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Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario labs processed 30,780 tests Thursday, a new high, with just 111 people testing positive; NBA says 16 players test positive for COVID-19 – Toronto Star

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KEY FACTS

  • 11 a.m.: NBA says 16 players test positive for COVID-19

  • 10:25 a.m. Texas orders bars shut amid surge in confirmed virus cases

  • 6:30 a.m. Canada almost self-sufficient in PPE production

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Friday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

3:15 p.m. There are 102,735 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 8,507 deaths, and 65,658 that have been resolved, according to The Canadian Press.

NOTE: Quebec no longer reports its case count on a daily basis. Instead, those numbers are reported weekly. The Star does its own count for Ontario; see this file.

  • Quebec: *As of June 25, 2020, 55,079 confirmed (including 5,448 deaths, 23,786 resolved)
  • Ontario: 34,316 confirmed (including 2,644 deaths, 29,754 resolved)
  • Alberta: 7,851 confirmed (including 154 deaths, 7,191 resolved)
  • British Columbia: 2,869 confirmed (including 173 deaths, 2,517 resolved)
  • Nova Scotia: 1,061 confirmed (including 63 deaths, 998 resolved)
  • Saskatchewan: 759 confirmed (including 13 deaths, 648 resolved)

  • Manitoba: 307 confirmed (including seven deaths, 300 resolved), 11 presumptive
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 261 confirmed (including three deaths, 258 resolved)
  • New Brunswick: 165 confirmed (including two deaths, 150 resolved)
  • Prince Edward Island: 27 confirmed, all of which have been resolved
  • Repatriated Canadians account for 13 confirmed, all of which have been resolved
  • Yukon: 11 confirmed, all of which have been resolved
  • Northwest Territories: five confirmed, all of which have been resolved
  • Nunavut reports no confirmed cases.

2 p.m.: The Canadian Red Cross will send 900 people to work in Quebec’s long-term care homes until September, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

The announcement came as the military prepares to pull out of the homes, despite repeated requests from Premier Francois Legault to keep at least 1,000 Forces members there until the fall. Trudeau said 150 Red Cross personnel would arrive before July 6, with the balance arriving by July 29.

1:15 p.m.: Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says the province is lifting additional restrictions after going more than two weeks without a new case of COVID-19.

The premier told a news conference today that effective July 3, limits on public gatherings will be increased, and effective immediately, bars and restaurants will be allowed to operate at full capacity.

Public pools are allowed to reopen, and private campgrounds can now operate at full capacity, as long as they follow sector guidelines. McNeil stressed the importance of physical distancing and hand hygiene, and provincial health officials are now recommending that non-medical masks be worn when distancing is not possible, such as in stores, on public transit or at gatherings.

1 p.m.: Ontario Premier Doug Ford will be joined by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, to provide a COVID-19 update.

12:30 p.m.: Ontario labs processed 30,780 COVID-19 tests Thursday, a new high, with just 111 people testing positive, a recent low. Of the positives, 89 of the patients were aged 20 to 59.

The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 fell from 270 to 256.

The numbers of people in intensive care and on ventilators — 61 and 41, respectively — fell to their lowest levels since the province started publicly reporting those figures at the beginning of April.

Read more from the Star’s Rob Ferguson.

11:19 a.m.: Florida banned alcohol consumption at its bars Friday after its daily confirmed coronavirus cases neared 9,000, a new record that is almost double the previous mark set just two days ago.

The Florida agency that governs bars announced the ban on Twitter just minutes after the Department of Health reported 8,942 new confirmed cases, topping the previous record of 5,500 set Wednesday.

State officials have attributed much of the new outbreak to young adults flocking to bars after they reopened in most of the state about a month ago, with many of them ignoring social distancing restrictions aimed at lowering the virus’s spread.

11 a.m.: An NBA press release says 16 of the 302 players tested in the league have come back with positive results for COVID-19.

“Any player who tested positive will remain in self-isolation until he satisfies public health protocols for discontinuing isolation and has been cleared by a physician,” the statement read.

The names of the specific players who came back with positive tests results were not included in the press release.

10:25 a.m.: Republican Gov. Greg Abbott shut down bars in Texas again on Friday and scaled back restaurant dining, the most dramatic reversals yet as confirmed coronavirus cases surge.

Abbott also said rafting and tubing outfitters on Texas’ popular rivers must close and that outdoor gatherings of 100 people or more must be approved by local governments.

“At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars,” Abbott said. “The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and protect public health.”

Texas has reported more than 17,000 confirmed new cases in the last three days with a record high positive tests of 5,996 on Thursday. The day’s tally of 4,739 hospitalizations was also a record. The state’s rolling infection rate hit nearly 12%, a level not seen since the state was in a broad lockdown in mid-April.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the COVID-19 virus without feeling sick.

