Here’s what you need to know on Saturday, March 14, 2020
Is there a vaccine that’s ready for humans?
Ottawa is urging Canadians abroad to come home while they can still travel
Washington expands its travel ban to include the UK and Ireland..
Saudi Arabia halts all international flights into the kingdom for the next two weeks.
Denmark is closing its borders to travelers until April 13
Prince Edward Island confirms its first COVID-19 case.
Ontario’s total number of cases is now at 101. BC added 9 cases today bringing the confirmed total to 73.
NBA players and teams step up an pay it forward helping workers affected by the basketball shutdown cover lost wages
AND…we will have answers to your latest FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS about COVID-19
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Francois Phiippe Champagne took to TWITTER on Saturday warning that commercial travel options may become increasingly limited in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister’s advice comes as several countries around the world impose strict entry and quarantine requirements, restrict large gatherings and in some cases, close their borders.
Canada’s public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam has already warned people who travel abroad – they could get caught up in travel bans or quarantines in other countries.
The Province of Ontario is rolling out a $10 million ad campaign aimed at raising awareness about the COVID-19 outbreak. The broadcast, print and digital campaign will include advice from public health officials, travel restrictions and COVID-19 signs and symptoms.
The campaign comes the same day the province added 22 new confirmed cases bringing the total to 101. So far, 5 patients have recovered. Ontario is investigating another 939 possible cases.
That number would include players and staff from the NBA Raptors organization.
They underwent testing this week after a player from the UTAH JAZZ tested positive for the virus. So far…so good. All the initial tests have come back negative. One test is still pending.
The players and staffers remain in self-isolation.
In Quebec, the health ministry is allowing some health-care consultations to happen over the phone…
And both Quebec and BC are reaching out to retired health-care workers to help staff hospitals and clinics…
BC’s Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry says the province is getting ready to open dedicating testing centres and that’s going to put pressure on current staffing levels..
There is a long list of cancellations of events and programs across the country. The biggest announcement on Saturday came from the desk of David Mirvish of Mirvish Productions. All Mirvish Shows including Come From Away and Hamilton have been postponed.
But most people will be affected by municipalities that have decided to close rec centres, arenas, libraries and march break camps.
Markham Ontario’s Mayor Frank Scarpitti realizes this is an inconvenience for many families but this is an easy way for us to ensure we help avoid overwhelming hospital and ER staff.
In Washington….the Trump administration announced it will extend its travel ban to now include the UK and Ireland. The restrictions will begin next week.
The President also told reporters he’d been tested for COVID-19, his temperature is normal and the test results are expected in a day or so.
He also detailed some of the initiatives Congress has passed to support Americans affected by the pandemic.
Yesterday, we told you about a Cambridge, Massachusetts firm that claims to have developed a vaccine. STAT NEWS has reported that researchers are preparing to rush it into production…without doing the regular testing on animals.
Eric Boodman did the reporting on this story. He spoke to us from his home in Boston.
And FINALLY….some GOOD NEWS amid all of this worry and concern…
NBA players and teams have stepped forward….to pay it forward. The basketball season’s been suspended for at least 30 days…and that’s put extraordinary financial pressures on hourly paid and seasonal workers at arenas throughout the league.
Owners and all-stars have said they are preparing to donate cash to cover the help cover the lost income of everyday arena employees while the league goes dark
IF YOU HAVE A GOOD NEWS COMMUNITY STORY YOU WANT TO SHARE…send me an email. DAVE@DAVETRAFFORD.COM or connect with me on TWITTER @DaveTrafford.