Here are the headlines surrounding novel coronavirus that you need to know to start your day on March 30, 2020:
Trudeau on small businesses
It has become routine for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to address the nation daily with updates on how Canada is combatting the novel coronavirus. Last Friday, Trudeau unveiled a 75% wage subsidy along with the new Canada Emergency Business Account in an attempt to help small businesses survive during the pandemic. Today, Trudeau said he hopes more details can be made available on how this plan will be executed in order to keep Canadians employed. That announcement is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. PT and can be watched on CHEK’s Facebook page or YouTube channel.
Update on BC numbers
Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry will be offering an update on current COVID-19 cases in British Columbia. The last update was given on Saturday when the pair announced 92 new confirmed cases, bringing the provincial total to 884. Dr. Henry has said approximately 400 cases – or 45% – have fully recovered from the virus. The update from Minister Dix and Dr. Henry is scheduled for 1:30 pm PT. You can watch that announcement live on CHEK’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
BC data privacy changes
The province says a new ministerial order under BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act enables the broader use of communications tools for health-care workers and public-sector staff as they respond to COVID-19. It says the crisis has made it necessary for the government to temporarily enable the use of technologies that would otherwise be restricted under the act. In particular, the province says the new order temporarily permits health-care bodies including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, and health authorities to use software that may host information outside of Canada.
Victoria police warn of fraud
Investigators with the Victoria Police Department are warning the public after several fraud attempts related to COVID-19 were reported around the provincial capital. Police say fraudsters are using the fear of financial hardship to grab the attention of potential victims, who are then directed to click on links that would compromise their personal and financial information. They say when in doubt, don’t click, and for electronic messages that claim to come from a government agency or financial institution, it’s best to contact the agency directly. Police say they’re also investigating fraud relating to the use of an Air BnB unit after a renter used the company’s COVID-19 cancellation policy to receive a refund, but stayed anyway and stole several items.
Province donates to food banks
The BC government says it’s providing a $3 million emergency grant to Food Banks BC to support their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The province says Food Banks BC will assess the needs of each food bank to determine how much they’ll receive and when, but funds will be distributed quickly and equitably across all regions of the province. It says steps are also being taken to make it easier for vulnerable people to access food bank services, such as allowing for drive-through and home delivery.
Stats Canada releases new details of confirmed cases
Statistics Canada is providing a detailed view of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in this country. The data posted online this morning shows information such as whether the source was travel or community exposure, the person’s hospitalization status and health outcome status. The information is available by age and sex for cases between January 15 and March 27, but the agency says it will be updated with help from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Tokyo Olympics set their date
The Tokyo Olympics will open in 2021 in the same time slot scheduled for this year’s games. Tokyo organizers revealed Monday that the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021, nearly one year after the games were due to start this year. The sporting event was considering spring and early summer options, but with schedule conflicts with North American sports, they ultimately landed on the same time slot for the games. The Paralympics were rescheduled for Aug. 24-Sept. 5.
With files to Canadian Press