8:50 a.m.: As jurisdictions around the world lift restrictions, there is concern that COVID-19 will experience a resurgence. Already some countries such as Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia are experiencing second waves.

And there are fears that regions in South Korea, Germany and the U.K. are on the cusp of a second wave — or already in one.

This at a time when global cases of COVID-19 are rising exponentially, prompting Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization, to warn earlier this week that while it took three months for the world to see the first one million infections, the last one million cases took just eight days to appear.

Experts in Canada warn that a second wave here is possible, indeed likely, but predicting exactly when and where is difficult.

Read more from the Star’s Patty Winsa and Kenyon Wallace.

8:25 a.m.: In any other year, the streets in the Church-Wellesley neighbourhood this weekend would be abuzz with annual Pride Toronto celebrations. Patios would be packed, music would be pouring out of storefronts, and crews would be erecting stages and cordoning off the gardens around The 519, ready for large crowds.

But 2020 has proven to be anything but a normal year. In lieu of the regular festivities, storefronts and bars remain boarded up, with many businesses operating at reduced capacity or offering improvised services due to measures in place to help curtail the spread of COVID-19.

And the streets, for the most part, are empty.

Read more from JP Larocque.

7:55 a.m.: A witness says three people were killed in a small town in Kenya’s Rift Valley during a confrontation between police and residents over the wearing of face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Police confirmed the deaths but gave a different account.

Human rights activists for weeks have protested alleged killings by Kenyan police officers while enforcing virus-related restrictions. They also accuse officers of using the measures to extort bribes.

Kenneth Kaunda told The Associated Press that violent protests erupted in Lessos on Thursday after residents tried to prevent police officers from taking a motorcycle taxi rider to the station for not wearing a mask. Kenya has made it compulsory to wear face masks in public and failure to comply brings a $200 fine, a hefty fee for many.

7:22 a.m.: Millions of children could be pushed to the brink of starvation as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across war-torn Yemen amid a “huge” drop in humanitarian aid funding, the U.N. children’s agency warned Friday.

The stark prediction comes in a new UNICEF report, “Yemen five years on: Children, conflict and COVID-19.” It said the number of malnourished Yemeni children could reach 2.4 million by the end of the year, a 20 per cent increase in the current figure.

“As Yemen’s devastated health system and infrastructure struggle to cope with coronavirus, the already dire situation for children is likely to deteriorate considerably,” warned UNICEF.

Yemen’s poor health care infrastructure is unprepared to battle the coronavirus pandemic after five years of war between a Saudi-led military coalition and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels. The war, which has mostly stalemated, has also triggered the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

7:13 a.m.: South Korea reported 39 new cases, mostly from the Seoul metropolitan area where officials have been struggling to stem transmissions.

South Korea was considered an anti-virus success story after containing an outbreak during February and March surrounding the southeastern city of Daegu. However, the country has been seeing an uptick in new infections since authorities moved to ease social distancing guidelines and reopen schools starting in May.

6:35 a.m.: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadian companies are now producing so much personal protective equipment needed in the fight against COVID-19 that Canada is almost at the point of being self-sufficient.

He’ll underscore that contention today with a visit to a Kanata, Ont., brewery that has retooled to make hand sanitizer during the pandemic.

The visit to Big Rig Brewery, which has used the federal wage subsidy to rehire workers, is also intended to emphasize Trudeau’s repeated plea to businesses to take advantage of the program to get back on their feet. It’s his third visit in as many weeks to a company that’s used the subsidy to hire back laid off employees.

Today’s visit underlines comments Trudeau made during a pre-taped interview that aired Thursday evening at the online Collision tech conference.

6:30 a.m.: The United States, which counts the most infections in the world, is seeing daily jumps in COVID-19 cases nearing the peak reached in late April.

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Arizona’s 3,056 additional infections reported Thursday was the fourth day in a week with an increase over 3,000. Transmissions have spiked following Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s decision to lift stay-home restrictions in May.

Twenty-three per cent of tests conducted in the state over the past seven days have been positive, nearly triple the national average, and a record 415 patients were on ventilators.

Mississippi announced a record 1,092 new cases of coronavirus, the second time this week its daily count reached new highs.

After making one of the most aggressive pushes in the nation to reopen, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has put off lifting any more restrictions and reimposed a ban on elective surgeries in some places to preserve hospital space.

The United States reported 34,500 COVID-19 cases Wednesday, slightly fewer than the day before but still near the high of 36,400 reached April 24, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

Deaths tolls have dropped even as the number of infections have increased, possibly reflecting better medical treatments and better efforts to prevent infections among the most vulnerable, like nursing home residents. A rising proportion of cases in the U.S. is among younger people, who are more likely than their elders to survive a bout with COVID-19.

“This is still serious,” said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but “we’re in a different situation today than we were in March or April.”

6:25 a.m.: Australia reported 37 new cases, including 30 in Victoria state, where health authorities are scrambling to contain an outbreak.

