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

Ontario reports an increase of confirmed cases, but none in Algoma region

After a five days of reporting daily case increases below 200, Public Health Ontario has confirmed 257 more cases of COVID-19 today. 

Over the weekend, Ontario saw new confirmed cases of COVID-19 rise slightly from Friday's low of 111.

On Saturday, Ontario Public Health reported 160 new cases. On Sunday, numbers climbed slightly again, with 178 new cases confirmed.

The last case in Algoma was reported on June 19. There are currently no known active cases in the region.

Here's the latest local, provincial, and federal news regarding COVID-19 cases and funding that you need to know:

Chippewa County confirms two new cases of COVID-19

The Chippewa County Health Department, (CCHD) which covers the area of Sault Michigan, has reported two new confirmed cases of COVID-19.

This brings the area's total confirmed cases to four.

Read more about cases in Sault Michigan here.

Porter flights will not resume until August 31

Porter Airlines is deferring its resumption of flights until Aug. 31, one month later than previously scheduled, due to ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Seasonal summer markets that Porter intended to serve in 2020 are being cancelled as part of this service deferral.

More information on the deferral can be found here.

Federal COVID-19 modelling numbers released

Dr. Theresa Tam said today that at this point, transmission of coronavirus appears to be under control in Canada, with any fluctuations due to localized outbreaks.

The federal public health agency now estimates there will be between 104,000 and 108,000 cases countrywide by July 12, and between 8,545 and 8,865 deaths by the same date.

Read more on Dr. Tam's report here.

Feds announce extension to Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced this morning that the federal government intends to extend Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program by another month.

Trudeau said his government is working with the province and territories on the extension, which is meant to help small businesses save on rent.

Watch the full press conference here.

Ontario extends emergency orders

Over the weekend, the provincial governments announced that the emergency orders in Ontario have been extended to July 10. 

According to the provincial announcement, it applies to all emergency orders that are currently in place, except restrictions limiting access to certain sport training facilities have been removed.

The government says extending the order is to make sure the regional gradual reopening of the province can continue.

Read more about provincial emergency orders here.

Air Canada, WestJet to drop physical distancing policies as air travel ticks up

The country's two largest airlines are ending their onboard seat distancing policies starting July 1, raising health concerns amid a pandemic that has devastated the travel industry.

American Airlines also announced Friday that it will start booking flights to full capacity starting next Wednesday.

Learn more about the regulations for flying here.

No new cases in Algoma region today

Here are the latest COVID-19 numbers from Algoma Public Health, updated at 8:30 a.m. on Monday: 

  • 13,077 tested
  • 24 positive
  • 12,185 negative
  • 868 pending
  • 0 deceased
  • 24 resolved

Total confirmed cases by area of residence: 

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

Algoma Public Health's website indicates that pending and negative cases were last updated as of this morning.

More than 600 Sault College students have used the food bank during COVID-19 pandemic

Sault College Students Union official has stated that more than 600 students have used food bank during COVID-19 pandemic.

Ahmad Alkosani, SCSU president, speaking to the board, said an average of 20 students visited the food bank once a week prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more about what's going on at the college and how you can help here.

Saultite calls on government to reunite partners, family members separated by border

A Sault Ste. Marie woman says she’s still reeling from being separated from her partner ever since the Canada - U.S. border was closed to all non-essential travel in March.  

Joyce McComiskey and her 15-year-daughter would routinely either visit or host Tony Kucharczyz - McComiskey’s partner who resides in Sault Michigan - six to seven days per week. 

But due to border restrictions and some rather messy complications, McComiskey and her partner cannot cross the border to see each other in person. They possess no marriage certificate, and they do not qualify as common-law partners. 

Read the full story from SooToday's James Hopkin here.

Hockey Canada cancels summer camps

Hockey Canada hs cancelled all summer camps for national teams, including the Canadian junior team, and will hold virtual training sessions instead.

The cancellation of scheduled events runs until Sept. 1 and is due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more about Hockey Canada's plans for virtual sessions here.

Feds commits $300M to global COVID-19 fight but PM urged to spend $1.5 billion

Canada contributed $300 million on Saturday towards the international fight against COVID-19, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined fellow leaders, activists and philanthropists in calling for a vaccine to be distributed to the world's neediest people.

The contribution includes $180 million to address the immediate humanitarian and development impacts of the pandemic and $120 million towards a new initiative called the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.

Read more about the funding and the global fight against COVID-19 here.

Survey says Indigenous businesses at risk of failing without support

Results of a new survey, released on June 26, indicate more financing and support services are needed to prevent Indigenous businesses from going under in the wake of COVID-19.

According to the figures, 44 per cent of Indigenous businesses said they were at risk of closing in three to six months.

Ten per cent of businesses said operations would not last beyond a month without support, while two per cent said their businesses had already closed.

Read more about the results of the survey here.

April was a bumpy month for Canadian railways

In April, Canada's railways posted their worst month in five years for freight car loadings, according to data released by Stats Canada on June 26.

The railways carried 30.0 million tonnes of freight during the month of April, down 10 per cent from the same time in 2019.

It represents the largest year-over-year decrease in five years, excluding last November's rail strike.

Stats Canada said this is the first monthly decline in freight that was linked to the activity shutdown in several sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More on the downturn in freight car loadings can be found here.