COVID-19 cases. So far, that’s not the case. Other sites chosen for future testing and assessment centers are the health unit offices in Casselman and Alexandria.
  • Roumeliotis says people will be getting nasal swab test results more quickly by next week as more laboratories are set up. Read that story here.
  • Cornwall Police Services Board chairman Glen Grant has cancelled the meeting scheduled for April 2. The next scheduled police board meeting is May 7.
  • The federal government will be providing a 75 percent wage subsidy for small and medium sized businesses retroactive to March 15, allowing them to meet payroll. GST/HST payments are being deferred until June. There’s also $25 billion to financial institutions to provide interest-free loans to small business, plus $40 billion in loans through Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has completed his 14 day isolation period after his wife tested positive for COVID-19 after a UK business trip. Trudeau says he will keep staying in isolation, partly because his doctors recommended it and he wants to set an example.
  • The Conservative Party of Canada suspended its leadership race. The party will re-evaluate its decision in May.
  • The Bank of Canada has cut the key interest rate half a percentage point to 0.25 per cent in order to support the Canadian economy and financial system. It’s the second unscheduled rate cut this month.
  • The City of Montreal has declared a state of emergency. It will give the city more power to spend money and give authority to police and firefighters to enforce public health laws.
  • In Northern New York, a third case of coronavirus is confirmed in Franklin County. Three police officers in Malone are in quarantine after one was potentially exposed to a person infected with the virus. The police chief told NNY360 that all three were showing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • A Cornwall logistics worker has been featured in a world-wide Facebook group devoted to lifting people’s spirits during these stressful times. “My son is doing 12 hrs 5 days a week to stock this (Walmart) Truck to keep food in our bellies. Please remember his sacrifice!” Tara Merkley wrote about Liam Baribeau in the group called Hearts in the Window. As of Friday night, the post had over 9,700 reactions and 1,000 comments. The group has over 28,000 members.

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

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