Authorities said they tested 20,000 people after going door-to-door in Melbourne suburbs Thursday in their attempts to stamp out the virus. In Sydney, a 12-year-old student tested positive, forcing the closure of his school for cleaning.

New Zealand, meanwhile, reported one new virus case from a returning traveller. New Zealand has 14 active cases, all of them returning travellers who remain quarantined.

6:20 a.m.: India neared half a million confirmed coronavirus cases Friday with its biggest 24-hour spike of 17,296 new infections, prompting a delay in resumption of regular train services of more than a month.

The new cases took India’s total to 490,401. The Health Ministry also reported 407 more deaths in the previous 24 hours, taking its total fatalities to 15,301.

The ministry said the recovery rate was continuing to improve at 57.43 per cent. Also, deaths per 100,000 stood at 1.86 against the world average of 6.24 per 100,000, it said.

The actual numbers of infections and deaths from COVID-19, like elsewhere in the world, are thought to be far higher due to a number of reasons including limited testing.

Indian Railways was due to resume regular train service on June 30 but said Thursday that it wouldn’t fully resume until Aug. 12. Trains were halted when the government declared a nationwide lockdown in late March. Special trains linking main cities have been running since mid-May as part of an easing of the lockdown.

6:17 a.m.: In many ways, it’s been a perfect storm for illegal gatherings in England as the hot weather, which is set to persist into Friday, and Liverpool Football Club’s first league title in 30 years prompted people to abandon their cooped-up coronavirus existence.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that the government has the power to close beaches and other public spaces in England amid growing concerns over the public’s adherence to social distancing rules.

Following widespread rule-breaking that has seen beaches crammed, illegal street parties in London that have turned violent and a mass celebration in Liverpool, concerns are mounting that people have ditched their risk-averse attitude as the government eases its lockdown restrictions.

With the hot weather set to continue Friday, there was clearly a potential for more mass gatherings, although early indications were that people had not converged on the beaches around the southern English coastal town of Bournemouth in anything like the numbers they had over the past couple of days.

6:15 a.m.: The latest numbers of confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 6:15 a.m. ET on June 26, 2020:

There are 102,622 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada.

-Quebec: 55,079 confirmed (including 5,448 deaths, 23,786 resolved)

-Ontario: 34,205 confirmed (including 2,641 deaths, 29,528 resolved)

-Alberta: 7,851 confirmed (including 154 deaths, 7,191 resolved)

-British Columbia: 2,869 confirmed (including 173 deaths, 2,517 resolved)

-Nova Scotia: 1,061 confirmed (including 63 deaths, 998 resolved)

-Saskatchewan: 759 confirmed (including 13 deaths, 648 resolved)

-Manitoba: 305 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 294 resolved), 11 presumptive

-Newfoundland and Labrador: 261 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 258 resolved)

-New Brunswick: 165 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 143 resolved)

-Prince Edward Island: 27 confirmed (including 27 resolved)

-Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

-Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 11 resolved)

-Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)

-Nunavut: No confirmed cases

Total: 102,622 (11 presumptive, 102,611 confirmed including 8,504 deaths, 65,419 resolved)

Thursday 6 p.m. Ontario’s public health units are reporting a slight drop the daily tally of new COVID-19 infections, according to the Star’s latest count.

The health units have reported a total of 36,191 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, including 2,689 deaths, up a total of 178 new cases since Wednesday evening.

For the last two weeks, the province has seen a string of daily reports around the 200-mark as a steep decline in infections seen since early June appears to be slowing.

On Thursday, the province saw the case growth concentrated in a handful of cities; just Toronto (65 cases), Peel Region (53 cases) and Simcoe Muskoka (12 cases) reported new infections in the double digits.

The total of 12 fatal cases reported Thursday was up slightly from recent trends, but still well down for the province’s peak in early May, when the health units reported as many as 90 deaths in a single day.

Earlier Thursday, the province reported that 270 patients are now hospitalized with COVID-19, including 69 in intensive care, of whom 47 are on a ventilator. All three totals are near the lowest the province has reported in data that goes back to early April.

The province says its data is accurate to 4 p.m. the previous day. The province also cautions its latest count of total deaths, 2,641, may be incomplete or out of date due to delays in the reporting system, saying that, in the event of a discrepancy, “data reported by (the health units) should be considered the most up to date.”

The Star’s count includes some patients reported as “probable” COVID-19 cases. This means they have symptoms and contacts or travel history that indicate they very likely have the disease, but have not yet received a positive lab test.

Click here to read more of Thursday’s coverage.

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Migrant workers in Canada stage multi-city protest, call for more COVID-19 protections – Global News

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Migrant workers and other non-permanent residents — many of whom have been working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic — took to the streets in cities across Canada on Saturday, calling on Ottawa to grant them greater rights and protections.

