Today’s News

COVID-19 Rundown April 24th, 2020

As of today, April 24, 2020, the total number of coronavirus cases registered worldwide reached 2.8 million and 195,150 deaths, while Canada has 43,552 total cases with almost 2,300 deaths.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

At the daily briefing today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced “Wear red Friday” to honour Nova Scotia shooting victims, hoping all Canadians will join him pause for two minutes at 2:00 p.m. Atlantic time.

Also, he brought up partnerships with provinces and territories to deliver the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 per cent for April, May, June, businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

You can find below the provincial COVID-19 rundown:

British Columbia

British Columbia Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C’ .s live daily update will take place on Saturday morning, as today, a written statement was released.

As of Friday night, the province confirmed a total of 1,853 cases of COVID-19, today it was announced there were 29 new cases. 

Ninety-eight people have died, 103 COVID-19 patients are in hospital, including 44 in critical care.

The numbers include new outbreaks at a long-term care home in Kelowna, as well as two acute care units in Lions Gate and Ridge Meadows hospitals.

The Vancouver Aquarium has received a flood of support from the public since it announced its precarious financial situation.

Two Metro Vancouver poultry processing facilities have active outbreaks of COVID-19, which have been announced in the last four days.

After the announcement that there is an outbreak at the United Poultry Co. in East Vancouver, where there are 29 people infected, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry revealed that Superior Poultry Processors Ltd. in Coquitlam has now an outbreak, too, with two cases of COVID-19.

Thousands of small businesses in British Columbia will see their monthly rent reduced by at least 75 per cent, thanks to the new federal-provincial Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (CECRA).

Launching in mid-May 2020, the CECRA will see B.C. small businesses receive a total of over $300 million in federal-provincial relief, with B.C. contributing an estimated $80 million.

“This program is not just about providing relief for people today, it’s also about planning for our future and making sure that businesses and local economies are ready to be part of B.C.’s economic recovery,” Carole James, Minister of Finance said. 

Alberta

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.

Alberta now has 3,720 COVID-19 cases, 68 deaths, 1,357 recovered cases, and 117,835 completed tests.

The largest private-sector union in Western Canada is calling for stronger measures to prevent more COVID-19 outbreaks at Alberta’s meat processing plants.

Cargill plant near High River has had 480 employees test positive for COVID-19, as did 124 workers at JBS meatpacking plant in Brooks.

The Calgary Stampede (July 3-12) has been cancelled due to COVID-19, for the first time in almost one century.

“This is very, very tough. Stampede is such an important part of who we are as a community, and it’s hard for me to even imagine what a July without a Stampede will look like,” Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said.

The Calgary Stampede draws more than one million visitors to the city each year and its year-round events contribute about $110.9 million to Calgary’s GDP, the board says.

The Site Rehabilitation Program will provide grants to oilfield service contractors to perform well, pipeline, and oil and gas site reclamation work. It is expected to create about 5,300 direct jobs and lead to the clean-up of thousands of sites.

“We are creating almost 5,300 jobs for Alberta’s energy workers while completing important work decommissioning and reclaiming abandoned pump jacks, pipelines and wells. This will ensure that sites are properly addressed, benefiting landowners and Albertans across the province,” said Sonya Savage, Minister of Energy.

Today, Premier Jason Kenney a statement in remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.

“Genocide has deeply scarred the Armenian people. It is imperative that we, and all free peoples, preserve the memory of the atrocities inflicted on them”, he said. For full statement, visit alberta.ca.

Also, the Premier has appointed former Member of Parliament and business executive James Rajotte, to lead Alberta’s office in Washington, effective May 1. Rajotte’s primary responsibility will be to bring Alberta’s voice to policymakers at both the national and state levels, as we explore North American energy security and deal collaboratively with threats to our markets from overseas.

Saskatchewan

Premier Scott Moe
Premier Scott Moe

Today there are five new COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan, bringing the total to 331 reported cases.

        • 330 cases are confirmed, and one is presumptive.
        • 57 cases out of the 331 cases are considered active (17.2 per cent).
        • 150 cases are in the Saskatoon area, 
        • 71 cases are from the Regina area, 
        • 62 cases are from the north area, 
        • 22 cases are in the far north, 
        • 15 cases are from the south area and 
        • 11 cases are from the central area 

Of the reported cases: 136 are travel-related, 142 are either contacts or linked to a mass gathering event, 33 have no known exposures, and 20 are under investigation by local public health.

Thirty-six cases are healthcare workers, although the source of their infections may not be healthcare-related.

A total of 270 individuals have recovered (81.6 per cent), with 25,872 COVID-19 tests performed.

