Afternoon News: Wednesday, April 1, 2020

COVID-19 Ottawa:

Ottawa Public Health is reporting 50 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our city Wednesday.

A backlog of test results is being cited as one of the reasons for the large increase. There are now 194 confirmed cases in the capital, including three deaths.

Ottawa’s Top Doctor Vera Etches also confirmed a new outbreak at an institution, this time it’s the Ottawa-Carleton Association For Persons With Developmental Disabilities, where two cases have been confirmed. This follows outbreaks at the Promenade Retirement Residence in Orleans, Garden Terrace Long-Term Care Residence, Park Place Retirement Home, and Maplewood Retirement Community.

Meanwhile, Mayor Jim Watson is frustrated that some people are not following orders to avoid gatherings of five or more people.

Watson says City Bylaw received received more than 130 calls on Tuesday alone, from people reporting large gatherings, including a child’s birthday party, and big groups at Lansdowne and Brittania Beach.

He also revealed that the city will host a virtual Town Hall next Thursday where you’ll be able to ask questions about the city’s response to the pandemic.

COVID-19 Border:

Quebec is getting serious when it comes to ensuring we limit non-essential travel across the Ottawa River into the province.

It will be setting up police checkpoints on the bridges coming into Gatineau, and screening travelers to ensure it’s essential that they cross. One of the checkpoints was set-up on the MacDonald-Cartier Bridge Wednesday afternoon, and emergency officials are urging you not to call 9-1-1 to complain about the move, after getting some of these reports Wednesday.

More Ottawa Senators Test Positie:

Four more members of the Ottawa Senators have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The Senators say in a statement that all four had travelled with the team to California before the NHL suspended its season March 12 because of the outbreak. It says all those who tested positive have now recovered.

COVID-19 Ontario:

Ontario is reporting another 426 cases of COVID-19, the largest increase in cases since the pandemic began.

There are now nearly 2,400 cases in the province, with 37 deaths.

In response, the province is launching a $50,000,000 fund to help businesses retool their operations to produce medical equipment and personal protective gear for front-line workers.

The government says the Ontario Together Fund will go to the most viable, innovative proposals that can quickly provide medical supplies and equipment, including gowns, coveralls, face shields and ventilators.

Army Could Help Indigenous Communities:

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says the federal government might call in the army to help First Nations, Inuit or Metis communities deal with the pandemic.

He said he does not believe Canada has yet seen the worst of the novel-coronavirus pandemic and that the country needs to take all measures to prepare for it. Last week, the Assembly of First Nations declared a state of emergency for its members, due to concerns that the federal response plan might not be sufficient for its members.

Parliament To Be Recalled:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s planning to recall Parliament in order to pass more measures to help the Canadian economy through the COVID-19 crisis.

He says a team effort is needed to approve what is perhaps the biggest social program in Canadian history. Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is raising concerns about the package, including details on exactly who qualifies for the new wage subsidy program.

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