Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Wednesday July 1, 2020

Ontario Environment, Conservation and Parks Minister Jeff Yurek announces that all Ontario parks will be open for free admission for Canada Day to help people cooped up this spring from the coronavirus pandemic. Free family fishing is also being extended for two weeks, starting July 4, 2020. (Premier of Ontario/YouTube via Newswatch Group)

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Wednesday, July 1, 2020:

  • There have been 35,068 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 157 (or 0.4 per cent) from the previous day. There are 30,344 people recovered from the virus while 2,672 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 1,407,325 of which 19,318 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 104,204. The country has 8,591 deaths from the virus – 174 in British Columbia, 154 in Alberta, 13 in Saskatchewan, seven in Manitoba, 2,672 in Ontario, 5,503 in Quebec, two in New Brunswick, three in Newfoundland & Labrador and 63 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) added another 823 tests to its total Tuesday, bringing the total number of tests to 16,057. The regional total of confirmed positives stands at 163 with 141 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 (97 resolved), SD&G 29 cases (25 resolved) and Cornwall 22 cases (19 resolved).
  • EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says he is working with his counterparts at the health units in Leeds-Grenville-Lanark, Ottawa and Renfrew for a mandatory masking order, coming next week. Read that story here.
  • Toronto city council has approved a bylaw to make masks mandatory in public indoor settings starting next week.
  • Roumeliotis is scaling back his weekday briefings with reporters to twice a week – Mondays and Thursdays – starting on Monday (July 6). The health unit will also not be updating statistics on weekends and statutory holidays as of yesterday (Tuesday June 30).
  • No change in numbers Tuesday for the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit area. It’s 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.
  • In order to help Ontarians during the pandemic get out and enjoy the fresh air, the Ontario government has opened its provincial parks to free day use for Canada Day. Free fishing is also being offered and expanded for a two week stretch starting July 4.
  • The economy took a record plunge in April as Statistics Canada the GDP fell 11.6 per cent in April following a 7.5 per cent drop in March. It’s the largest monthly drop on record.
  • The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne has amended its curfew to decrease the hours to 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. throughout the reserve, with the exception for essential service workers. Since April, the curfew had been 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • The co-founder of WE Charity says he misspoke when he said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s staff had contacted them to administer the $900 million federal student aid program. Marc Kielburger now says it was workers at Employment and Social Development Canada. Trudeau has been under fire after word the organization had been chosen to administer the program.
  • A federal government restriction barring people from countries other than the United States from entering Canada has been extended another month to July 31. There were exceptions in the rule for immediate family of Canadian citizens or permanent residents, as well as flight crews.
  • After months of being separated, B.C. family members will be able to see their loved ones in long term care homes. The province is allowing one designated visitor per resident.

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