Manitoba

Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin.

Public health officials advised one new case of COVID-19 was identified as of 9:30 a.m. today, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 263.

The data also shows:

        • Seven individuals are currently hospitalized, which includes three individuals in ICU
        • 61 active cases and 196 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19; and
        • The number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at six.

 

Over the next week, the province will begin to increase their surgical capacity and activity. This includes increased surgical activity at Health Sciences Centre, the Pan Am Clinic, Concordia Hospital, Misericordia Health Centre, Grace Hospital, St. Boniface Hospital, Victoria General Hospital, Boundary Trails Health Centre, Selkirk Regional Health Centre, and Brandon General Hospital.

As of yesterday, an additional 786 laboratory tests were performed. This brings the total number of tests performed since early February to 22,172.

Manitoba will join Ontario in ensuring that provincial Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) clients who are receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will have more money and continue to receive needed health benefits, Families Minister Heather Stefanson announced today.

The federal CERB benefit will be treated as earned income under EIA. As a result, EIA clients who receive the CERB benefit will receive more than they would on EIA alone. They will also continue to receive prescription drug, dental, and optical benefits regardless of whether they are still eligible for provincial social assistance. For example, by treating the CERB as earned income, a couple with two children will receive $2,270 per month under both programs while still qualifying for needed health benefits.

In addition, this measure will also help individuals with disabilities, as well as families with children.

Premier Brian Pallister announced today that the government had launched the Summer Student Recovery Plan, a new wage subsidy program, with funds up to $120 million, to support students employed in the private and non-profit sectors. The program is open to Manitoba students aged 15 to 29, with an employment period from May 1 to Sept. 4, up to a maximum of $5,000 per student.

In addition to the subsidy program, Manitoba recently announced that it is deferring payments on student loans.

A comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures can be found at here.

Ontario

Premier Doug Ford.

As of today, Ontario registered 13,519 total number of COVID-19 cases, with 763 deaths.

The total deaths due to coronavirus in long-term care homes is 573.

Today the federal government has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.

Further details on CECRA will be shared in the near future once final terms and conditions are available. 

The province is committing $241 million through the new Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA). The total amount of provincial-federal relief that would be provided is more than $900 million, helping to ensure small businesses are ready to reopen their doors when the emergency measures are lifted.

Ontario has also suspended time-of-use electricity rates for eligible small businesses, as well as residential and farm time-of-use customers, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour, for 24 hours per day, seven days a week for 45 days.

The Ontario government is also developing the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank. 

Quebec

Quebec registered 97 new deaths from COVID-19 as of Friday, bringing the province’s total to 1,340 fatalities, Premier Francois Legault said during his daily news briefing.

Quebec also saw 778 new cases, for a total of 22,626.

The number of people in hospitals is now at 1,460, an increase of 49. 

There are 227 patients in ICU, 20 more than the day before.

The number of cases in Montreal has grown to 10,897, with the number of deaths now at 808. This is an increase of 522 new cases and 67 further deaths from yesterday.

In total, 112 seniors’ residences in the city have at least one confirmed case.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the military would respond to the provincial request for assistance at long-term care facilities hit hard by COVID-19, but he says the measure is a short-term solution, and Canada should not “have soldiers taking care of seniors.”

New Brunswick

The first phase of New Brunswick’s recovery plan and the loosening of some public health restrictions were announced today by Premier Blaine Higgs, the COVID-19 all-party committee which includes Liberal leader Kevin Vickers, People’s Alliance leader Kris Austin and Green Party leader David Coon, and by Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. From left: Austin; Vickers; Higgs and Coon.

Public Health reported no new cases of COVID-19 today.

The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 118, and the number of active cases is 11. To date, 107 people have recovered. There are four patients hospitalized, including one patient in an intensive care unit.

Premier Blaine Higgs announced today the first phase of New Brunswick’s recovery plan and the loosening of some public health restrictions.

“In these extraordinary times, I thank the other leaders, and Dr. Russell and her team for their unprecedented collaboration,” said Higgs. 

“I am so proud of everyone for their commitment to keep each other safe, secure and healthy,” said David Coon, Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick.

The plan to re-open businesses, educational facilities, the health-care system, recreational activities, and cultural events will be guided by four distinct public health alert levels, red, orange, yellow and green. It will allow health experts to monitor and evaluate the impact of the lifting of restrictions. 

“We will continue to carefully monitor COVID-19 in the province. This includes testing and tracing,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell.

