Today’s coronavirus news: As England’s bars reopen, Boris says ‘let’s not blow it now’; Ontario courthouses to resume in-person hearings Monday

Today’s coronavirus news: As England’s bars reopen, Boris says ‘let’s not blow it now’; Ontario courthouses to resume in-person hearings Monday
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.

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.


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.

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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 . 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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