COVID-19: What you need to know for March 20 — evening edition

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Mar 20, 2020

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TVO.org reporters and editors are tracking stories about the coronavirus pandemic in all regions of the province. Here's what Ontarians need to know. 

Provincewide

  • Metrolinx will be issuing face masks to GO Transit staff. The Toronto Star also reports that  "the agency’s transit officers have stopped focusing on fare enforcement and haven’t issued a ticket in days."

  • The Ontario government is waiving the usual three-month waiting period for OHIP coverage for people arriving or returning to Ontario from other countries or provinces. The government is also going to cover the COVID-19-related health-care costs of people who would not otherwise be covered by OHIP. 

  • The Canadian Premier League has announced the postponement of its 2020 soccer season, which was scheduled to begin on April 11. 

Greater Toronto Area

  • In her daily news briefing, Eileen de Villa, the city's medical officer of health, said that only 0.3 per cent of Toronto businesses surveyed had not been in compliance with closure orders.

  • During the same briefing, Toronto fire chief Matthew Pegg said the city will soon be opening a facility where homeless people diagnosed with COVID-19 can recover. The location will not be made public, Pegg says, in order to protect the privacy of individuals.

  • Toronto Public Health is investigating cases related to several newly infected individuals, including one in a long-term-care home, a paramedic, and someone experiencing homelessness. As of 1 p.m., there were 161 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city, up 33 from the same time yesterday.

  • A guard at the Toronto South Detention Centre has tested positive for COVID-19, according to CBC News. The Etobicoke correctional facility houses up to 1,500 inmates. The guard had returned to work after a trip to England.

  • Toronto mayor John Tory said at a briefing this afternoon that the city is working to create child-care spaces for essential workers. The city is also partnering with the United Way to help residents in need.

  • The Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations is calling for the government to go further in its measures to protect rental tenants, asking for the government to put in legislation that no rent is due on April 1. This echoes a similar call from the Ontario New Democrats yesterday.

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