The CORONAVIRUS REPORT for Wednesday, December 16, 2020

OHA calls special emergency meeting

The Ontario Hospital Association says it’s deeply concerned by the rising number of COVID-19 infections in the province.
The Association’s board is to hold an emergency meeting today to discuss the situation.
It says a surge in hospitalizations after the Christmas holidays could put heavy pressure on acute care and other services.
The Association says the situation facing hospitals would be worse than it was last spring, because they’re expected to keep elective surgeries going, as well as care for higher numbers of COVID-19 patients.

 

Hospitals prepare for surge

The C-E-O of Ontario Health is telling hospitals in our province to be ready to implement plans to cope with a surge in COVID-19 cases within 48 hours.

In a memo sent out on Tuesday, Matt Anderson says Ontario has entered a critical phase in the battle against the coronavirus, with widespread community transmission in many areas.

His memo says hospitals in the grey-lockdown and red zones should be prepared to set aside ten to 15 per cent of their hospital beds to treat COVID-19 patients.

The number of people being treated for the virus in provincial hospitals jumped to 921 yesterday, with 249 of them in intensive care.

 

Surge concerns by Ford

Premier Doug Ford says he’s concerned by the latest COVID-19 numbers and no restrictions are off the table in efforts to control the spread of the virus.

There was a record 22-hundred and 75 new diagnoses reported yesterday although officials say the number was affected slightly by a change in the times that some health regions report their numbers.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says people in some regions still aren’t following public health guidelines regarding group gatherings and the wearing of face masks.

Elliott says it will be critical that Ontarians mark the Christmas season only with members of their own households.

 

Write-off for home office deductions

Canadians who have been forced to work from home during the pandemic are getting a bit of a break from the Canada Revenue Agency.

The agency says those who worked from home at least 50 per cent of the time during four consecutive weeks or more, will be able to claim home office deductions.

If you don’t want to go through the paperwork needed for that, the agency says a simplified claim will be permitted, allowing two dollars a day for home expenses, to a maximum of 400 dollars.

The deduction is only available for the 2020 tax year.

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