COVID-19: What you need to know for March 19, 2020

God's plan

Rounding up the latest news, closures, health updates, and busting myths around COVID-19.

You have a lot of questions. We have a lot of questions. Everybody’s got questions about COVID-19, and they’re all best left for experts to answer.

Dr. Allison McGeer, an infectious diseases specialist at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, happens to be an expert in the field and she was a guest on CBC’s Metro Morning on Wednesday. McGeer doesn’t purport to have all the answers, but she’s well worth a read or listen to help put your mind at ease as we navigate this crisis.

So, arm yourself with information.

If your job has been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, you’ll want to get moving on applying for employment insurance. Obviously, changes have been made to the program to help people through the crisis. You can find out more and apply here.

Let’s take a look at what else is happening on Thursday, March 19.

The Good

Relive the Raptors’ run

The nation’s two largest telecommunications companies typically only come together to exchange messages on #BellLetsTalk day or to drop $1.32 billion for a majority stake in the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC, the Toronto Marlies of the AHL, and Scotiabank Arena.

It’s nice to see Rogers and Bell unite to help us all through these times. Beginning Friday, Sportsnet and TSN will begin airing the Raptors’ 2019 NBA championship run.


The Bad

Drake self-isolating after spending time with Kevin Durant

Drake is reportedly laying low in his Toronto mansion following the news that Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant confirmed he tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.

Drake posted a photo to Instagram last week of the two hanging out. The rapper will likely spend the downtime doing what he loves… sending text messages to teenagers.

Ontario’s provincial parks to close

It shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point, but Ontario Parks has made the decision to close operations to the public from March 19, 2020 until April 30, 2020.

More, via official government release:

“As COVID-19 continues to quickly evolve, we want to ensure public safety and the well-being of our visitors and staff in Ontario’s provincial parks. In order to assist the province with its efforts to keep Ontarians safe during this time, all provincial parks will be closed to the public from March 19, 2020 until April 30, 2020. This includes car camping, backcountry camping, roofed accommodations, day use opportunities and all public buildings.

Current visitors to provincial parks will be required to vacate by March 19, 2020. Any person or group with a reservation for arrival up to April 30, 2020 will automatically be provided a full refund with no penalty.”

The TTC confirms first case in its workforce

The Toronto Transit Commission has begun to make changes to the way it operates in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Workers are permitted to wear face masks, and customers can board using any available doors.

The public transportation agency is continuing to deploy its fare evasion inspectors, though. They’ve also confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in an employee.


The Really?!

‘If I get corona, I get corona’