Coronavirus updates: Toronto will be expanding road closures this weekend; Ontario Now Recommends Wearing Non-Medical Face Masks

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Top COVID-19 Stories and News

Case summary

  • As of May 19, there were 23,774 known cases of COVID-19 in Ontario.
  • 18,190 cases were resolved in the province and 1,962 people died.
  • As of May 18, there were 8,866 cases in Toronto, 6,616 cases have been resolved and 690 people have died.

The latest local and Canadian news on the new coronavirus


3:55 p.m. Increased number of cases in Toronto due to increased laboratory testing: de Villa

Toronto medical officer of health Eileen de Villa reported an increase of 263 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the city’s total to 9,129. Of these cases, 6,735 are resolved, an increase from 119 since yesterday.

A total of 716 people in Toronto died from COVID-19. There are 137 outbreaks in institutional settings.

De Villa also confirmed that the surge in city cases in the past two days was due to an increase in the volume of laboratory tests. In particular, the increase in cases was associated with an increase in testing in long-term care homes.

“Our cases in the community continue to decline slowly,” she said. “All in all, this news is promising because we can isolate those who are sick faster, prevent further spread and keep moving.”


3:38 p.m. Skate parks, tennis courts and outdoor courts will reopen this weekend

Skate parks, tennis courts and outdoor fields are among the more than 850 municipal park facilities that are expected to reopen this weekend. Toronto closed all park amenities in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but the province has now partially relaxed the restrictions to allow things to reopen.

Over 70 off-leash dog parks reopened yesterday. On Wednesday, five BMX locations, 14 skateboard parks and four disc golf locations will open. The parkings of the parks will also start to reopen.

More than 600 tennis courts at 185 sites will start reopening this weekend, and outdoor bowling and pétanque will reopen next week. Facilities scheduled to open in time for the upcoming weekend include:

  • Picnic shelters
  • Over 300 multi-purpose soccer and outdoor fields
  • Over 300 baseball diamonds
  • 150 basketball courts

However, there are rules regarding the use of the fields, as football licenses, multi-use fields and baseball fields are still canceled until June 29.

People can use the outdoor sports facilities and fields for non-team sports, such as walking, running, biking, skateboarding, frisbee, kicking and racket sports low contact like tennis, badminton, pickleball and ping pong.

Torontonians are not allowed to participate in team sports on city land unless they are members of the same household.

Playgrounds, outdoor exercise equipment, swimming pools, wading pools, greenhouses, nurseries and winter gardens, High Park Zoo and Riverdale Farm are closed.


3:25 p.m. Toronto to extend road closures this weekend

The city will widen road closures to provide more space for pedestrians and cyclists this weekend.

Toronto launched the ActiveTO program last weekend to give people more space to exercise outdoors and residents have taken full advantage of it.

With even more pleasant weather forecasts for this Saturday and Sunday, the city is extending the closings, which will last from 6 a.m. on May 23 to 11 p.m. on May 24:

  • Windermere Lake Shore West (eastbound lanes only) at the stadium. The Gardiner Expressway exit ramp east to Lake Shore West (exit # 146) will also be closed
  • Lake Shore East (eastbound lanes only) from Coxwell to south of Woodbine (Kew Beach)
  • Bayview from Mill to Rosedale Valley and River from Gerrard East to Bayview

The city also closes 57 kilometers of roads as part of the “Quiet Streets” program.

“What we experienced on Queen’s Day weekend was a quick start and a common sense response to areas where there were usually traffic jams on bikes and pedestrians on weekends when the the weather is getting warmer, “said Mayor John Tory in a statement. “The vast majority of Toronto residents followed public health advice carefully during the COVID-19 pandemic and ActiveTO allows people to spend some well-deserved time outdoors. “


2:30 p.m. Fiesta Farms closes after positive test

Fiesta Farms is reported to have closed after a staff member tested COVID-19.

Teri Hart, former host of Television Breakfast wrote on Twitter that the store was closed due to a positive test by a staff member. This information was then confirmed by a store employee.

