COVID-19 Updates: Ontario closes all public schools

Published On March 12, 2020 | By tylerbiggs | Headlines, Life, News, Politics
John English Public School (Courtesy: Toronto.com)

Premier Doug Ford announced Thursday that all public schools in Ontario will stay closed for an additional two weeks following March Break.

The decision, released in a joint statement by Health Minister Christine Elliot and Education Minister Stephen Lecce, will see all publicly funded schools stay closed till at least April 5th.

This comes after the largest single-day spike for Ontario after 17 more cases were announced earlier today, including a one-year-old boy.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford also announced that the province is just days away from opening a wave of dedicated COVID-19 assessment centres. These centers will be set up in hospitals and located separately from other patients.

Prime Minister Trudeau and wife enter self-isolation

Justin and Sophie Trudeau (courtesy: Toronto Star)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophia have entered self-isolation amid the growing concerns over COVID-19.

The Prime Minister has not felt any symptoms but has been tested for the virus after his wife was “exhibiting mild flu-like symptoms including a low fever late last night,” according to a PMO press release.

This has forced Trudeau to postpone an in-person meeting with Canada’s first ministers that was meant to include Indigenous leaders who were invited to attend after last month’s railway blockade.

Trudeau has instead to handle work over the phone and perform virtual meetings from home until both he and his wife’s test results come in.

Ontario reports 17 new cases of COVID-19

Coronavirus (Courtesy: New York Times)

Ontario health officials have reported 17 new cases of coronavirus in Ontario, including a one-year-old baby boy.

This is the largest single-day increase in Ontario, bring the total number of infections up to 59, with locations like Waterloo, Barrie, Ottawa, Hamilton, Peel Region, Halton Region, and Toronto all accumulating cases. This brings Canada’s total to 140 known cases with one fatality.

Investigations into where each individual contacted the virus are still on-going but it is known that eight of the new cases reported recent travel from either the United States, Puerto Rico, Italy, Spain, and several other European locations.

All patients are in self-isolation.

Canadian cancellations and suspensions

With the growing concerns of COVID-19, several events are being cancelled or are going to be cancelled. Here are some that we know of so far.

  • Public Schools – April 5th
  • National Hockey League – Suspended indefinitely until further notice
  • National Basketball Association Season – Suspended indefinitely until further notice
  • Major League Baseball – Delay opening day by two weeks
  • Major League Soccer Season – Suspended for 30 days
  • National Lacrosse League – Suspended until further notice
  • JUNO awards – Cancelled
  • Princess Cruise – Suspended operations for 60 days
  • St. Patrick’s Day Toronto Parade – Cancelled
  • Pearl Jam Concert – Postponed
  • TOtech Career Fair – Postponed until May 25th

Trump’s travel restrictions extended to 26 countries

US President Donald Trump announced several measures against the spread of COVID-19, including an extended travel restriction list.

The restriction will begin this Friday at midnight and last for at least the next 30 days.

The president said he did not consult with European leaders before the announcement, claiming it would have taken too long.

The countries include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Although cases of COVID-19 exist in the UK, a restriction was not put in place because Trump believes they have very strong borders for prevention.

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