Samuel Engelking

Trudeau to push for 10 days paid sick leave for all Canadians; Tory apologizes for not wearing a mask in Trinity Bellwoods


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4:21 pm Toronto reports 177 new COVID-19 case, three more deaths

Toronto Public Health has reported 177 new COVID-19 infections in the city, bringing the total cases to 10,212. Another 759 people have recovered, an increase of 112 since yesterday. Total recovered cases are 7,509. Another three people have died. In all, COVID-19 has killed 761 people in the city.

Medical officer of health Eileen de Villa also said TPH data suggests that it is taking on average almost five days from the time someone presents with symptoms of COVID-19 to when they actually get tested in the city. She called the trend "very concerning" and urged people to get tested when they begin experiencing symptoms.

4:17 pm People who were in Trinity Bellwoods should self-monitor for COVID-19: de Villa

Toronto's medical officer of health Eileen de Villa has asked people who were in Trinity Bellwoods Park on Saturday to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.

The city's top doctor said that park goers put themselves at risk of becoming infected by not following physical distancing rules.

"It is possible that you may have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19 infection, but with little or no symptoms," she said during a press conference at city hall. "Especially if you are within six feet of others having face-to-face conversations. Because of this, it is important that you monitor yourself carefully for COVID-19 symptoms for the next 14 days. If you should develop any symptoms of COVID-19, please go and get tested immediately."

People who were in the park are being asked to be extra diligent with hand hygiene, keep a physical distance of six feet from others, wear a non-medical mask in public to prevent their germs from spreading to others and avoid contact with people who are vulnerable for serious illness of COVID-19, such as elderly people and those with chronic health conditions.

1:43 pm Ford to discuss making relaxed liquor laws permanent

A today's Queen's Park press briefing, Premier Doug Ford was asked if relaxed rules around liquor and cannabis, such as allowing restaurants and bars to sell alcohol for delivery and takeout, will stick around beyond the pandemic.

Ford responded he plans to discuss that possibility with finance minister Rod Phillips. "There’s going to be a lot of things, as we say, that are the new way of doing business – not only in government but in the private sector," he said.

1:38 pm Ontario health officials push back decision on lifting five-person gathering rule 

The province has pushed back the decision to lift a ban on gatherings of more than five people in light of uptick in new COVID-19 cases and public gatherings, such as the crowds seen at Trinity Bellwoods Park on Saturday.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said today the province's chief medical officer David Williams is reluctant to move forward with expanding the number of people from different households who can gather “because there is a concern with people creating groups that are too large."

She added that Ontario has seen consistent increases in new COVID-19 cases over the past week.

"The increase in the number of cases that we’re seeing now in the last few days really relate back to the week before when there were Mother’s Day events and so on," she said. "If [the numbers] continue to increase then that will be a time for us to take a pause, look at the situation, understand why the numbers are increasing and take action or don’t take action going forward."

Meanwhile, Premier Doug Ford said that he will announce a new testing strategy this week that expand testing to the general public, large employers and "hot spots," particularly Toronto, Peel Region and Windsor-Essex.

He added that residents and staff in long-term care homes were tested once and will be re-tested. People in congregate living settings such as shelters and people in nursing homes are now being tested too.

12:25 pm Humber River Hospital to take over managing Downsview Long Term Care Home

Local hospitals will temporarily take over management of two long-term care homes. The provincial ministry of long-term care has ordered Humber River Hospital to manage Downsview Long Term Care Home in North York and Southlake Regional Health to manage River Glen Haven Nurising Home in Sutton for at least 90 days.

“Despite receiving hospital support for weeks, these homes have been unable to contain the spread of COVID-19,” the government said in a news release. “By taking these steps the government is enabling a rigorous management structure to help contain the spread of the disease and assist in returning these homes to normal operations.”

At Downsview, 66 residents are infected, 52 residents have died and 70 staff are infected. At River Glen Haven, 54 residents are infected, 20 have died and 29 staff are infected.

The ministry will continue to decide which care homes will require additional management support on a case-by-case basis. There are 159 long-term care homes in the province with COVID-19 outbreaks.

11:34 am Trudeau will push for 10 days paid sick leave for all Canadian workers

The prime minister said today that he is in discussion with the premiers to make 10 days paid sick leave mandatory for all workers across Canada.

"Nobody should have to choose between taking sick leave or paying their bills," Justin Trudeau said during his daily press briefing today.

Trudeau added that Ottawa is continuing discussions with provincial leaders to ensure that the policy is implemented when the economy begins recovering from the pandemic.

"We will also be looking at other longer-term mechanisms to support workers who need sick leave," he added.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said on Monday that his part'y's support for the government's plan to continue suspending full sittings of parliament is conditional on a paid sick leave policy for all Canadians.

10:40 pm Ontario reports 404 new COVID-19 cases, 29 deaths

Provincial public health officials have reported an increase of 404 new COVID-19 cases since yesterday. The new increase in cases are down from yesterday's 460.

Ontario's total number of cases is now 25,904. Of those cases, 19,698 are considered resolved.

Another 29 people have died, bringing the provincial death toll to 2,102. The total number of long-term care residents who have died is 1,323.

The province continues to fall short of testing targets, with 8,170 tests completed since yesterday's report. Another 3,883 cases are under investigation. Premier Doug Ford's daily testing goal is 16,000. He has promised to release a "detailed testing strategy" this week after announcing yesterday that anyone who thinks they have COVID-19 can now get tested, even if they are not exhibiting symptoms.

9 am Two Loblaws employees test positive for COVID-19

Two employees at the Loblaws store at 60 Carlton (at Church) have tested positive for COVID-19, the store said in a statement posted on social media. The two staffers last days at work were May 13 and May 18, and neither had symptoms at the time.

The store closed on Sunday for deep cleaning and will reopen on Monday

"We have a number of protocols in place at the store-level, including daily sanitization and social distancing practices to minimize the risk of exposure to our customers and team members," the statement reads. "We will work with the local public health team on any further directions."

9 am John Tory apologizes for failing to physical distance in Trinity Bellwoods Park

John Tory has posted an apology online and photos circulated on social media showing the mayor conversing with people in Trinity Bellwoods Park with his face mask pulled down.

"I want to apologize for my personal behaviour yesterday. I visited Trinity Bellwoods Park to try to determine why things were the way they were," the mayor wrote on Sunday night. "I fully intended to properly physically distance but it was very difficult to do. I wore a mask into the park but I failed to use it properly, another thing I'm disappointed about. These were mistakes that I made and as a leader in this city, I know that I must set a better example going forward."

Thousands gathered in the west-end park on Saturday afternoon without following physical distancing rules, prompting a stern response from unattributed city of Toronto officials, medical officer of health Eileen de Villa and Toronto Board of Health chair Joe Cressy.

9 am Canada has more than 84,000 cases of COVID-19

There are 84,699 cases of COVID-19 in Canada and 6,424 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.