Here is a roundup of the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Wednesday:
51 new coronavirus deaths in Ontario, total reaches 385 and 8,447 cases
Ontario reported 494 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday and 51 additional deaths, bringing the provincial total to 8,447 cases.
The death toll has risen to 385.
Wednesday’s reported jump in deaths is the highest the province has seen in a single day. Tuesday saw 43 new deaths, which was previously the highest.
Meanwhile, 3,902 people have recovered from the virus, which is 46.2 per cent of cases.
Greater Toronto Area public health units account for 55 per cent of all cases in the province.
Status of COVID-19 cases in Toronto
Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s medical officer of health, said as of Wednesday afternoon, there were 2,369 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 301 probable cases.
Of the confirmed and probable cases, she said 94 of the 243 hospitalized Toronto residents were in ICU beds.
To date, 121 Toronto residents have died from COVID-19.
De Villa said 41 long-term care homes in Toronto have at least one or more COVID-19 cases. She also provided updates on three major COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term care facilities: Eatonville Care Centre (23 confirmed deaths and 54 cases), Kipling Acres (four confirmed deaths and 23 cases) and Seven Oaks (22 confirmed deaths and 96 cases).
2 Participation House residents die
Two residents of Participation House in Markham has died amid a coronavirus outbreak.
The facility, which houses adults with disabilities, saw many staff walk out last Thursday after they learned of the outbreak.
The family of Martin Frogley issued a statement confirming his death.
“Martin Frogley passed peacefully on Wednesday April 15, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. He passed peacefully listening to music he loved. He was a wonderful son, uncle and the best brother anyone could ever ask for,” the statement read.
“Thanks to all staff at the Participation House for their exceptional care and to the staff at Markham Stouffville Hospital for making things comfortable for him on his last days.”
It was also confirmed resident Patty Baird died.
On Tuesday, officials said 37 of 42 residents had tested positive for COVID-19.
Death toll at Eatonville Care Centre rises to 30
Three more COVID-19-related deaths were reported at Eatonville Care Centre in Etobicoke, raising the total to 30.
In a statement, management at the facility said they were informed by public health officials that three residents who previously passed away had the virus.
Twenty-six residents have also tested positive.
In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Toronto Public Health only confirmed 23 deaths were officially linked to COVID-19.
Weston Terrace Care Community confirms 3 cases
The long-term care facility in the city’s west end confirmed three cases of COVID-19 among residents.
In a statement, the home said “all precautions and directives are in place” including isolation protocols and enhanced cleaning.
Ford opens door to systemic changes in long-term care
Premier Doug Ford said he’s opening the door to systemic changes in long-term care as more than 140 residents have died from COVID-19 in the province.
Ford said it will be necessary to look at cracks in the system.
He made the remarks as his government announced enhanced measures for battling coronavirus in long-term care facilities, including banning workers from working in more than one facility.
Work conditions in care homes ‘unfathomable’: ONA
The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) says the conditions in which its staff are working in long-term care homes are “unfathomable” during the worsening coronavirus pandemic.
The association said in a statement Wednesday that long-term care homes pre-COVID-19 were already understaffed, but now they are in “crisis” mode.
Brampton cancels events until July 1
The City of Brampton says festivals and events in the city have been cancelled until July 1.
City-run events and permits for community events at city facilities are among those affected.
“This decision includes city-led events celebrating dates of national significance such as Victoria Day, Canada Day and National Indigenous Peoples Day,” a statement from the city read.
“No new event bookings will be considered until there is further direction on large gatherings from Peel Public Health.”
Neighbouring Mississauga also cancelled all events and programs up to July 3 last week.
City of Toronto launches portal for pandemic relief efforts
The City of Toronto has launched a new portal for those who want to assist with local coronavirus pandemic relief efforts.
The DonateTO portal was announced at Toronto city hall on Wednesday and has information for those looking to help the community through donations of money, personal protective equipment, goods, services, space, accommodations and food.
CN Tower unveils new webcam to showcase nightly light shows
For those who want to check out the CN Tower’s nightly light shows and tribute, the attraction has launched a new webcam stream showcasing the tower.
As of April 1, CN Tower staff programmed the tower’s night lights to be blue at the top of the hours to show support for health care and essential workers.
A rainbow-coloured light show will occur at the bottom of each hour “as a symbol of strength, unity and hope.”
Click here to view the tower’s camera feeds.
— With files from The Canadian PressView link »