Temporary foreign farm labourers, care workers, international students and undocumented workers who have been working throughout the pandemic as “essential workers” say they are being left behind by the Canadian government.






2:11
Growing COVID-19 outbreaks among migrant workers in Ontario


Growing COVID-19 outbreaks among migrant workers in Ontario

“Our people are literally starving. People are dying, not even to grow food, but to grow flowers and grapes for wine. Domestic workers are trapped in homes by employers who won’t let them out because migrants are seen as carriers of disease,” said Syed Hussan, executive director of Migrant Workers Alliance for Change.

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Read more:
Migrant farm workers ‘hid’ from coronavirus testing in Windsor-Essex: Doug Ford

“COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis.”

Many migrant workers have fallen ill and cannot access medical treatment, while others have not received wage top-ups offered to other essential workers.

Meanwhile, migrant or undocumented workers and asylum seekers who have lost employment due to the pandemic are ineligible for emergency income supports such as the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, making them even more vulnerable.

It all stems from their non-permanent status in Canada.






4:53
What’s behind the spike in COVID-19 cases among migrant workers?


What’s behind the spike in COVID-19 cases among migrant workers?

Canada’s labour laws, social services, health care and education systems offer different levels of access to non-permanent residents _ a reality that advocates have long decried as intrinsically unjust. The pandemic has now exacerbated those inequities and has placed migrant workers at significant personal risk, Hussan said.

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“What we weren’t planning for is the absolute misery and chaos that would be caused in a public health pandemic,” he said.

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Demonstrations organized by the Migrant Rights Network were held Saturday in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Halifax in front of offices of members of Parliament, including the office of federal Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino.

Around 100 protesters plastered Mendicino’s Toronto office windows with posters of Juan Lopez Chapparo, Bonifacio Eugenio Romero, and Rogelio Munez Santos _ three migrant workers who died from the COVID-19 virus in June while working on Ontario farms.

Read more:
Ontario probing 17 temp agencies after coronavirus outbreaks on farms

Their demands to Mendicino and to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were simple: provide full immigration status to all migrants who are working in Canada.

Alina Przybyl, a member of Migrant Students United, says the struggles migrants face in Canada are wide and vary from person to person, but that all migrants in Canada face a two-tier immigration system that favours the wealthy and privileged.

“I can’t speak for everyone but I think I can say that everyone (who has migrated to Canada) has a story like what we’re hearing here,” Pryzybyl said.

Participants in the Montreal demonstration, which was attended by a few hundred people Saturday morning, held signs that read, “Status for all” and “We are all essential,” among others.

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1:27
Coronavirus: Ford implores foreign workers with COVID-19 to come forward


Coronavirus: Ford implores foreign workers with COVID-19 to come forward

“It feels very sad that people who have been providing essential services to our society have been left behind,” said Elroy Ribas, a migrant worker from Mexico.

“One of the things that made me feel very proud about living in Canada is that people care. But in this context we haven’t seen that.”

The federal Liberals have said they are working on a program to grant permanent residency specifically to asylum-seekers working in health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of their refugee applications are in limbo due to a backlog at the Immigration and Refugee Board and further delays caused by the pandemic, meaning their status in Canada remains uncertain in the long term.






4:21
LGBTQ2 groups taking part in Paris Pride events demand racial justice action


LGBTQ2 groups taking part in Paris Pride events demand racial justice action

But Hussan says the government should commit to regularizing the status of all non-permanent residents, not just a select few.

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“Everyone must have the same rights, the same protections. That’s only possible if everyone has the same status,” Hussan said.

Floriane Payo, an asylum seeker from Cameroon who came to Canada last year, joined the rally in Montreal on Saturday to demand status for herself and others who’ve been working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic who are not in the health-care sector.

Payo was working in a call centre in Montreal at the height of the pandemic in March and April, but the company closed temporarily in April, she said, after a worker tested positive for COVID-19.

It would be unfair for the government to regularize the status health-care workers only, she said.

“We too are essential workers,” said Payo.

With files from Jillian Kestler-D’Amours in Montreal and Jake Kivanc in Toronto.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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Today's coronavirus news: Toronto reports lowest daily total of new cases since March; Trump entices Fourth of July crowds while infections rise; Florida sets another record for cases – Toronto Star

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KEY FACTS

  • 5:30 p.m.: Toronto reports lowest daily total of new cases since March 26

  • 2:35 p.m.: Florida sets a new record

  • 12:22 p.m.: Raptors’ scrimmages are set

  • 10:28 a.m.: The Toronto Zoo is open, with precautions

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Saturday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

8:32 p.m.: Mexico topped 30,000 COVID-19 deaths Saturday, overtaking France as the country with the fifth-highest death toll since the coronavirus outbreak began.

Officials reported 523 more confirmed coronavirus deaths for the day, bringing the nation’s total to 30,366 for the pandemic. Mexico’s total confirmed infections rose by almost 6,000 to 251,165, about on par with Spain, the eighth highest caseload.

