Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Thursday October 22, 2020

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Thursday, October 22, 2020:

  • There have been 66,686 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 790 (or 1.2 per cent) from the previous day. There are 57,325 people recovered from the virus while 3,062 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 4,746,972 of which 29,332 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 205,954. The country has 9,826 deaths from the virus – 256 in British Columbia, 293 in Alberta, 25 in Saskatchewan, 43 in Manitoba, 3,062 in Ontario, 6,074 in Quebec, four in New Brunswick, four in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit region added 10 new cases on Wednesday to bring the region total to 457 confirmed cases, 150 active and 293 resolved. There are five people in hospital, one in ICU. There are five institutional outbreaks. Testing increased by 1,225 to 71,296. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 321 cases (113 active), SD&G 94 cases (29 active) and Cornwall 42 cases (eight active).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added three more cases Wednesday to bring the regional total to 424 confirmed cases, of which 17 are active and 355 are recovered. The breakdown is: Leeds-Grenville East (four active), Leeds-Grenville Central (two active), Leeds-Grenville West (two active), Lanark County West (one active) and Lanark County East (eight active). There have been 52 deaths to date.
  • It was a staff member at Oxford-on-Rideau that was the single case of COVID-19 within the elementary school, six kilometers southwest of Kemptville. That’s according to provincial health data released Wednesday morning. After doing contact tracing over the weekend, the health unit told the school board there would need no need to close the school or change routines.
  • Ottawa’s health unit is investigating transmission of the virus within team sport settings. Over a dozen teams – both children and adults teams – are under investigation. Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches says there have been five outbreaks leading to 28 people testing positive. There’s also hundreds of high risk contacts.
  • Premier Doug Ford says the virus is having a profound impact on people’s mental health. He announced $24 million for specialized mental health and addiction services for children and youth, which includes $11 million for 80 mental health service providers for capacity and access. This is all part of the $176 million package announced earlier this summer.
  • Via Rail has tightened rules on people who choose not to wear a mask on its trains. As of Nov. 9, those with a medical condition or disability that makes it difficult for them to wear a mask will have to produce a medical certificate along with identification. The railway is also not accepting single-layer face masks, scarves or bandannas or masks with exhalation valves.
  • It’s the tale of two cities with health officials’ interpretations of how they are each handling the COVID-19 crisis. Toronto’s medical officer of health says the city could be following Europe. Montreal’s says the situation is going in the right direction and cases have stabilized – even though the city is still in the red zone.
  • With people not following the rules, Manitoba has bumped its fines to the second highest in Canada. It’s a $1,296 fine for individuals and $5,000 for corporations not following health orders.
  • A Cornwall man has put his handiwork towards helping local children while learning at home. Roland Besner – a self-described hobbyist woodworker – has built 20 desks and will be giving them away to students in need. “I decided to support virtual learning and hoping to make life a little bit easier for local kids,” Besner said.
In this provided photo, Roland Besner has built 20 of these desks to help local students in need have a workspace while doing schoolwork virtually. Photo take Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. (Roland Besner via Newswatch Group)

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