COVID-19 recap: Feds extend U.S. border shutdown; Ontario’s kids won’t be back in the classroom anytime soon; seniors most impacted in Simcoe-Muskoka

Here's some COVID-19 information you may have missed on Tuesday, May 19th

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada and the United States have agreed to keep the border between the two nations closed for now. Queen’s Park says online education will continue through the rest of the school year. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit noted nearly 25 percent of its cases were in long-term care homes.

Government of Canada

Canada and the US have agreed to extend border closure measures for another 30 days. “This is an important decision that will keep people in both countries safe,” said Trudeau “We will continue to watch what’s happening around the world and will make the right decisions based on circumstances.” The border remains closed to non-essential travel but the order exempts trade and commerce and healthcare workers who require cross-border travel.

RELATED: CANADA-US AGREE TO EXTEND BORDER CLOSURE, FEDS EXPAND ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR CEBA

Province of Ontario

Premier Ford said Tuesday he’s not going to “open schools at this time” after consulting with health experts. Ford says the province is putting “safety first.” Homeschooling will continue. When the province does reopen schools, Education Minister Stephen Lecce said it will not look the same. “We will have to reimagine how school looks in September,” he said. The province is working on plans for schools to open in September, but Lecce says guidelines will be driven by public health officials.

RELATED: PREMIER DOUG FORD ANNOUNCES SCHOOLS WILL REMAIN CLOSED THIS YEAR

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

Nearly twenty-five percent of the local health unit’s COVID-19 caseload has to do with long-term care homes. In its regular caseload update, the SMDHU increased the region’s count by 28 to 432 cases. Of those, 24%, or 105 people, are associated with a local outbreak. There are currently three long-term care homes and one retirement home under an outbreak declaration. Three more LTCs, two retirement homes, and a group home in Simcoe or Muskoka have since ended their outbreaks.

RELATED: SIMCOE MUSKOKA DISTRICT HEALTH UNIT SAYS A QUARTER OF ITS COVID-19 CASELOAD IS RELATED TO LONG-TERM CARE HOMES

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