Also Saturday, about 200 street vendors briefly blocked several major avenues in downtown Mexico City on Saturday to demand they be allowed to sell again amid the coronavirus pandemic.

6:47 p.m.: Officials across the U.S. pleaded with Americans to curb their enthusiasm for large Fourth of July crowds Saturday even as President Donald Trump enticed the masses with a “special evening” of tribute and fireworks staged with new U.S. coronavirus infections on the rise.

People wandered the National Mall in baking heat and took shade under the scattered trees while, not far away, music wafted from a party on the White House South Lawn. To come: the “Salute for America” celebration with Trump’s speech from the White House grounds, a military air show and a more ambitious fireworks display than has been seen in years.

The crowds on the Mall were strikingly thinner than the one gathered for last year’s jammed celebration on the National Mall. Many who showed up wore masks.

At the White House, several hundred invited guests assembled on the sweeping South Lawn, gathering around tables decorated with flowers and small U.S. flags as a military rock band played. Most guests were unmasked.

Trump’s guests were doctors, nurses, law enforcement officers and military members as well as officials from the administration, said Judd Deere, deputy White House press secretary. He said the event was a tribute to the “tremendous courage and spirit” of front-line workers and the public in the pandemic.

5:30 p.m.: As of 5 p.m. Saturday, Ontario’s regional health units are reporting a total of 37,675 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, including 2,733 deaths, up a total of 117 new cases since Friday evening, according to the Star’s latest count.

As has been the case in recent weeks, the vast majority of new cases were reported in a handful of health units. Only Windsor-Essex (35 new cases), Peel Region (25 cases), York Region (21 cases) and Toronto (20 cases) reported increases in the double digits. The 20 cases in Toronto were the fewest in any day since March 26.

Meanwhile, just two more fatal cases were reported — both in Toronto. The daily rate of deaths has also fallen sharply since peaking in early May when the health units reported as many as 94 deaths in a single day.

Earlier Saturday, the province reported 150 patients are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, including 39 in an intensive care unit, of whom 26 are on a ventilator — numbers that are all near the lowest levels in data that goes back to early April.

The province says its data is accurate to 4 p.m. the previous day. The province also cautions its latest count of total deaths — 2,687 — may be incomplete or out of date due to delays in the reporting system, saying that in the event of a discrepancy, “data reported by (the health units) should be considered the most up to date.”

The Star’s count includes some patients reported as “probable” COVID-19 cases, meaning they have symptoms and contacts or travel history that indicate they very likely have the disease, but have not yet received a positive lab test.

4:46 p.m.: The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:46 p.m.

There are 105,317 confirmed cases in Canada.

Quebec: 55,784 confirmed (including 5,566 deaths, 25,280 resolved)

Ontario: 35,656 confirmed (including 2,687 deaths, 31,083 resolved)

(Note: the Star’s updated count as of 5 p.m. indicates 37,675 confirmed and probable cases, including 2,733 deaths. See above.)

Alberta: 8,259 confirmed (including 155 deaths, 7,532 resolved)

British Columbia: 2,947 confirmed (including 177 deaths, 2,608 resolved)

Nova Scotia: 1,064 confirmed (including 63 deaths, 998 resolved)

Saskatchewan: 796 confirmed (including 14 deaths, 711 resolved)

Manitoba: 314 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 302 resolved), 11 presumptive

Newfoundland and Labrador: 261 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 258 resolved)

New Brunswick: 165 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 162 resolved)

Prince Edward Island: 30 confirmed (including 27 resolved)

Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 11 resolved)

Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)

Nunavut: No confirmed cases, 1 presumptive

Total: 105,317 (12 presumptive, 105,305 confirmed including 8,674 deaths, 68,990 resolved)

4:43 p.m.: Migrant workers and other non-permanent residents — many of whom have been working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic — took to the streets in cities across Canada on Saturday, calling on Ottawa to grant them greater rights and protections.

Temporary foreign farm labourers, care workers, international students and undocumented workers who have been working throughout the pandemic as “essential workers” say they are being left behind by the Canadian government.

“Our people are literally starving. People are dying, not even to grow food, but to grow flowers and grapes for wine. Domestic workers are trapped in homes by employers who won’t let them out because migrants are seen as carriers of disease,” said Syed Hussan, executive director of Migrant Workers Alliance for Change. “COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis.”

Demonstrations organized by the Migrant Rights Network were held Saturday in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Halifax in front of offices of members of Parliament, including the office of federal Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino.

4:34 p.m.: A First Nation in southern Alberta has implemented a curfew as its health workers monitor more than 200 people for signs they may have developed COVID-19.

Siksika Nation Chief Ouray Crowfoot said in video messages posted on Facebook that as of Thursday there were 21 known COVID-19-positive cases with links to the community west of Calgary, and that five separate and unrelated case clusters had been uncovered in the previous 12 days.