The store regularly updated its customers on safety and hygiene measures in the store, and announced over the weekend that they would make masks mandatory (and provide them to buyers who did not have them. already one) when he reopened his garden center at the Public.

NOW contacted Fiesta Farms for more details.

The news follows the closure this month of a nearby Loblaws store in Christie and Dupont where a number of workers tested positive for coronavirus.


1:15 p.m. Ontario advises people to wear non-medical face masks

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is now recommending people to wear masks or non-medical masks if they “go out for necessities or take public transportation and can’t be within two meters of each other.” other, “said Ontario Premier Doug Ford during his daily press conference today.

Transport Minister Caroline Mulroney added that the province recommends that anyone traveling on public transportation wear a face covering to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The exceptions are children under two years of age, people who have trouble breathing and anyone who cannot remove a mask without assistance.

As the province begins the first phase of its reopening, public health officials have released some guidelines for transit agencies:

  • Physical distance of at least two meters by admitting fewer passengers and using physical markers between the seats;
  • The use of face covers, especially when physical distance is not possible;
  • Ensure the availability of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer at the entrance and exit of the vehicle;
  • Implement engineering controls such as plexiglass windows between drivers and passengers; and
  • Improved cleaning, especially of high contact surfaces.

Mulroney said she is working on a clear set of guidelines for public transit agencies that will arrive soon.

The recommendation to wear a face mask follows a similar recommendation updated by the Public Health Agency of Canada earlier today. Dr. Theresa Tam said today that Canadians should wear a mask if “you can’t predict if you can keep it two meters away” when in public.

She added that updated guidelines will be posted online.


12:03 p.m. University of Toronto to host major online conferences in the fall

When students at the University of Toronto return to school in the fall, they will attend a mix of small classes on campus and large online and distance conferences.

In a letter published on May 20, President Meric S. Gertler said that “although much remains uncertain” as Ontario begins to reopen its COVID-19 lockdowns, “our planning has focused on three principles directors: promote health and safety, advance studies, excellence and meet the needs of our community. “

During the fall semester 2020, the three campuses of the University of Toronto will operate in a unique fashion and will reopen gradually. Over 100 employees, including deans, directors and faculty, collaborate and develop guidelines on how to move forward with labs, residences, libraries, athletics and more. Details will be shared in the coming days.

The laboratories and libraries on campus will be adapted to meet the requirements of physical distance, while the courses are designed to be as accommodating and flexible as possible. The limited class size and how students will be seated has yet to be shared. Face-to-face courses will likely be an option for tutorials and lab work, which are usually smaller, while lectures and discussions will likely be online only, with office hours or in-person consultations available.

Learn more here.


11:15 a.m. Commercial rental loan applications open on May 25

The federal government will launch applications for Canada’s commercial rent emergency assistance program on May 25, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today.

The program offers business owners a repayable loan so they can reduce rent by 75% for small business tenants who have lost the majority of their business due to COVID-19. The program is administered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Applicants “will receive relief quickly,” said Trudeau.

On April 24, Trudeau announced that he had reached an agreement with the provinces to cover 75% of the commercial rent for small businesses. Small business owners have criticized the program for being too complex and argue that it leaves owners too much leeway to ignore the measure.


10:50 a.m. Ontario Reports 390 New COVID-19 Cases and 43 Deaths

Public health officials have reported 390 new cases of COVID-19 in the province, an increase of 1.7% from the previous day. The total number of cases in the province is now 23,774.

The number of new cases fell below 400 after an increase in figures on Tuesday.

Another 43 people died, bringing the total number of deaths to 1,962. There are 18,190 cases resolved – more than three-quarters of the total.

There are 991 people hospitalized, including 160 in intensive care and 120 in intensive care with ventilation.

7,382 tests have been carried out since the previous day and 4,444 results are expected. A total of 567,176 tests have been completed in Ontario since the start of the outbreak.


9 a.m. Canada has over 79,000 cases of COVID-19

There are 79,112 cases of COVID-19 in Canada and 5,912 people have died.

The epidemic is a serious public health threat, although 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 65 and older and people with compromised immune systems and / or underlying medical conditions have a higher risk of getting a serious case.

@nowtoronto



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