The COVID-19 Daily Podcast

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Municipalities and health care providers across Canada are calling on the federal and provincial governments to take tougher measures in the fight against COVID1-19 – but the Prime Minister insists the time is not right to invoke the Emergencies Act. Here’s what you need to know on Sunday, March 22, 2020   Trudeau says Parliament will resume Tuesday to pass emergency measures Nova Scotia declares state of emergency, identifies 7 more cases of COVID-19 Effective 6 a.m. Monday, the borders of Nova Scotia will be tightened, with screening processes at all points of entry to the province. Anyone who has travelled outside of the province will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return. Prince Edward Island is also asking anyone who has travelled within Canada to self-isolate for 14 days -- a step beyond the federal government's request to those who have travelled internationally. Quebec premier announces all shopping malls closed; Schools will remain closed until May 1st. Hydro-Quebec suspends fees amid COVID-19 pandemic Canadian Tire reducing store hours, SportChek and Mark's locations to close The Metropolitan Opera is cancelling the rest of its season and stopping the pay of the orchestra, chorus and other unionized employees at the end of March due to the new coronavirus. The Met last week called off performances through March 31. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has gone into quarantine after being informed that a doctor who administered a vaccine to her has tested positive for the new coronavirus. Huge crowds defied coronavirus fears – lining up for hours to see the Olympic flame in northern Japan, as reports emerged that organisers of Tokyo 2020 are considering postponement of the games. <<<<<<>>>>>>  Despite states of emergency being declared by a number of provinces, despite the nearly minute to minute appeal for people to observe physical distancing, to stay home unless it’s necessary for you to buy groceries or go to work, there are increased reports of people gathering in large crowds in close proximity across the country. It was the subject of the first question from the Prime Minister’s scrum today in Ottawa. But that stance is frustrating for some municipal and public health leaders who have limited powers to make sure people follow these health and safety measures. The first call to toughen up came this weekend from doctors in British Columbia. That’s reporter Ben Miljure at CTV Vancouver. Frank Scarpitti is the Mayor of Markham, Ontario. He’s adding his voice to the chorus calling on the senior levels of government to definitively shut down all non-essential businesses and public activities. The House of Commons will convene on Tuesday to pass emergency measures but as noted, the Emergencies Act is not on the agenda. <<<<<<<>>>>>>>  While Canadian legislatures assemble to vote on emergency support packages to deal with the health and financial effects of the COVID outbreak, the US Congress appears stalled in its efforts to push a bill through the House and Senate. Washington’s management of the COVID outbreak has criticized by front line healthcare providers and state governors and much of that criticizes stops in the Oval Office. David Schultz is a professor of political science and constitutional law at Hamline University in Minnesota. He says, despite any effort to the contrary, the COVID-19 pandemic is becoming increasingly politicized in this presidential election year. <<<<<>>>>>>  So here we are at the end of day 10 of the daily COVID-19 podcast series…and we end with the reminder we’ve heard from public health and government officials again today. Whatever you and I do or fail to do to help curb COVID-19 will be reflected in the cases and circumstances we’ll face three weeks from now. What are you doing today…to help flatten the curve?