COVID-19: Ontario’s second coronavirus death; 43 new cases
This is a timeline of COVID-19 news in Canada on Thursday, March 19.
1:00 p.m: Ontario health officials have confirmed another death related to COVID-19, in addition to 43 new cases in the province.
The man was in his 50s and becomes the second death related to the virus in the province.
Ontario currently has 257 active cases of coronavirus with over 5000 cases still pending.
12:00 a.m: Premier Doug Ford announced the specifics of the emergency legislation.
Under the Ford proposal, the following groups of people would be protected from job termination:
- The employee is under medical investigation, supervision or treatment for COVID-19.
- The employee is acting in accordance with an order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
- The employee is in isolation or quarantine.
- The employee is acting in accordance with public health information or direction.
- The employer directs the employee not to work.
- The employee needs to provide care to a person for a reason related to COVID-19 such as a school or day-care closure.
Ford also credited citizens and businesses around the world for their support and help during this pandemic.
Other provinces like Quebec have decided to provide emergency child care centres for their front line workers. Ford did not say if Ontario would follow suit but added that he “wouldn’t take it off the table.”
Additionally: Premier Ford said he would be suspending a variety of things to ensure complete focus is put toward flattening the pandemic curve.
Eviction notices will be suspended as well as renewals for driver’s licenses, license plate stickers and health cards.
Ford also he would allow grocery stores to accept deliveries 24/7 in order to keep up with the demand.
11:00 a.m: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested social distancing could be the reality for “weeks to months.”
In a press briefing Thursday morning, Trudeau said that over 50,000 people with over half being done in the last week.
Trudeau said the government will continue to ramp up testing and encouraged Canadians to donate at their local blood bank.
“There’s no doubt, these are uncertain times,” said Trudeau. “But no matter what happens next. We can count on each other.”
Additionally: Prime Minister Trudeau also said that the Canada-U.S. border would likely close non-essential travel by the weekend.
Trudeau said talks are on-going as both sides are ironing out details but will see the continuation of trade between the two countries.
9:45 a.m: The Ontario legislature is being recalled today for an emergency session.
The proposed legislation would provide employees more protection if unable to work due to the COVID-19 virus.
The sitting is expected to only have 23 MPPs and will allow someone to sit at any desk to keep in accordance with social distancing practice.
9:30 a.m: Ontario is closing all provincial parks in response to COVID-19.
The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks say they will post signs of closure, close gate entrances and lock buildings wherever possible.
The Staff has been asked to leave until April 30th.
6:30 a.m: A trans-Atlantic cruise ship with several COVID-19 cases and at least 77 Canadians, docked in France this morning.
The ship that carries more than 1,400 passengers is allowed to dock in the French Mediterranean port city of Marseille for four days.
It is not known if passengers will be allowed off the ship as french authorities have imposed strict conditions.
Global Affairs Canada has said Officials are ready to provide assistance to Canadians abroad.