Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Friday August 14, 2020

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit office at 1000 Pitt Street in Cornwall, Ont. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

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

  • There have been 40,367 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 78 (or 0.2 per cent) from the previous day (case count is underestimation due to missing Toronto Public Health numbers). There are 36,689 people recovered from the virus while 2,787 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 2,498,266 of which 29,049 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 121,234. The country has 9,015 deaths from the virus – 196 in British Columbia, 220 in Alberta, 20 in Saskatchewan, eight in Manitoba, 2,787 in Ontario, 5,715 in Quebec, two in New Brunswick, three in Newfoundland & Labrador and 64 in Nova Scotia.
  • The declared outbreak at Maxville Manor is officially over, meaning there are no institutional outbreaks in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region. Testing increased by 435 to 33,715. The balance of the statistics stayed the same: 179 confirmed cases with 163 resolved. One person in hospital. Eleven deaths to date. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 118 cases (103 resolved + 11 deaths), SD&G 36 cases (35 resolved) and Cornwall 25 cases (25 resolved).
  • No changes in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit area Thursday with 356 confirmed cases, 52 deaths and 304 recoveries. When the health unit migrated data to the new provincial case management system, a case that occurred on July 11 and has since been resolved, was found. That is why the confirmed cases and recoveries each went up by one.
  • School boards across Ontario will be able to access $500 million in reserve money to address social distancing measures, Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced Thursday. The province is also providing $50 million to upgrade ventilation in schools.
  • The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne has made changes to its curfew law to allow for essential travel. Community members who have to travel outside the 50 mile (80 kilometer) radius of the reserve for essential reasons won’t have to quarantine for two weeks on their return. Essential travel includes providing service “essential to the health, safety, security or economic well-being” of the community, schooling, immediate medical care or tending to a sick family member who has nobody else to help them. The curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. remains in effect.
  • COVID-19 emergency funding from the federal government will be used for the Akwesasne Family Wellness Program (AFWP). MCA approved it Monday. The AFWP provides emergency and safe housing plus healing education services for victims of domestic violence, self harm and high risk behaviours. Ottawa’s $50 million COVID-19 Economic Response Plan was announced in July to help women and children trying to escape domestic violence during the pandemic.
  • With an increase in cases in Regina, the mayor of Saskatchewan’s capital city wants people to wear masks in public indoor spaces. Right now it’s an ask. There are 38 active cases in the city – the single biggest cluster in the province.
  • The federal wage subsidy program for businesses might end up costing less than anticipated. The Parliamentary Budget Office estimates it will cost $67.9 billion through the end of the year – about $14 billion less than originally predicted last month by the finance minister.
  • The federal government is taking $31 million from the Smart Cities Challenge and will give it to communities to pay for pandemic-related projects. Details on applying for the money will be coming shortly.
  • Some restaurants in Toronto are doing away with tipping and, instead, adding gratuities right into the bill. There are three businesses doing it so far with the goal of making the industry more equitable between front-house and back-house staff.

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