Afternoon News: Friday, March 20, 2020

COVID-19 Ottawa:

The three intermediate cases of COVID-19 reported yesterday in our city have been confirmed today.

That brings Ottawa’s total number of confirmed cases to 19. The Ministry of Health says two men in their 40’s contracted the virus from close contact, while the third new patient, a man in his 80’s, recently returned from Portugal.

Ottawa’s Top Doctor Vera Etches is encouraging you to continue social distancing measures, and to assume COVID-19 is circulating in the community.

COVID-19 Ontario:

50 new cases have been confirmed across the province Friday, bringing Ontario’s total to 308. That is the largest single-day increase in new cases in our province.

Human Needs Task Force:

Mayor Jim Watson has announced the creation of another task force in response to the pandemic.

The Human Needs Task Force will work with local health and social service agencies to ensure our city’s most vulnerable residents get the assistance they need during this challenging time. Among other things, this task force will focus on food security, outreach to isolated seniors, and volunteer management.

Ottawa Hospital Visitor Ban:

The Ottawa Hospital is putting a no visitor policy in place Saturday.

Hospital officials hope the lack of visitors will help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to staff and patients. This will affect the General, Riverside, and Civic Campuses.

The Queensway-Carleton Hospital posted signs earlier this week to discourage people from visiting patients there as well.

Chateau Laurier Closing:

The Fairmont Chateau Laurier is temporarily closing due to the pandemic.

The shutdown will start on Sunday, and the length of the closure will be re-evaluated early next month. A small amount of staff will stay on the job for emergency purposes.

COVID-19 Federal Response:

The border is shutting down to all non-essential travel as of midnight, but the restrictions will still allow the flow of key goods and food to enter from the U-S.

The federal government has secured more than 11-million respirator masks and the public services minister says they will be delivered immediately to parts of the country where they are needed.

The government is now working with businesses from distilleries to manufacturers who are changing their production facilities so they can produce goods like hand sanitizer and ventilators for patients.

Walmart Hiring:

Many stores are closing their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Walmart Canada plans to hire 10-thousand more employees to work in its stores and distribution centres. It announced the jobs in a letter sent to customers, but did not specify where the jobs would be or whether they would be temporary.

Sports:

Six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady has signed a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, worth $30-million per season.

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton has tested positive for COVID-19. He is recovering in self-isolation.

ELMNT FM Weather:

Mainly cloudy tonight, but clearing overnight. The wind will die down as we drop to a chilly overnight low of -10.

Sunny and breezy Saturday, with a high of -2. We will have a wind chill of -18 in the morning and -7 in the afternoon.

Sunday Sunny with a high of 1.

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