Trudeau says too many ignore advice as virus cases top 10,000

Too many still going out

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UPDATE: 9:25 a.m.

An already grim economic and employment toll looked set to worsen Thursday as authorities pondered further tightening already tight restrictions on people and businesses aimed at curbing the growing number of COVID-19 casualties.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said too many Canadians are still going on needless outings, potentially encouraging the spread of the coronavirus. Those who do, Trudeau said, are putting health workers at risk, threatening everyone who might need medical care.

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 127 their lives. Ontario on Thursday reported 16 more deaths, while a hard-hit nursing home in Bobcaygeon reported two new fatalities.

Experts say keeping a physical distance from others, along with frequent hand washing, is the most effective way of easing pressure on an increasingly stressed health-care system, a message Trudeau underlined.

At the same time, the prime minister said he was leaning on restrictions provinces have been putting in place rather than issuing a national stay-at-home order.

"We're not quite yet at that point," Trudeau said.

Several provinces, Quebec and Nova Scotia among them, have been patrolling provincial borders in an effort to stop or discourage unnecessary incoming travel. Governments have shut non-essential businesses and closed many public facilities such as parks, beaches and playgrounds. They've also warned of further restrictions to come.

In Toronto, Mayor John Tory was to meet with the chief of police and city staff to discuss increased enforcement of social distancing — ensuring people avoid gatherings and stay at least two metres away from others. Police have issued 14 tickets so far for non-compliance related to using parks and social gatherings of more than five people, a spokeswoman said. Other jurisdictions have similarly arrested or fined quarantine scofflaws.

– The Canadian Press

UPDATE 8:45 a.m.

More than 11 million face masks have arrived in Canada in recent days, including a shipment of one million masks that arrived at a Hamilton warehouse overnight, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today.

He said workers are trying to quickly assess that they meet the needed standards, and that 10 million masks are already being distributed to provinces and territories.

He also said the government has ordered hundreds of thousands of face shields from Bauer, the company that normally makes hockey equipment.

UPDATE 8:27 a.m.

Canada’s COVID-19 count has now surpassed 10,000 confirmed cases across the country, with the largest cluster reported in Quebec.

ORIGINAL 8:03 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will once again address Canadians from Rideau Cottage Thursday morning and Castanet will carry the address live.

Trudeau has been doing daily addresses live from Ottawa, today he is expected to update Canadians on the federal government’s COVID-19 efforts.

Trudeau has already announced a parliamentary recall is in the works.

The prime minister also has plans to speak with the provincial and territorial premiers Thursday. Trudeau has already indicated the military is on standby and it is possible the federal Emergencies Act will be discussed.

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