Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Sunday April 26, 2020

A playground is taped off in MacLennan Park in South Stormont on Saturday, April 4, 2020 during the coronavirus outbreak. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Sunday, April 26, 2020:

  • There have been 13,995 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 476 cases (or 3.5 per cent) from the previous day. There are 7,509 people recovered from the virus while 811 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 217,618 of which 8,171 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 45,354. The country has 2,465 deaths from the virus – 100 in British Columbia, 73 in Alberta, four in Saskatchewan, six in Manitoba, 811 in Ontario, 1,446 in Quebec, three in Newfoundland & Labrador and 22 in Nova Scotia.
  • As expected, the number of cases in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region jumped by 10 to a confirmed 88 cases. Most of the latest cases are from a nursing home in Plantagenet where eight residents and two staff tested positive (in addition to a previous positive staff member). The breakdown now is 14 in Cornwall, 17 in SD&G (one more than Friday) and 57 in Prescott-Russell (nine more than Friday). There are three people in hospitals and two of those are in ICU. There have been no deaths. The number of resolved cases has risen by four to 40. There have been 1,626 tests performed in the EOHU region.
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties stands at 285 coronavirus cases and 39 deaths. The health unit doesn’t update its information over the weekend.
  • Some front line workers will be getting temporary pandemic pay increases. Premier Doug Ford announced a $4 per hour wage increase and for employees working over 100 hours a month, they will receive $250 lump sum payments for the next four months. The temporary pay increase and monthly payments apply to staff in long term care homes, retirement homes, emergency shelters, supportive housing, social services congregate care settings, corrections institutions and youth justice facilities, home and community care workers and some staff in hospitals. The pandemic payment will also apply to front line clinical services and support services like cleaning and meal preparation.
  • The Ontario emergency order has been amended to allow community gardens across the province. They will be allowed, provided people practice physical distancing and do not gather in groups of more than five.
  • The province has extended the closure of provincial parks and conservation areas until May 31.
  • Canada’s chief public health officer is warning provinces not to rely on “herd immunity” to overcome coronavirus, saying there’s no proof people can’t catch the virus twice. Quebec’s premier and health director are both pushing the idea as a strategy to reopen schools.

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