Ontario confirms 170 new cases of COVID-19 in the province

Darnell Taylor
March 26, 2020

According to the province's dedicated coronavirus webpage, where updates are provided twice daily, there are now 837 active cases, eight resolved and 13 deaths linked to the virus.

The C$17 billion package includes C$7 billion to support the health care system, people and jobs, as well as C$10 billion through deferring taxes and other payments, the update said.

Measures also include a one-time payment for parents of $200 per child 12 years old and under, doubling payments for low-income seniors and suspending student loan payments for six months.

This $3.3 billion investment includes the government's initial $304 million announcement to immediately respond to the outbreak, including funding for new assessment centres, screening and testing, and protection for frontline workers and first responders.

In Northern Ontario, there are now 14 positive COVID-19 cases, up five from yesterday. Last fall, the government, with a $9-billion deficit in 2019-20, was projecting just a $6.7-billion deficit for next year and boasting of its prudent approach. "We'll do everything within our power to ensure our frontlines workers have the necessary resources to take down COVID-19 and keep individuals and families safe".

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If the current statewide mortality rate held true, deaths could exceed 40,000 in the city alone if half of all residents contracted coronavirus.

Provision of approximately $5.6 billion for electricity cost relief programs for eligible residential, farm, and small business consumers in 2020-2021, an increase of about $1.5 billion in comparison to the 2019 Budget plan.

Cutting taxes by $355 million for about 57,000 employers through a proposed temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption. Indigenous communities will see an additional $26 million for health care and critical supplies. Some 837 of those are active cases, with eight recoveries and 13 deaths. Phillips told reporters after the release of Wednesday's fiscal update that even zero economic growth for 2020 was "a very, very prudent projection".

The latest projections out of Ontario were part of a mini-budget of sorts, as Phillips and Ontario's Progressive Conservative government were forced to delay tabling a full budget until November amid all the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus.

At least 12 of the new patients in Ontario are now hospitalized, while the remainder are either self-isolating or listed as "pending".

Ontario is projecting zero per cent real GDP growth in 2020, a net-debt-to-GDP ratio of 41.7 per cent in 2020-21 - up from 39.9 per cent - and a ballooning net debt from $355 billion to almost $380 billion.

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