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Afternoon News: Friday, April 17, 2020

COVID-19 Ottawa:

There’s been a significant spike in COVID-19 cases, and related deaths in the Capital Friday.

Ottawa Public Health says seven more people have died, and fifty more cases have been confirmed. There have been 728 confirmed cases in the city, with 21 deaths related to the virus.

Canada Day Festivities Moving Online:

Not surprisingly, the usual pomp and circumstance will be absent on Parliament Hill this July 1st.

The federal government is planning virtual Canada Day celebrations in place of the traditional gathering. It is working with Canadian artists to put together a program, with more details expected soon.

More Options For Your Daily Walk:

If you are looking to get out for a walk this weekend, you will have more space to work with.

The NCC will be closing Queen Elizabeth Driveway to vehicles between Laurier and Fifth Avenues, from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm, starting Saturday. Emergency vehicle access will continue.

Councillor Shawn Menard has also announced that the outer lanes on the Bank Street Bridge have been opened up to pedestrians and cyclists.

COVID-19 Ontario:

Ontario is reporting 564 new cases of today, with 55 new deaths.

It’s the largest single-day increase in cases the province has seen since the outbreak began. But the growth rate in new cases continues to hold steady at around six per cent.

Oil and Gas Sector Help:

Help is on the way for the oil and gas sector.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced $1.7-billion to help clean up abandoned oil and gas wells in oil-producing provinces, and a $750,000,000 fund to cut methane emissions by providing loans to companies.

The move should maintain 10,000 oil sector jobs across the country.

Primary Care Clinics Face Uncertain Future:

The Ontario Medical Association says a survey of its members shows nearly half the primary-care clinics in the province are at risk of closing their doors because doctors can’t pay the bills.

Most clinics have been serving patients in virtual ways, or over the phone, during the pandemic.

The Ontario government created new billing codes to allow doctors to be appropriately paid for those appointments.

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