Crowfoot said that as of Wednesday, 258 Siksika Nation members were under “active investigation and daily followup” by the community’s health services team — a number he said had quadrupled in only three days.

On Friday, councillors approved a temporary curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time, with exceptions that Crowfoot said can be made on an as-needed basis for work or other reasons.

4:11 p.m.: Quebec reported more than 100 new cases of COVID-19 for the first time in two weeks.

The province’s Health Department says authorities registered 102 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections in the province to 55,784. That’s the most since June 20, when the province reported exactly 100 cases.

The province also added six additional deaths linked to the novel coronavirus — three new and three others that occurred before June 26 — for a total of 5,566.

The number of hospitalizations and intensive care cases decreased in numbers released on Saturday. Hospitalizations were down by 17 for a total of 375, while the number of intensive-care patients dropped by four to 27 cases. The province has reported 25,280 recoveries.

2:35 p.m.: Florida reported a record number of coronavirus cases Saturday, the latest sign that the virus is surging in many parts of the United States, casting a pall over Fourth of July celebrations.

Officials and health authorities warned people to take precautions or simply stay home on Independence Day, as confirmed cases are climbing in 40 states. The U.S. set another daily record Friday with 52,300 newly reported infections, according to numbers kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The U.S. has more than 2.8 million confirmed cases — about a quarter of worldwide infections, according to the tally.

Florida reported 11,445 confirmed infections Saturday, bringing the statewide total to more than 190,000.

12:58 p.m.: Prince Edward Island is reporting three new cases of COVID-19 for the first time since late April, including one person who worked at a Charlottetown seniors home.

Dr. Heather Morrison, the province’s chief public health officer, says the three cases include a man in his 50s and two people in their 20s. None of the cases are related to seasonal residents or the opening of the Atlantic bubble this week.

The man in his 50s was an essential worker who had recently travelled outside the province and has self-isolated since returning home.

The other two cases are connected and involve a male in his 20s who travelled to Nova Scotia and came into contact with someone from the United States and is asymptomatic.

The female is connected to that person and is symptomatic, and worked at Whisperwood Villa, a seniors’ residence in Charlottetown where residents will be tested.

She wore protective equipment on the job, did not provide direct care to residents and left as soon as she felt unwell.

12:32 p.m.: Two of California death row’s most notorious inmates apparently died from COVID-19, bringing the number of inmates across the state to die after contracting the coronavirus to at least 24.

The men, convicted child killer Scott Thomas Erskine and Manuel Machado Alvarez, both died on July 3, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said.

Both men were being treated at outside hospitals after being sickened by coronavirus inside San Quentin State Prison, where the virus has run rampant for nearly two weeks. Nearly 1,400 inmates, one in three housed in the famed Marin County facility, have tested positive for the virus, and the prison accounts for more than half of all infections in the CDCR system, according to its coronavirus dashboard.

In total, 5,280 inmates have been infected with the coronavirus in the state’s prisons since April, with 1,441 new cases since June 19.

12:22 p.m.: The Toronto Raptors will face their first competition in more than four months when they play the Houston Rockets in a scrimmage on July 24.

The NBA released the scrimmage schedule Saturday ahead of the July 30 restart. Each team will play three exhibition games at Disney World in Orlando.

The Raptors will also face Portland on July 26, and Phoenix on July 28.

Toronto opens the eight-game seeding round on Aug. 1 against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The NBA shut down March 11 due to COVID-19. The 22 teams playing in the seeding round are scheduled to arrive in Orlando next week.

12:07 p.m.: The MLS Is Back tournament match between FC Dallas and the Vancouver Whitecaps has been postponed after six FC Dallas players tested positive for COVID-19.

The group stage match was scheduled to take place Thursday. MLS officials announced the postponement Saturday and said a new time and date would come later.

FC Dallas confirmed Wednesday that players had tested positive upon their arrival in Florida for the month-long tournament. The entire FC Dallas delegation is quarantining in their rooms at the walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort.

Vancouver’s team is scheduled to arrive in Orlando on Monday.

FC Dallas will now play its first tournament match July 15 against the Seattle Sounders.

12:01 p.m.: Frances Tiafoe has tested positive for the coronavirus and withdrawn from the All-American Team Cup tennis tournament in Atlanta.

Tiafoe was scheduled to face Tennys Sandgren on Saturday in the weekend tournament involving eight top American men’s players at Life Time Fitness in Peachtree Corners. The event is allowing a limited number of fans and not requiring masks, though will provide them if requested.

Tiafoe defeated Sam Querrey on Friday, but was showing symptoms after the match and a test was positive.

