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COVID-19: Here's the situation in Collingwood today – two more cases confirmed

Collingwood General and Marine Hospital confirmed two more positive test results today
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Erika Engel/CollingwoodToday

Collingwood General and Marine Hospital confirmed two more positive cases of COVID-19 this afternoon.

Both lab-confirmed cases were outpatients from the GTA who visited the CGMH emergency department on March 13, and both had travel history outside of Canada. The patients were sent home to self-isolate.

The hospital said it will no longer be reporting each confirmed case via a media release. 

"Please understand we anticipate in the days and weeks to come, we will have many more confirmed COVID-19 cases," said Norah Holder, CGMH president and CEO. "The situation changes every day and our focus will remain upon caring for patients."

Collingwood council is meeting tomorrow afternoon to consider relief measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, which may include using asset sale funds to support the community.

A staff report prepared for the meeting tomorrow recommends council set aside $2.5 million to assist with the town’s efforts to support the community during the pandemic.

The asset sale money refers to the funds paid to the town in the sales of the Collingwood Regional Airport and Collus/Powerstream. So far, the funds have not been allocated to anything as the town was undertaking a public process to decide on how to spend them.

The town is already providing emergency funding for the continuation of the Out of the Cold shelter, which already announced it would be operating later than the original April 25 closing date. Currently, the County of Simcoe is paying for shelter occupants to stay at a motel, and Out of the Cold is providing meals and intake out of its Peel Street location.

Staff is recommending town council consider approving rebates of $15 per residential water/wastewater account and $150 for industrial commercial accounts. Staff is also suggesting to defer all water and wastewater charges for 60 days.

Council will be asked to consider tax relief measures including a three-month hiatus for penalty and interest charges, and deferring pre-authorized payment plans for the months of April, May, and June.

These recommendations will be up to the vote of council during their meeting tomorrow (March 25) at 1:30 p.m. You can live stream the meeting on Rogers TV or on the town's You Tube channel. The town has not yet declared a state of emergency.

In Ontario this morning, the province reported 85 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 588.

Dr. Charles Gardner, the medical officer of health for the health unit, there are more cases in each community, and they will never be lab-confirmed.

Gardner, Premier Doug Ford, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continue to urge everyone to stay at home and, if going out is essential, to maintain a two-metre distance from any other person at all times.

Gardner said the survival rate of those stricken with the virus hinges on the communities being able to slow transmission and prevent a surge in patients who are sick at the same time.

Yesterday Premier Ford announced the province was ordering the closure of all businesses except for those on a provincial list of essential businesses. He also said he does not expect schools to reopen by April 6.

The Premier announced today hydro would be billed at “off-peak” rates for homeowners, small businesses, and farmers for the next 45 days.

Nationally, the House of Commons is meeting today to implement emergency measures. For updates on this and other national, local and provincial stories, visit our COVID-19 page here.

The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed until 2021.

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Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter and editor. She has 15 years of experience as a local journalist
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