Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Saturday July 18, 2020

Premier Doug Ford speaks at a health tech company in Kitchener, Ont. on Friday, July 17, 2020 about the province's Intellectual Property Action Plan. Ford also announced the latest round of funded research projects to combat COVID-19. (Premier of Ontario/YouTube via Newswatch Group)

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Saturday, July 18, 2020:

  • There have been 37,274 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 111 (or 0.3 per cent) from the previous day. There are 33,162 people recovered from the virus while 2,746 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 1,810,483 of which 24,781 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 109,669. The country has 8,839 deaths from the virus – 189 in British Columbia, 167 in Alberta, 15 in Saskatchewan, seven in Manitoba, 2,746 in Ontario, 5,647 in Quebec, two in New Brunswick, three in Newfoundland & Labrador and 63 in Nova Scotia.
  • There were no changes Friday in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region other than testing numbers. The total number of confirmed cases remains at 170 with 151 resolved. Two people are in hospital. There have been 11 deaths to date. Testing increased by 502 to 23,059. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 115 cases (100 resolved + 11 deaths), SD&G 31 cases (28 resolved) and Cornwall 24 cases (23 resolved).
  • There was no change Friday in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit region with 355 cases and 52 deaths. The number of recovered remains at 302.
  • EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis announced changes Thursday to visitation at area nursing homes. Outdoor visits will be allowed, two family members per resident, and those visiting outdoors do not have to have a COVID-19 test beforehand. Family visits indoors still require a COVID-19 test.
  • Roumeliotis would rather not have seen indoor seating at bars open during Stage 3. The medical officer of health told CFRA that he and some of his counterparts were disappointed they were included in Friday’s openings and that people lose their inhibitions around social distancing when drinking. Roumeliotis would like to see more bylaw enforcement specifically on licenced establishments.
  • The province rolled out the second batch of research projects under the $20 million Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund to find ways to prevent, detect and treat COVID-19. The province also announced a made-in-Ontario plan to protect and commercialize intellectual property.
  • The province has taken management control of another nursing home – this time in North York – where 27 people have died from the virus. Sixteen residents and five staff are positive.
  • A rise in cases in Quebec is being attributed to big private house parties. It’s also making the large gatherings difficult for contact tracers.
  • The Trudeau Liberals wage subsidy program is being extended until December and will now pay on a sliding scale based on revenue drops at a business due to the coronavirus pandemic. The worst off will get 25 per cent to a maximum of $847 per week for each worker.
  • Akwesasne Mohawk Casino had a drive-thru testing center Thursday for its employees ahead of its opening on Aug. 3. Roughly 100 employees were tested.
  • You remember the shortage of toilet paper? Well, Americans are now dealing with another shortage – pocket change. The U.S. Federal Reserve says there’s a coin shortage partly because the U.S. Mint had to scale back production and also there are fewer deposits to the reserve from banks.

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