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Tiafoe, a 22-year-old who reached the 2019 Australian Open quarterfinals, left the event site and was replaced by Christopher Eubanks. Top-ranked Novak Djokovic and three other pro players had tested positive for the virus after playing in a similar exhibition event in Europe. The pro tennis tours are suspended until August.

Tournament officials said they had begun deep cleaning and sanitizing the event site, along with alerting people who may have been exposed.

10:50 a.m.: (Updated) The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 10:50 a.m.:

There are 105,212 confirmed cases in Canada.

Quebec: 55,784 confirmed (including 5,566 deaths, 25,280 resolved) (UPDATED)

Ontario: 35,656 confirmed (including 2,687 deaths, 31,083 resolved) (NOTE: Ontario is reporting 121 cases Saturday, according to the Health Ministry. The Star will be doing its own updated count for Ontario.)

Alberta: 8,259 confirmed (including 155 deaths, 7,532 resolved)

British Columbia: 2,947 confirmed (including 177 deaths, 2,608 resolved)

Nova Scotia: 1,064 confirmed (including 63 deaths, 998 resolved)

Saskatchewan: 796 confirmed (including 14 deaths, 711 resolved)

Manitoba: 314 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 302 resolved), 11 presumptive

Newfoundland and Labrador: 261 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 258 resolved)

New Brunswick: 165 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 158 resolved)

Prince Edward Island: 27 confirmed (including 27 resolved)

Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 11 resolved)

Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)

Nunavut: No confirmed cases, 1 presumptive

Total: 105,212 (12 presumptive, 105,200 confirmed including 8,668 deaths, 68,864 resolved)

10:28 a.m.: The Toronto Zoo has opened its doors again to the public with safety precautions in place for visitors.

Visitors must now book their tickets in advance online within certain time slots due to a reduced capacity. Tickets will not be available on-site and all visitors will be required to wear masks inside closed buildings.

Restaurants inside the zoo are open as well as the gift shop and the African Rainforest Pavilion and Giraffe House. Rides, lockers, drinking fountains, all rental services and manual coin machines remain closed.

The zoo had earlier opened to members.

10:15 a.m.: The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit says it has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Belvedere Heights long-term-care facility in Parry Sound.

In a release, the health unit states, “The two individuals who tested positive are staff at the long-term-care home. The individuals are currently in isolation. No residents at Belvedere Heights have tested positive for COVID-19.”

The North Bay Parry Sound catchment area has experienced some of the lowest COVID-19 positive test rates in the province. In the district, the Belvedere Heights outbreak is the third documented in a retirement or long-term-care facility. The other two outbreaks in the district are considered “resolved.”

In the North Bay Parry Sound district, as of today, the health unit is reporting 14,195 total tests administered, with 33 positives resulting in 29 cases resolved, one death, one in isolation, plus the two most recent positives in Parry Sound.

According to the health ministry, “An outbreak in a long-term-care home is declared with a single, laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident or staff member. When only asymptomatic residents and/or staff with positive results are found as part of enhanced surveillance testing of residents and/or staff, it may not be necessary to declare an outbreak. An outbreak may be declared over when there are no new cases in residents or staff after 14 days.”

9:36 a.m.: Courthouses across Ontario are set to resume some in-person hearings Monday, according to the Ministry of the Attorney General, despite unions representing Crowns and court staff saying safety concerns remain unresolved.

“More precautions are required to adequately ensure courthouses are safe,” Paul Cavalluzzo, the lawyer representing the Ontario Crown Attorneys Association, said Friday.

Courthouses have been closed to in-person hearings for more than three months.

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9:26 a.m.: U.S. media reported that Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., and a top fundraiser for the Trump campaign, has tested positive for coronavirus.

“After testing positive, Kimberly was immediately isolated to limit any exposure,” said Sergio Gor, chief of staff for the Trump Victory Finance Committee, quoted by CNN. Gor said she was asymptomatic and Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, tested negative.”

Guilfoyle is a top fundraiser for the campaign.

Guilfoyle tested positive in South Dakota before the president’s Mount Rushmore celebration, CNN reported.

9:21 a.m.: Authorities in northeast Spain ordered the lockdown of El Segria county around the city of Lleida, home to over 200,000 people, after health officials recorded a jump in 60 cases in 24 hours. The outbreaks are linked to agricultural workers in the rural area.

The area is in Catalonia, west of Barcelona.

9:17 a.m.: The pints are being poured and the unkempt hairdos are being cut and styled as England embarked Saturday on its biggest lockdown easing yet.

In addition to the reopening of much of the hospitality sector, including pubs and restaurants, for the first time in more than three months, couples can tie the knot once again and people can go and see a movie at the cinema.

Museums and libraries have also reopened but gyms, swimming pools and nail bars remain shut. Restrictions on travel and social contact have been eased — people from different households can now go into each other’s homes, for example.

“Let’s not blow it now,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said as some in England rushed to restaurants or barbers for the first time in more than three months.

