Coronavirus: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on April 21

Here is a roundup of the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Tuesday:

Ontario reports 551 new coronavirus cases, total rises to 11,735 with 622 deaths

Ontario reported 551 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday and 38 additional deaths, bringing the provincial total to 11,735 cases.

The death toll has risen to 622.

Meanwhile, 5,806 people have recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, which is 49.5 per cent of cases.

Greater Toronto Area public health units account for 58.7 per cent of all cases in the province.

Ontario coroner’s office implements changes in wake of COVID-19 pandemic

Ontario’s chief coroner says they have had to implement major changes as to how his office, funeral homes and hospitals handle the deceased throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking with Global News Radio 640 Toronto, Dr. Dirk Huyer said changes were made in the interest of the health and safety of everyone involved.

The changes came into effect last week and include all deaths in Ontario, not just those who have passed away due to COVID-19.

Loblaws gives healthcare workers priority access to its grocery stores

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CEO Galen Weston announced that Loblaws is now providing priority access for healthcare works, throughout the entire day, who show their ID.

“These essential frontline employees will get priority entrance to our supermarkets and drugstores,” Weston said in a statement.

“We owe it to all Canadians to make things better, not harder. But that is especially true of our healthcare workers who are under incredible strain. They spend long and stressful shifts supporting directly impacted individuals, and often don’t know when exactly they will be working from week to week. This uncertainty makes shopping for their own essentials very hard.”

Costco also offered the same access to healthcare workers and included first responders. Longo’s also offered priority access to healthcare workers and first responders last week.

York police charge man who intentionally coughed on money at convenience store

York Regional Police say a 39-year-old man has been charged after he allegedly intentionally coughed on money and wished COVID-19 on an employee at a Markham convenience store.

Police said a man went to buy something from a store at 6605 Highway 7 East on April 12.

While at the counter, a 17-year-old store employee asked the man to maintain physical distance and adhere to the taped off lines on the floor that the store created for customers per health recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2-year anniversary of Toronto van attack to be commemorated virtually

The City of Toronto says it will be commemorating the second anniversary of the Toronto van attack on Thursday, virtually, due the coronavirus pandemic.

“This year’s commemoration will take place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic and consideration for public health and safety,” the city said in a statement.

On the afternoon of April 23, 2018, Alek Minassian rented a van and drove down Yonge Street, starting at Finch Avenue, killing 10 pedestrians and injuring 16 others.

The city said to mark the time of the incident, flags at Nathan Phillips Square and Mel Lastman Square will be lowered to half-mast at 1:30 p.m. Thursday for the remainder of the day.

“To help keep our community safe during the COVID-19 crisis, residents are respectfully requested to adhere to public health orders and refrain from gathering to lay flowers or other memorabilia at the incident sites,” the city said.



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