The COVID-19 Daily Podcast with Dave Trafford

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Here’s what you need to know on SUNDAY, MARCH 15, 2020. Prime Minister Trudeau tells CTV’s Evan Solomon his government is considering all options, that includes shutting down the border to international travellers and implementing mandatory self-isolation. The Federal Reserve in Washington has slashed interest rates to 0.25% in an effort to buoy the US economy. Canada's Chief Public Health Officer recommends all Canadians cancel non-essential travel plans to leave the country in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Via Rail has announced it will be reducing some of it services as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Quebec Premier François Legault ordered the closure of gathering places such as bars, theatres, gyms and movie theatres on March 15 as the province brought in more aggressive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) says all elective surgery and non-essential care will be put on hold temporarily as the province directs its efforts towards battling COVID-19. The Ontario government is planning to table a bill aimed at helping workers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.The new bill will direct employers to offer protected leave for people affected by the pandemic. The number of cases of COVID-19 in Italy has surged higher again. Some 3,590 more cases of the coronavirus were reported in a 24-hour period, nearly 100 more than the increase as the day before. <<<<>>>>>  The Prime Minister remains in self-isolation at his official residence in Ottawa but step outdoors this afternoon to do a remote interview with Evan Solomon on CTV’s Question Period. The PM tells Solomon he’s feeling well, showing no symptoms of COVID-19 and has been busy at work – albeit alone… Trudeau and his cabinet held a rare Sunday meeting specifically to deal with the COVID-crisis and he says all ideas, all actions, all options are up for consideration. You can hear the full interview with Evan and the Prime Minister in our OUTBREAK – EXTRA! Covid-19 Podcast. <<<<>>>>>  The mayor of Canada’s largest city remains in self-isolation. John Tory made that decision this past Friday after public health officials advised everyone who had recently traveled abroad to self-isolate. Tory had just returned to Toronto from a business mission in the UK.  The mayor isn’t quite pacing the cage…managing to stay busy with the city’s affairs. He says his pantry is full and even the neighbours are pitching in to support him. <<<<<<>>>>>    Some research news to share with you…. STAT NEWS reports People who contract the novel coronavirus emit high amounts of virus very early on in their infection, according to a new study from Germany that helps to explain the rapid and efficient way in which the virus has spread around the world. At the same time, the study suggests that while people with mild infections can still test positive by throat swabs for days and even weeks after their illness, those who are only mildly sick are likely not still infectious by about 10 days after they start to experience symptoms   The GUARDIAN is reporting on a study that suggests the number of COVID-19 cases could have been cut by 66% if China had acted a week earlier. Sophisticated modelling of the outbreak suggests that China had 114,325 cases by the end of February 2020, a figure that would have been 67 times higher without interventions such as early detection, isolation of the infected, and travel restrictions. But if the interventions could have been brought in a week earlier, 66% fewer people would have been infected, the analysis found. The same measures brought in three weeks earlier could have reduced cases by 95%. <<<<<<>>>>>>  And FINALLY… We want to share a “good news” story that has come out of this crisis. The public health focus has been to make sure we protect others from becoming infected. Hence, the ongoing instructions to wash our hands and sneeze or cough into our elbows. Taking care of ourselves is important. But what about taking care of others? Saijal Patel lives in Waterdown Ontario. She observed elder residents in her community who were having difficulties simply navigating the local grocery store. Some were worried about being in a crowded store, others were just intimidated by the chaos of the bulk buyers. So she’s posted a suggestion on her social media sites calling on grocers to make special accommodations for seniors so they can get what they need to get through this pandemic. <<<<<<>>>>>  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.

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