Friday, 6 p.m. Ontario’s regional health units are reporting 37,558 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, including 2,731 deaths, up a total of 164 new cases since Thursday evening, according to the Star’s latest count.

As has been the case in recent weeks, the vast majority of new cases were reported in a small handful of health units. Just Toronto (80 new cases), Peel Region (21 cases) and York Region (20 cases) reported increases in the double digits; of the remaining 31 units, just Windsor-Essex saw more than five new infections.

Meanwhile, three more fatal cases were reported Friday, two in Toronto, one in the Southwestern region. The daily rate of deaths has also fallen sharply since peaking in early May when the health units reported as many as 94 deaths in a single day.

Earlier Friday, the province reported 155 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19, including 40, who are in an intensive care unit, of whom 25 are on a ventilator. These numbers are all near the lowest levels in data that goes back to early April.

The province says its data is accurate to 4 p.m. the previous day. The province also cautions its latest count of total deaths, 2,682, may be incomplete or out of date due to delays in the reporting system. In the event of a discrepancy, “data reported by (the health units) should be considered the most up to date.”

The Star’s count includes some patients reported as “probable” COVID-19 cases. This means they have symptoms and contacts or travel history that indicate they very likely have the disease, but have not yet received a positive lab test.

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Two-thirds of Canadians support closing businesses again if COVID-19 cases spike: survey – CTV News

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TORONTO —
As scientists and policy-makers anticipate a second wave of COVID-19 later this year, a new survey suggests a majority of Canadians support closing non-essential businesses again if cases spike.

The new poll conducted by Nanos Research for CTV News surveyed 1,049 Canadians within the past week, and found that two-thirds of respondents support, or somewhat support, another round of business closures in the event of a significant rise in cases and hospitalizations.

Forty-two per cent of respondents said they support the closures, while another 28 per cent said they somewhat support them. About one in four Canadians oppose (16 per cent) or somewhat oppose (11 per cent) the idea.

Support for shutting down businesses during a second wave was strongest in Ontario (53 per cent) and weakest in Quebec (24 per cent). Those older than 55 — who are more susceptible to the virus — were more supportive of the closures, at 77 per cent, than younger Canadians aged 18 to 34, at 64 per cent support.

Businesses were hit hard in March when the pandemic forced many to shutter, leaving millions of Canadians without jobs.

To offset lost wages, the federal government has doled out monthly payments of $2,000 to more than 8 million Canadians without work through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) since April. As of July 3, more than $53.5 billion had been paid out.

In mid-June the federal government extended CERB by eight weeks, offering more time for workers looking for a job. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the government is looking for ways to incentivize returning to work rather than staying home and remaining on the program.

In recent months, business has slowly returned to normal as provinces expand their lists of which businesses are allowed to reopen.

4-IN-5 SUPPORT MANDATORY MASKS

The poll also found that most Canadians support the mandatory wearing of masks in all public spaces, with 54 per cent in support and 25 per cent somewhat supportive. Nearly one in five respondents said they opposed (11 per cent) or somewhat opposed (nine per cent) mandatory face masks.

Support for mandatory face masks was highest in Ontario, at 65 per cent. While Ontario Premier Doug Ford has repeatedly rejected this idea, Toronto — which accounts for 12 per cent of Canada’s total caseload — recently made it mandatory to wear a face mask in all enclosed public spaces, such as grocery stores and public transit.

Ottawa’s mayor said he’d be open to a similar rule, if it’s supported by the city’s top doctor.

Support for mandatory masks in public was lowest in the Prairies, which still saw a majority of support at 68 per cent.

A group of Canadian doctors and scientists have been pushing for masks to be mandatory in all public spaces, saying the step is a simple and effective way to quash the outbreak. Many public transit authorities already recommend or require that passengers wear masks, including in Vancouver, Ottawa, Hamilton and Guelph.

Canada Masks 02

CANADIANS EXPECT A SECOND WAVE

The number of daily cases of COVID-19 has been steadily trending downward for months. For example, the country reported 286 new cases of COVID-19 on June 30, a sizeable drop from 772 new cases May 30.

But epidemiologists have been warning for months that, based on what is known about how coronaviruses spread, a second wave of cases is likely in the winter or fall.

This message appears to resone among Canadians. According to the Nanos poll, nearly nine in 10 Canadians say a second wave of COVID-19 infections in the next six months is likely (57 per cent) or somewhat likely (32 per cent). Just five per cent say it’s not likely, with three per cent saying it’s somewhat not likely.

METHODOLOGY

Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land- and cell-lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,049 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between June 28th and July 2nd, 2020 as part of an omnibus survey. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and administered a survey online. The sample included both land- and cell-lines across Canada. The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest Census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada.

Individuals randomly called using random digit dialling with a maximum of five call backs. The margin of error for this survey is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. This study was commissioned by CTV News and the research was conducted by Nanos Research.

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