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

Feds, provinces in talks over paid sick days for Canadian workers; the latest COVID-19 numbers from Algoma Public Health

On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government is currently in discussions with provinces about the possibility of providing Canadian workers access to 10 days of paid sick leave per year. 

"We know that we're in a crisis where companies [and] employers do not have a huge amount of financial flexibility - so during this crisis, governments will have to take on more of the responsibility," said Trudeau. "But one of the things we'll have to think about over the longer term is that when we come out of this crisis, it might be a good idea to ensure that all workers - whatever their job may be across the country - have access to paid sick leave, and we will be working with the private sector on that as well."

"But for now, we're discussing this with the provinces because this is a shared area of jurisdiction." 

Trudeau told reporters that the proposed 10 days of sick leave could potentially be rolled out as soon as October or November.  

In other national news, MPs are meeting Monday to decide on resuming parliament during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The governing Liberals are proposing four sittings a week of a special committee to talk about the pandemic and how the government is responding to it, using a hybrid system with some MPs in the Commons chamber in Ottawa and others participating by video conference.

They would also have four days scattered through the summer when MPs could press cabinet ministers on other issues.

Meanwhile, The Canadian COVID-19 Accountability Group - an ad-hoc transparency group consisting of coalition includes academics, lawyers and whistleblower groups - is calling on governments to make crucial records related to the COVID-19 pandemic open by default as a measure of accountability to Canadians.

In provincial news, Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the next steps of the province's "robust testing strategy" will be released in the coming days, which will expand COVID-19 testing to any place containing large groups of people, including employers. 

Testing will be increased in COVID-19 'hotspots' as part of the strategy. Ontario's health minister says COVID-19 hotspots include portions of Toronto, Peel Region and Windsor-Essex County.    

Public Health Ontario reported 404 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, the lowest reported increase in cases - and lowest number of tests completed in the province - within the past five days.  

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

  • 6,442 tested
  • 21 positive
  • 6,022 negative
  • 379 pending
  • 0 deceased
  • 16 resolved

Total confirmed cases by area of residence: 

  • 17 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