Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Thursday May 14, 2020

In this June 2017, file photo, Akwesasne Grand Chief Abram Benedict speaks outside the Cornwall Justice Building on Pitt Street. Benedict says the band has spent the $214,000 on its emergency food program during the coronavirus pandemic. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Thursday, May 14, 2020:

  • There have been 21,236 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 329 cases (or 1.6 per cent) from the previous day. There are 15,845 people recovered from the virus while 1,765 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 475,058 of which 13,395 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 72,278. The country has 5,304 deaths from the virus – 132 in British Columbia, 120 in Alberta, six in Saskatchewan, seven in Manitoba, 1,765 in Ontario, 3,220 in Quebec, three in Newfoundland & Labrador and 51 in Nova Scotia.
  • The number of cases in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit stayed steady at 132 on Wednesday but the number of resolved cases was revised from 73 to 68. No explanation was provided for the change. The number of deaths remain at nine. The breakdown of cases is 15 in Cornwall (14 resolved), 21 in SD&G (16 resolved) and 96 in Prescott-Russell (38 resolved). There are two people in hospital – both in ICU. There have been 3,403 tests performed in the EOHU region, 105 more than the previous day. There are three institutional outbreaks and one outbreak resolved.
  • Another five cases were added to the tally Wednesday for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, bringing the total to 324. The number of deaths was unchanged at 46. For community cases in Leeds-Grenville, there were 21 in the central region (17 recovered), 12 in the west (10 recovered) and nine in the east (five recovered).
  • Akwesasne Grand Chief Abram Benedict says the First Nation has spent $214,000 to date for its emergency food package distribution program. The final pickup and deliveries are being made Friday before the program is discontinued, Benedict said in a CKON community update on YouTube. The MCA is looking at alternatives to help people who still need food.
  • Benedict says the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne is looking to reopen its government and has set a target date of June 1. The grand chief says they are looking at service delivery models, including online applications.
  • MP Eric Duncan and MPP Jim McDonell, along with Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, held a virtual meeting with business owners Wednesday afternoon. Many of the questions surrounded guidelines for barriers and sanitation. The provincial government is getting ready for the next phase of reopening the economy.
  • Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott says the province is taking immediate steps to monitor a growing sickness in children called multisystem inflammatory vasculitis, similar to Kawasaki Syndrome. The province is adding it to the COVID-19 case definition as an atypical presentation in children.
  • The Upper Canada District School Board is following Education Minister Stephen Lecce’s advice and is postponing high school graduation ceremonies until June next year. Moving the ceremonies won’t affect a student’s ability to graduate if they have met their diploma requirements.
  • The provincial government is working to voluntarily redeploy educational support staff, like custodians and social workers, to fill staffing roles at places like hospitals, long term care homes, retirement homes and women’s shelters. The placement can be terminated at any time by the employee or the employer. It’s been endorsed by all four trustees’ associations and the main teacher unions.
  • There is more financial aid for small business. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the $962 million Regional Relief and Recovery Fund. It will be distributed through economic development agencies to small businesses that haven’t been able to qualify for other programs.
  • Masks – mandatory or voluntary? Canada Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam says it all depends on the setting you’re in. She says they are beneficial in places where you can’t physically distance easily like some stores and public transit.

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