Top COVID-19 stories and news Gandhi Roti.
5 pm Toronto reports 82 new COVID-19 cases, seven more deaths
Toronto Public Health has reported 82 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the city’s total to 13,502. Another 97 people have recovered from the virus. In total, the city’s resolved cases are 11,195. Seven more people have also died. To date, the virus has killed 992 people in Toronto.
2:18 pm Pop-up food banks relocate from public libraries
Nine of the 11 temporary food banks located in library branches have been relocated so the Toronto Public Library can begin curbside drop-off and pick-up services.
In April, the library teamed with North York Harvest Food Bank, Daily Bread Food Bank and Second Harvest to distribute food via closed branches. Now that libraries are reopening, the food banks have moved other sites within neigbhourhoods served by the library branches. Two temporary food banks are continuing to operate in TPL branches with adjusted hours.
The city said in a statement that two new food banks were opened at YMCA locations in these areas and temporary food banks at three city arenas continue to operate.
1:30 pm Ontario releases “toolkit” with safety guidance for employers
Premier Doug Ford has announced a “toolkit” to help businesses create safe workplaces for employees as the province reopens. The toolkit includes 133 sector-specific workplace safety guidance documents. Employers are being encouraged to come up with workplace safety plans, Ford added.
The premier and Health Minister Christine Elliott were also asked at his daily Queen’s Park news conference whether the province will mandate masks for big box stores after 14 employees at a Home Depot in Richmond Hill tested positive for COVID-19.
Elliott responded that “physical distancing is still the most important rule to follow. We should continue to do that and that masks should be worn in situations when that’s not going to be possible.”
11:13 am Canada-U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until July 21
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that Canada-U.S. border restrictions will remain in place for another 30 days until July 21. The two countries have temporarily restricted non-essential travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.
11:10 am Ottawa to extend CERB for another eight weeks
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that the federal government will extend the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for eight weeks for Canadians who still can’t find work during the pandemic.
The PM said he will look at “international best practices” to see what changes need to be made to the program – if any – “to ensure people are properly supported.”
“A lot of people still needs this support as they pay their bills while they look for work,” Trudeau said.
10:30 am Ontario reports 184 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths
Ontario has reported fewer than 200 new COVID-19 cases for a third consecutive day.
Provincial public health officials have confirmed 184 new cases, bringing Ontario’s total to 32,554. Another 218 patients have recovered since yesterday. In total, 27,431 cases are now resolved – or 84 per cent of all cases.
Many of the new cases are concentrated in the Greater Toronto Area. Toronto has 79 new cases, Peel Region reported 23 and York Region has 18 new cases. Windsor-Essex has 16 new cases.
Eleven more people have died. The virus has now killed 2,538 people in the province.
In terms of testing, 21,724 tests were completed since yesterday and another 17,920 cases are under investigation.
There are 413 patients in hospital, with 98 in intensive care units and 70 in intensive care on ventilators.
10 am TTC to give away complimentary PRESTO cards this summer and fall
As city gradually reopens from coronavirus lockdown measures, the TTC will give out free PRESTO cards to riders in the summer and fall.
According to a report to be presented at tomorrow’s TTC board meeting, the transit agency is developing a plan to distribute the cards in areas where PRESTO use is relatively low “and where customers could benefit from receiving a PRESTO card.”
The move is being undertaken to encourage customers to use contactless payment. The TTC previously gave out free PRESTO cards in November 2019 at subway stations.
The report states that approximately 90 per cent of TTC customers use PRESTO.
“As always, customers can continue to pay with cash, tickets and tokens for the foreseeable future,” the report states.
On March 18, the TTC changed boarding policies to require bus passengers to board from the rear doors and temporarily suspending the collection of cash, token, ticket fares and paper transfers. On July 2, front-door boarding on buses will resume, as will the acceptance of cash, token, tickets and paper transfers.
By the end of April, the TTC had seen an 86 per cent drop in ridership after provincial emergency orders forced many businesses and workplaces to close. The report says the current decline is now 82 per cent compared with pre-COVID ridership levels.
The transit agency is expecting the ridership drop to translate into a $300 million financial hit by Labour Day, up from $297.7 million reported to the TTC Board in May.
The report adds that, assuming elementary, high schools and more work places reopen by the fall, ridership is expected to reach 30 to 60 per cent of normal levels. If that happens, “the financial pressure arising from COVID-19 is expected to range between $463 million to nearly $600 million by year-end,” the report states.
9 am Canada has more than 99,000 cases of COVID-19
There are 99,147 cases of COVID-19 in Canada and 8,175 people have died.
The outbreak is a serious public health threat though most people who contract the virus have not been hospitalized.
Symptoms include cough, fever, difficulty breathing and pneumonia in both lungs and may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure. People age 65 and over and people with compromised immune systems and/or underlying medical conditions have a higher risk of contracting a severe case.