Today’s coronavirus news: Toronto reports 62 new cases with nine deaths; Ontario extends emergency orders until July 10; Florida sees record 9,585 new infections
The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Saturday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
10:20 p.m.: South Korea confirmed 62 new COVID-19 cases over a 24-hour period, 40 of them domestically infected, mostly in Seoul. The new cases have been linked to nightclubs, church services and a huge e-commerce warehouse.
8:22 p.m.: The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada by province:
Quebec: 55,079 confirmed (including 5,448 deaths, 23,786 resolved)
Ontario: 34,476 confirmed (including 2,652 deaths, 29,754 resolved)
Alberta: 7,957 confirmed (including 154 deaths, 7,283 resolved)
British Columbia: 2,878 confirmed (including 174 deaths, 2,545 resolved)
Nova Scotia: 1,061 confirmed (including 63 deaths, 998 resolved)
Saskatchewan: 777 confirmed (including 13 deaths, 661 resolved)
Manitoba: 311 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 300 resolved), 11 presumptive
Newfoundland and Labrador: 261 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 258 resolved)
New Brunswick: 165 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 154 resolved)
Prince Edward Island: 27 confirmed (including 27 resolved)
Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)
Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 11 resolved)
Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)
Nunavut: No confirmed cases
Total: 103,032 (11 presumptive, 103,021 confirmed including 8,516 deaths, 65,795 resolved)
7:20 p.m.: The coronavirus is showing signs of spiking in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County, known for its large Amish population. Positive tests increased by about 135 per cent from June 19 to June 25, compared to just 18 per cent statewide.
The extent of the spread among the 39,000 local Amish residents, however, is unclear. Amish families typically avoid using technology due to their faith, and have differing philosophies about modern medical care. Anecdotal evidence, though, indicates many Amish and Old Order Mennonites are not seeking testing for the coronavirus, said Edwin Hurston, the county’s COVID-19 public health emergency adviser.
The population could be at particular risk through church gatherings and because many households include older relatives.
6:15 p.m.: U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence called off campaign events in Florida and Arizona for this coming week as the states experience a surge in coronavirus cases. Pence still plans to travel to Texas, another state with a rising rate of infection, for a church-run Celebrate Freedom Rally in Dallas on Sunday before meeting with Gov. Greg Abbott.
5 p.m.: Ontario’s regional public health units are reporting a total of 36,468 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 as of 5 p.m. Saturday, including 2,701 deaths, up by a total of 163 new cases since Friday evening.
As has been the case in recent days, the growth was concentrated in a handful of health units; only Toronto (62 cases), Peel Region (59) and Windsor-Essex (20) reported new infections in the double digits.
Meanwhile, Toronto was responsible for all nine fatal cases reported Saturday. The daily rate of deaths has fallen sharply in the province since peaking in early May, when the health units reported as many as 94 in a single day.
Earlier Saturday, the province reported that 252 patients are now hospitalized with COVID-19, including 54 in intensive care of whom 35 are on a ventilator. All three totals are near the lowest the province has reported in data that goes back to early April.
The province says its data is accurate to 4 p.m. the previous day. The province also cautions its latest count of total deaths — 2,652 — may be incomplete or out of date due to delays in the reporting system, saying that in the event of a discrepancy, “data reported by (the health units) should be considered the most up to date.”
The Star’s count includes some patients reported as “probable” COVID-19 cases, meaning they have symptoms and contacts or travel history that indicate they very likely have the disease, but have not yet received a positive lab test.
4:30 p.m.: Vancouver Coastal Health says anyone who visited Brandi’s Exotic Show Lounge from June 21 to 24 may have been exposed to the coronavirus. Health officials say a number of people who tested positive attended the strip club between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. on those dates.
4:01 p.m.: 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.
Trudeau announced the new funds in another virtual international fundraiser — this one sponsored by an organization, Global Citizen, that raised almost $9.5 billion in pledges.
“COVID-19 has changed the lives of people everywhere, and it has highlighted inequalities around the world,” Trudeau said. “None of us have been spared from the effects of COVID-19 and none of us can beat it alone.”
Canada’s 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.
The ACT Accelerator was created in April by the World Health Organization, the French government, the European Commission and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to ensure equitable access to medical treatments. It supports organizations, health professionals and businesses in their efforts to develop a vaccine, as well as drug therapies and diagnostic tools to battle the pandemic.