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COVID-19: Here's the situation in the Sault today

Algoma Public Health says COVID-19 cases at Extendicare Maple View are not 'false positives'

In national news, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will back efforts across provinces and territories to expand the capacity for coronavirus testing, contact tracing and data sharing.

On Friday, the prime minister pointed to Ottawa's efforts to up contact tracing. Civil servants recruited for contact tracing can currently make 3,600 calls per day, seven days per week, while Statistics Canada has deployed 1,700 interviewers that can make up to 20,000 calls on a daily basis.  

Trudeau says that Ontario has already reached out to Ottawa for help.

A new survey out of Carleton University suggests that nearly half of Canadians can't tell COVID-19 facts from conspiracy theories

In provincial news, Premier Doug Ford announced the launch of the Ontario Tools Grant Friday, which will enable eligible new apprentices in the automotive, construction and service sector trades purchase equipment. 

A total of $2.5 million in 2020-21 and $7.5 million in 2021-22 will be provided by the province.

The funding amounts are as follows:

  • $1,000 for those in motive power sector trades
  • $600 for those in construction and industrial sector trades
  • $400 for those in service sector trades

To be eligible for the new grant, apprentices must have:

  • completed level 1 training on or after April 1, 2020
  • an active registered training agreement
  • been registered as an apprentice for at least 12 months

The government is also forgiving more than $10 million in outstanding loans owed by apprentices for work-related purchases made at the beginning of their careers through the Loans for Tools, a program that allowed roughly 19,000 apprentices to buy tools, equipment, clothing, manuals and code books required for their trade.

Public Health Ontario reported 441 new cases of COVID-19 Friday, along with 28 deaths and 258 recoveries. 

In local news, Algoma Public Health is debunking speculation from the public that COVID-19 cases at Extendicare Maple View have been categorized as 'false positives.' 

Algoma University is eyeing an uncertain fall session due to the COVID-19 crisis, and its president is hoping that local students want to stay local this year. 

Here are the latest COVID-19 numbers from Algoma Public Health:

  • 6,099 tested
  • 20 positive
  • 5,770 negative
  • 309 pending
  • 0 deceased
  • 13 resolved

Total confirmed cases by area of residence: 

  • 16 in Sault Ste. Marie and area, with evidence of community spread
  • 1 in central and east Algoma
  • 3 in Elliot Lake and area ***
  • 0 in north Algoma 

Algoma Public Health states “these numbers now include testing that was completed at long-term care homes (LTCH) in the Algoma district as part of the province’s one-time surveillance testing initiative. Staff and residents of all Algoma LTCHs have completed one-time surveillance testing.”  

*** Three positive cases in Elliot Lake and area have been confirmed by Elliot Lake Family Health Team

Click here for a SooToday list of what's still open in the Sault.

- with files from The Canadian Press