Ontario is set to unveil its initial plan for reopening the economy Monday afternoon, a day after it announced that publicly funded schools won’t be opening their doors to students for at least another month.
Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce said on Sunday that after consulting with medical experts, the government decided publicly funded schools will stay closed until at least May 31.
Quebec, meanwhile, is expected to announce some details around reopening, including how it plans to deal with the remainder of the school year.
The novel virus, which causes an illness caused COVID-19, first emerged in China and has since spread around the world. According to a tracking tool maintained by U.S-based Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 2.9 million known coronavirus cases, with more than 206,000 deaths linked to the virus.
As of 6 a.m. ET on Monday, Canada accounted or almost 47,000 of those cases. The provinces and territories that provide data about recoveries listed 17,334 cases as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally based on provincial data, local health information and CBC reporting found 2,673 COVID-19-related deaths in Canada, with an additional two deaths abroad.
With no proven vaccines or treatments, governments around the world imposed a range of public health measures — including stay-at-home orders, physical distancing requirements and sweeping business closures — to try and slow the spread of the virus, or flatten the curve. Countries that have seen some progress in reducing the number of new cases are now making decisions around how to lift lockdowns, safely open businesses and how to handle issues like education.
Saskatchewan has announced initial details around how it plans to proceed with a phased reopening and New Brunswick recently loosened restrictions on some outdoor spaces and allowed families to partner up in what’s been described as two-family bubbles.
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In Spain, one of the countries worst-hit by the virus, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is to present a detailed plan Tuesday for the “de-escalation” of his country’s lockdown, but said it would be cautious. His French and Greek counterparts are also unveiling their reopening plans Tuesday.
Spain’s easing of restrictions kicked off Sunday as children under 14 were allowed to leave their homes for the first time in six weeks.
Seven weeks into Italy’s strict lockdown, Premier Giuseppe Conte laid out a long-awaited timetable for easing restrictions, announcing factories, construction sites and wholesale supply businesses can resume as soon as they implement safety measures against the virus.
Conte said parks and gardens will reopen, funerals will be allowed, athletes can resume training, and people will be able to visit relatives living in the same region from May 4. If all goes well, stores and museums will reopen May 18, and restaurants, cafes and salons on June 1.
Here’s what’s happening in the provinces and territories
The Office of the Seniors Advocate in British Columbia has announced an additional $500,000 to help support caregivers and seniors as part of the province’s emergency COVID-19 response plan. “Family care-giving can be intense for people,” seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie said. “It can be stressful in the best of times.” Read more about what’s happening in B.C.
Alberta reported 247 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of reported cases in the province to 4,480. Read more about what’s happening in Alberta, including the latest on an outbreak at a meat-processing plant.
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Manitoba also reported four new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the number of confirmed and presumptive cases in the province to 271. Read more about what’s happening in Manitoba.
Ontario’s education minister says all publicly funded schools will remain closed until May 31 to keep students and staff safe from COVID-19. Stephen Lecce said the decision, which could be extended, was based on advice from medical experts. Read more about what’s happening in Ontario.
Quebec reported 69 additional COVID-19-related deaths on Sunday, bringing the total number of deaths linked to the novel virus in the province to 1,515. Read more about what’s happening in Quebec, where officials are expected to offer information on what will happen with the province’s schools, which have been closed since mid-March.
Nova Scotia announced eight more COVID-19 cases on Sunday and two more deaths, both linked to a long-term care facility in Halifax. Read more about what’s happening in N.S.
Prince Edward Island, which hasn’t reported a new coronavirus case since April 8, is expected to announce more details sometime this week around its plan to reopen. Read more about what’s happening on P.E.I.
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Newfoundland and Labrador reported one new confirmed case of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 258. Five people are in hospital as a result of the virus, and two of them are in intensive care. Read more about what’s happening in N.L.
Online school is getting underway in Inuvik, N.W.T. Read more about what’s happening across the North.
Here’s a look at what’s happening in the U.S.
