Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Thursday September 17, 2020

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Thursday, September 17, 2020:

  • There have been 45,383 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 315 (or 0.7 per cent) from the previous day. There are 40,245 people recovered from the virus while 2,822 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 3,398,563 of which 28,346 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 139,747. The country has 9,193 deaths from the virus – 219 in British Columbia, 254 in Alberta, 24 in Saskatchewan, 16 in Manitoba, 2,822 in Ontario, 5,788 in Quebec, two in New Brunswick, three in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
  • Another two cases were reported in Prescott-Russell Wednesday to bring the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area to 220 confirmed positive cases. Of those, 27 are active and 181 are resolved. There are no people in hospital and there are 12 deaths to date. Testing increased by 1,058 to 48,467. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 143 cases (16 active), SD&G 49 cases (10 active) and Cornwall 28 cases (one active).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit region remained at 368 confirmed cases across the region. Of those, two are active and 314 have recovered. Fifty-two people have died during the coronavirus crisis.
  • The coronavirus testing center in Winchester is making some changes starting today (Sept. 17) due to a surge in demand. Patients will have to phone the center first and book an appointment at the Winchester Lions Hall. The number is 613-774-2420 extension 6814.
  • Premier Doug Ford says there are going to be “severe” fines for people who don’t abide by social gathering limits. The current numbers are 50 indoors and 100 outdoors but the government is expected to change those, according to government sources, to deal with the hot spots in Ottawa, Toronto and Peel. Private gatherings at homes are the main culprit for the latest spike in cases, health officials say.
  • The Ontario government has launched an interactive screening tool so parents, caregivers, students and staff can conduct a daily COVID-19 assessment. You can find the tool here.
  • The Canada-U.S. border will likely be closed to non-essential travel until the end of November, according to both Canadian and American sources speaking with Reuters. The monthly ban started in March and has been extended multiple times. It is set to expire Monday (Sept. 21).
  • A Pembroke high school has been closed after three staff members tested positive for COVID-19 since Friday. The third case was linked to the first two.
  • Saliva-based testing for novel coronavirus could be coming this fall. The test is seen as useful for people who can’t handle the nasal swab, such as young children.
  • Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, his family and some party workers are isolating after an aide tested positive. While the leader says he and his family feel well, they are taking the situation seriously. O’Toole is the second federal party leader to self-isolate after Bloc Quebecois’ Yves-Francois Blanchet and his spouse isolated when an aide tested positive.
  • A Winnipeg elementary and middle school are moving some students to remote learning after six new COVID-19 cases in addition to another case reported on the weekend. Manitoba’s chief public health officer says it’s the first case of transmission within a school since classes began this month.
  • A Quebec company has figured out how to make a fully biodegradable face mask filter from wood products. It could be an environmental game changer with Canadians tossing 129 billion face masks in the garbage every month.

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