As a first step, the following will be allowed effective today:

          • Households may now choose to spend time with one other household if both households agree. 
          • If all physical distancing and safety measures are in place, golf courses and driving ranges can now open.
          • The delay in spring seasons/recreational fishing and hunting has been lifted.
          • With physical distancing, people can now enjoy the outdoors, including parks and beaches.
          • Co-workers or neighbours can carpool if physical distancing measures are maintained by transporting the passenger in the backseat.
          • Students requiring access to campus to fulfil their course requirements will be able to do so.
          • As an alternative to online worship, religious organizations can hold outdoor services if parishioners stay in their vehicles that are two metres apart.

A guidance document of the public health measures during the recovery phases is being developed and will be available soon.

Large gatherings, events, and concerts are still prohibited, through Dec. 31, 2020, subject to change.

Nova Scotia

Premier Stephen McNeil

An emergency alert sent out just after 4 p.m today, advising new shooting in Nova Scotia, in the Halifax area.

As of today, April 24th, Nova Scotia has a total of 850 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Twenty-three new cases were identified in the last 24 hours.

The QEII Health Sciences Centre’s microbiology lab completed 888 Nova Scotia tests on Thursday, April 23, and is operating 24-hours. Nova Scotia has conducted more COVID-19 tests per capita than any other province.

As of today, there were 10 licensed long-term care homes and unlicensed seniors’ facilities in Nova Scotia with cases of COVID-19, involving 189 residents and 82 staff.

The province announced the COVID-19 Small Business Credit and Support Program as a temporary stream for access to credit, cash grants, and support delivered through participating credit unions. The program will be available starting Wednesday, April 29.

To be eligible for the program, small businesses must have a payroll less than $20,000 in the previous fiscal year and have experienced a decline in revenue from sales of at least 15 per cent in March or at least 30 per cent in April, May, or June.

Crowdfunding platform GoFundMe removed a bogus campaign page claiming to be a fundraiser for two boys who were left orphans when their parents were killed in the Nova Scotia shooting. 

Prince Edward Island

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison

Today, no new positive cases of COVID-19 were reported in PEI.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said the province has received 98 more negative test results as of Thursday. 

Of the Island’s 26 cases of COVID-19, 24 are considered recovered. The last time a new case was announced was April 15.

Currently, she said there are 1,714 people self-isolating on Prince Edward Island, with more than 1,000 people who have completed their self-isolation period.

The Charlottetown Festival is cancelled for 2020.

Yukon

As of today, the number of cases of COVID-19 in Yukon is eleven, with eight recovered cases and pending eight results.

Eight of the eleven people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have now recovered with no one needing to go to the hospital.

Total people tested 881.

Newfoundland and Labrador

As of today, there are 256 COVID-19 confirmed cases, none registered in the last 24 hours, with three total deaths.

The total number of tests performed increased.

In an effort to help alleviate financial hardship on businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador during COVID-19, the Provincial Government has amended the Credit Union Regulations, 2009 to allow credit unions to avail of the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program.

Northwest Territories

By today there are five cases coronavirus confirmed (including five recovered).

The territory’s last confirmed case was announced on April 5, related to an individual who had recently travelled to Latin America and immediately self-isolated upon return.

The GNWT has expanded its already aggressive testing strategy to include anyone experiencing a recent onset of the symptoms.

Today, Caroline Wawzonek, minister of finance, and R.J. Simpson, minister of education, culture and employment (ECE), announced additional support for essential workers responding to COVID-19 that will ensure access to child care.

Nunavut

No cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut.

Around the World

Lysol and Dettol maker Reckitt Benckiser warned people against using disinfectants to treat the coronavirus, after U.S. President Donald Trump suggested researchers try putting disinfectants into patients’ bodies.

President Trump said today that he answered “sarcastically” during the White House task force briefing when he said that disinfectants may be used to treat coronavirus.

In Italy, at least 150 doctors have died after contracting coronavirus, the Italian Association of Doctors said on Friday. 

London’s Metropolitan Police arrested more than 4,000 people for domestic abuse since the restrictions imposed to stop the spread of coronavirus were introduced, the force said in a statement today.

The UK will host a “Global Vaccines Summit” on June 4 in an effort to encourage the international community to “come together” to support the development of a Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced Friday.

“Diseases have no borders, so we must come together to make sure that Gavi [The Vaccine Alliance] is fully funded and its expertise is at the heart of efforts to secure broad access to any COVID-19 vaccine,” Raab tweeted.

Working together to maintain social distancing and staying at home, are the only ways to slow the spread and flatten the curve of COVID-19.

Stay safe!

For more information, access worldometer.com, canada.ca, and don’t miss Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s daily briefing at 11.15 ET.

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