Top COVID-19 stories and news
- As of May 28, there are 27,210 known cases of COVID-19 in Ontario.
- 20,983 cases have been resolved in the province and 2,230 people have died.
- As of May 27, there are 10,726 cases in Toronto, 7,944 recovered cases and 800 people have died.
The latest local and Canadian news on novel coronavirus
11:06 am Ottawa boosts funding for Indigenous communities by $650 million
The federal government has announced $650 million in aid to support Indigenous communities during the coronavirus pandemic. During a news conference in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the money will go to health-care, on-reserve support and shelters for women and children.
Here’s the funding breakdown:
- $285.1 for community-led public health responses to COVID-19, including nurses and procuring specialized supplies
- $270 million to boost the On-Reserve Income Assistance Program to support people who need help paying for groceries, cleaning supplies or rent
- $44.8 million over five years to build 12 new shelters for Indigenous women and girls experiencing and fleeing violence. This funding will help build 10 shelters in First Nations communities on reserve across the country, and two in the territories, to support Indigenous women and children. Ottawa will also provide $40.8 million for operational costs over the first five years, and $10.2 million annually after that.
- $1 million per year ongoing, starting this year, to support engagement with Métis leaders and service providers on shelter provision and community-led violence prevention projects for Métis women, girls, and LGBTQ and two-spirit people.
Since the pandemic began, Trudeau has announced the $305 million Indigenous Community Support Fund, as well as $75 million to support Indigenous peoples living in urban areas and off-reserve.
10:30 am Ontario reports 344 new COVID-19 cases, 41 deaths
The number of new COVID-19 cases in Ontario has increased by 344 – or 1.3 per cent – since yesterday. Provincial public health officials reported on Friday that Ontario’s total cases is now 27,210. Of those cases, 20,983 – or more than 77 per cent – are considered resolved.
Today’s increase is down slightly from yesterday’s 383 but up from the previous two days when the numbers fell below 300.
Another 41 people have died. The total number of deaths in the province is 2,230.
Like yesterday, the daily provincial testing goal of 16,000 was surpassed. There were 18,525 tests completed and another 13,351 cases are under investigation.
9:38 am TIFF still planning physical festival in September
Organizers of the Toronto International Film Festival still plan to hold in-person events during this September’s event, but “it’s definitely going to look different,” according executive director and co-head Joana Vicente.
Speaking during a panel at the We Are Here: A Global Film Festival on Thursday, Vicente said TIFF is also developing a digital platform.
“We’re developing, of course, as everyone else, a digital platform for the festival and at the same time we’re still planning to have some physical festival,” Vicente said during the panel, the Canadian Press reports.
“It’s definitely going to look different,” she added. “We’re trying to figure out how we can still deliver incredible experiences to our audience, and that’s really front and centre.”
We Are Here is a free digital film festival that starts today and runs to June 7. TIFF is co-curating films and panels, including Isaac Nabwana’s Ugandan action movie Crazy World, which was a favourite of last year’s Midnight Madness program.
TIFF is due to take place September 10-20.
Toronto has cancelled event permits for large events and festivals through the end of August.
9:20 am Trinity Bellwoods Park gets physical distancing circles
The city started painting physical distancing circles on the grass in Trinity Bellwoods Park yesterday. The circles are around eight feet in diameter and 10 feet apart, large enough “for two adults laying down or three adults sitting cross-legged,” according to a news release.
The people hanging out within the circles should be from the same household, as per the city’s bylaw. If no circles are available, residents are being encouraged to find another park to hang out in or return at a later time.
Toronto is billing the initiative as a pilot project, and if successful in encouraging people to keep their distance when in parks the circles will be painted in other areas.
The project was inspired by similar circles in San Francisco and New York.
The city undertook the project after thousands of people crowded into the park last Saturday, sparking concerns of increased COVID-19 infections.
9 am Canada has more than 88,512 cases of COVID-19
There are 88,512 cases of COVID-19 in Canada and 6,877 people have died.
The outbreak is a serious public health threat though most people who contract the virus have not been hospitalized.
Symptoms include cough, fever, difficulty breathing and pneumonia in both lungs and may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure. People age 65 and over and people with compromised immune systems and/or underlying medical conditions have a higher risk of contracting a severe case.