From The Associated Press, updated at 6:30 a.m. ET
In the U.S., governors in states including hard-hit New York and Michigan are keeping stay-at-home restrictions in place until at least mid-May, while their counterparts in Georgia, Oklahoma and Alaska are allowing certain businesses to reopen.
The split in approaches to reopening in the U.S. has often been along partisan lines.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, said with hospitalizations dropping in his state, he will reopen churches and restaurant dining on Friday, with physical-distancing guidelines in place.
WATCH | Increasing pressure in the U.S. to reduce COVID-19 restrictions:
But Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, told ABC that her state is not ready and needs more robust testing, community tracing and a plan for isolating people who get sick.
“We’ve got to be nimble and we have to follow the science and be really smart about how we re-engage,” she said.
In a sign that it could get harder to enforce restrictions, a lingering heat wave in California lured people to beaches, rivers and trails Sunday, prompting warnings that defiance of stay-at-home orders could reverse progress.
The U.S. death toll is nearly 55,000 — close to the 58,000 U.S. troops who were killed during the Vietnam War. Italy, Britain, Spain and France account for more than 20,000 deaths each.
Here’s a look at what’s happening around the world
From The Associated Press and Reuters, updated at 6:30 a.m. ET
Spain is recording 331 new deaths with coronavirus in the past 24 hours, up from Sunday’s 288, while the political and social debate focuses on the way out of one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns. The total death toll stands on Monday at over 23,500, while the number of infections is over 200,000, according to the latest count of the health ministry, which records only cases confirmed through lab tests.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Britain has reached the moment of “maximum risk” in the coronavirus outbreak, arguing that lifting the nationwide lockdown too soon would allow a second wave of infections. Speaking outside 10 Downing St. on his first day back at work after three weeks off sick with the virus, Johnson said the country was beginning to “turn the tide.”
Johnson’s Conservative government is under mounting pressure to set out a blueprint for easing the lockdown that has hobbled business activity and daily life since March 23. The restrictions are due to last until at least May 7.
Johnson said he understood people and businesses were eager to get back to work, but “I ask you to contain your impatience because I believe that we are coming to the end of the first phase of this conflict and, in spite of all the suffering, we have so nearly succeeded.”
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that 14 more countries, including Russia, Peru and Saudi Arabia, will be added to the entry ban list as the country steps up border control as coronavirus infections continued to spread in the country.
Japan is already keeping out travellers who have a connection to more than 70 countries, banning foreigners with records of visiting those countries in the past two weeks, while invalidating visas for the rest of the world. The additional step on the 14 countries will take effect Wednesday, Abe said.
Japan has 13,385 confirmed cases, as well as 712 others from a cruise ship quarantined near Tokyo earlier this year, with 364 deaths, according to the health ministry.
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China, meanwhile, was fighting back against calls for an investigation into its role in the coronavirus pandemic, citing faults with the U.S. response to the outbreak and calling for Washington itself to admit its errors.
“Indeed, lately in the U.S. many people are questioning whether the U.S. government responded in a timely and effective manner,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a daily briefing. China has faced questions and criticism over how it reported cases and its initial response to the virus, which first emerged in the city of Wuhan.
More than a million Australians rushed to download an app designed to help authorities trace close contacts of COVID-19 patients.
In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to comply with a nationwide lockdown and physical distancing measures on Sunday, a day after some of the world’s toughest restrictions were eased slightly while cases of COVID-19 continued to mount.
Egypt has asked the International Monetary Fund for financial support and will begin talks with the agency within days.
Iran plans to reopen mosques in parts of the country that have been consistently free of the outbreak. Saudi Arabia eased curfews across the country, while keeping 24-hour curfews in Mecca and in neighbourhoods previously put in isolation.
Israel permitted some businesses to reopen and said it would consider allowing children back to school.
South Africa is seeking almost $5 billion US from multilateral lenders to help it fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Argentina will extend a mandatory nationwide quarantine period until May 10, while Honduras will extend a blanket curfew by one week until May 3.
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