Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Thursday June 25, 2020

Premier Doug Ford congratulates the graduating class of 2020 during a news conference on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. Joining Ford are Education Minister Stephen Lecce (right) and Toronto Raptors Superfan Nav Bhatia. (Premier of Ontario/YouTube via Newswatch Group)

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Thursday, June 25, 2020:

  • There have been 34,016 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 163 (or 0.5 per cent) from the previous day. There are 29,336 people recovered from the virus while 2,631 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 1,236,023 of which 21,398 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 102,242. The country has 8,484 deaths from the virus – 171 in British Columbia, 153 in Alberta, 13 in Saskatchewan, seven in Manitoba, 2,631 in Ontario, 5,441 in Quebec, two in New Brunswick, three in Newfoundland & Labrador and 63 in Nova Scotia.
  • Testing in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area jumped by 331 on Wednesday to 14,347 tests. The regional total of confirmed positives remains at 163 with 135 resolved. Two people in hospital, one in ICU and there have been 11 deaths to date. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 112 cases (95 resolved), SD&G 29 cases (24 resolved) and Cornwall 22 cases (16 resolved).
  • A testing center will open on Anik Street in Alexandria next Tuesday (June 30). It will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment (613-933-1375). There are five other testing centers operating in the region – Hawkesbury, Cornwall, Winchester, Casselman and Rockland – as well as a mobile clinic in Akwesasne. The health unit says the Alexandria clinic will “broaden access” to testing and allow it to move more quickly to isolate and contact trace cases.
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit area stands at 352 confirmed cases and 52 deaths with 299 cases (99 per cent) resolved. There have been 53 community cases in Leeds-Grenville with no active cases.
  • Ontario has extended its state of emergency until July 15. The extension was approved by the legislature Wednesday. The state of emergency allows the government to make and amend health and safety orders that are in place, including gathering sizes.
  • Premier Doug Ford announced Wednesday that Windsor-Essex with the exception of two areas, will move to stage two today (Thursday). The exceptions are Leamington and Kingsville, which are staying at stage one. The area has been dealing with outbreaks of COVID-19 among temporary foreign workers on farms. The province’s three-point plan to tackle the problem includes mobile testing units going to farms as well as access to employment benefits and supports for foreign workers.
  • Later in the day, Premier Ford addressed the high school graduating class of 2020, who had their graduation ceremonies cancelled due to coronavirus. Ford says the student body is his number one asset when selling the province abroad. “Be the people that makes things happen,” the premier encouraged. He was joined by Education Minister Stephen Lecce and Toronto Raptors Superfan Nav Bhatia.
  • Facing the crushing blow from the coronavirus pandemic, WestJet is restructuring its operations and laying off more than 3,300 employees. The major restructuring includes consolidating its call center operations and contracting out operations at 34 Canadian airports.
  • Canada’s credit rating took a hit from one international agency. Fitch Ratings dropped the country’s rating from AAA to AA+ due to the ballooning federal deficit. The rating gives foreign direct investors an idea of the level of risk investing in Canada.
  • Early results from a survey of pregnant Canadian women during the COVID-19 pandemic show anxiety and depression is three to four times higher than normal. Those stressors can have negative consequences on birthing, such as low birth weight.
  • In Florida, several players and staff of the Toronto Blue Jays have tested positive for COVID-19, a source told The Associated Press. The team closed its training facility in Dunedin last Friday.

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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