Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Tuesday, March 31, 2020

A notice in the window of a tax preparation office on Second Street East in Cornwall, Ont. on Thursday, March 26, 2020 notifies customers about the new rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Tuesday, March 31, 2020:

  • There have been 1,706 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario. Recovered from the virus: 431. Deaths from the virus: 23 (additional 10 reported after 10:30 a.m. Monday update). The positive total includes nine confirmed cases in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s jurisdiction. All the cases were in Prescott-Russell. The number of Ontario people tested is 48,461 of which 5,651 have pending results.
  • Canada’s confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 case total is 7,437. The country has 89 COVID-19 related deaths – 19 in British Columbia, eight in Alberta, two in Saskatchewan, one in Manitoba, 33 in Ontario, 25 in Quebec and one in Newfoundland & Labrador.
  • After Ontario Public Health released its latest stats Monday morning at 10:30 a.m., Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe said there had been 10 more deaths reported to them, bringing the number of dead to 33. Most of the cases were in southwestern Ontario and the Peterborough area.
  • Both the Cornwall Community Hospital and the Winchester District Memorial Hospital have made public pleas for personal protective equipment. Both hospitals say they have enough now but are planning for the future. Donations are being taken through email – for Winchester and for Cornwall.
  • Premier Doug Ford is extending Ontario’s state of emergency another two weeks. It went into effect March 17 and was due to expire on March 31. It will now go to April 14.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says businesses, non-profits and charities will be able to take part in a wage subsidy program – 75 per cent on the first $58,700 in earnings. But Trudeau warned that there would be serious consequences for people who abuse the system. Employers will also have to show their revenue has fallen at least 30 per cent.
  • Air Canada is temporarily laying off 15,000 unionized staff while the country deals with the coronavirus pandemic. The layoffs are expected to continue through April and May.
  • The Children’s Treatment Center Bike-A-Thon Plus Kickoff Breakfast, originally scheduled for April 22 has been cancelled due to the pandemic. Singer-songwriter Susan Aglukark was supposed to be the guest speaker.
  • The Kinsmen Pizza Party has been cancelled. It was supposed to be March 27 and then was postponed. Now it’s officially off for this year. The Kinsmen Club still plans to give money to benefactors of the event.
  • A favourite for local runners, the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, scheduled for May 23-24, has been cancelled. Run Ottawa is planning a virtual race weekend.
  • The Tokyo Olympics will open next year on July 23, 2021 – the same day that the games were supposed to start this year.

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