COVID-19 Updates as of March 31, 2020

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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve on a daily basis, sparking constant change across Canada and the Waterloo region as the community struggles to contain the virus and adapt to a new way of living.

According to Public Health Canada, as of 11:30 a.m., March 31, there are 7695 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the country, with 1966 of those cases in Ontario, making it the province with the second highest amount of cases in Canada, after Quebec. 

There have been 33 COVID-19 related death in Ontario so far, and 10.9 per cent of all patients have been hospitalized at some point of their illness.

In response to the rising number of cases in Ontario, Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced that school within the province will remain closed until at least the beginning of May, if not longer.

“Our number one priority is to protect our children … The reality is, I think everyone in this province knows, the reality is April the sixth is not realistic right now,” said Ford in a public statement.

As of Monday, March 30, there have been 103 confirmed and presumed cases of COVID-19 in the Waterloo region, 34 more cases than lasted reported on Friday, March 27. 

The overwhelming toll the pandemic is placing on the healthcare system and its limited resources it a cause for concern across the country.

Many Canadian hospitals are expected to face a shortage of healthcare supplies to protect both their staff and their patients, such as N95 masks and disposable gloves.

On Mar 30, Wilfrid Laurier University announced that they will be donating 12,000 N95 masks, 38,500 disposable gloves, 200 isolation gowns, in addition to an unspecified amount of surgical masks, visors, goggles, hand sanitizer and test kits.

These resources were gathered from Laurier’s student wellness centre, Faculty of science labs and the department of safety, health, environment and risk management.

The supplies will be sent to the Grand River Hospital in Kitchener as well as the Brant Community Health System where they will be allocated to other local hospitals and health care services based on the highest need.

In response to the pandemic, Laurier has made several changes of it’s own, including postponing spring convocation.

At the rate which the COVID-19 virus is spreading within Canada, it is clear that social distancing will need to continue longer than anticipated, making the original dates for spring convocation, June 8 through 12, no longer feasible. 

Laurier has announced that spring convocation will be postponed to later dates when large gatherings are expected to be safe again.

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