Riverdale's Madelaine Petsch and Travis Mills Split After 3 Years Together: 'Holding Back Tears'

Aurelie Corinthios

Riverdale star Madelaine Petsch and her boyfriend Travis Mills have called it quits.

Mills, 30, announced the news Thursday with a lengthy caption on Instagram.

“I’ve had to accept there’s no possible way to capture a love of this scale or its significance to me, in a few paragraphs. That said, I’ll try, because so many of you supported us over the years like a family would,” he began. “So here it goes.”
⁣⁣⁣⁣
“Our relationship has been in the public eye for the last 3 years. What’s ironic about my most public relationship is that behind the scenes it was the most non-superficial & grounding experience in my life. While it pains me our journey has come to a close, I mean it when I say I’m so incredibly grateful to have shared the last 3 years with someone as compassionate, smart & wonderful as Madelaine. The personal growth made possible by our time together I wouldn’t trade for anything.⁣⁣⁣⁣”

“Red carpets, parties, photoshoots, TV etc create this alternate reality where we are one-dimensional people, free of real world challenges, kicking our feet up, waiting for the next big job. I wish our lives really looked like a google image search of our names,” he continued. “In reality we’re ambitious & hard-working individuals, dealing with rejection, in different states/countries, wondering what the next best move is, trying to see friends/family, take care of our dogs, answering an ocean of e-mails, balancing REAL LIFE & doing it all while being separated by it.⁣⁣⁣⁣”

Mills went on to acknowledge the “mountain of challenges” the couple faced, noting that they helped him “do some very necessary growing up.”
⁣⁣⁣⁣
“I’ve learned so much about myself & life from that unconditional love and support,” he said. “While I’m holding back tears I’m excited to see what you do next. I’ll always have your back.⁣⁣⁣⁣”

He added that he would not be deleting any of their pictures together, explaining, “I regret nothing.”

Mills and Petsch, 25, had been together since early 2017. Fans began speculating about a split earlier this month when Petsch attended Vanity Fair‘s Oscars afterparty without Mills, and when neither posted about the other on Valentine’s Day.

They were together as recently as December, when Mills posted a photo of the couple at Disneyland, writing, “I don’t always wear ears at @disneyland, but when I do it’s because @madelame made me.”

RELATED: Riverdale‘s Madelaine Petsch Gets Candid About ‘Really Bad’ Panic Attacks and Social Anxiety

Petsch has previously been open about the relationship, speaking fondly of Mills in interviews and regularly sharing photos of the two on Instagram.

“I think my generation is extremely cynical about love,” she told Glamour in 2018. “I’m a huge advocate of showing my relationship online because love does exist, and I think it’s so important for our generation to know that love will win. No matter who you love, what you love, it will win.”

The actress said that before she met Mills, she was “fully single and didn’t talk to anybody.”

“And then I met him and was like, ‘Oh my God, this is what they say,'” she said. “It sounds patronizing when they say, ‘When you know, you know,’ but [now] I know.”

RELATED VIDEO: Riverdale Cast Honors Luke Perry During First Table Read for Season 4 — ‘Nothing But Love’

Petsch also shared the story of how she first met Mills, an actor/musician, in an interview with Cosmopolitan in 2017. As it turns out, they connected on Facebook after Mills reached out to congratulate Petsch, who plays Cheryl Blossom, on season 1 of Riverdale. (He had auditioned for the role of Jughead, which went to Cole Sprouse.)

“I think we just randomly had mutual friends, so we added each other,” she recalled. “We kept in touch very rarely, not even that much, from January to February, and then the day I got back from season one in February I was bored in L.A., believe it or not. I was like, ‘What am I gonna do?’ I got my hair cut and he texted me like, ‘Let’s go to a movie!'”

“We hung out and spent every single day together that I’ve been in L.A. since then,” she added.

  • Premier to release 'really stark' projections Friday as Ontario confirms 401 new COVID-19 cases
    News
    CBC

    Premier to release 'really stark' projections Friday as Ontario confirms 401 new COVID-19 cases

    Recent developments: * Ontario confirmed 401 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. * Total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the province now at 2,793. * Ontario's official death toll from COVID-19 now at 53. * 831 cases are considered resolved. * Premier promised a full briefing from province's health experts on Friday. * Three COVID-19 related deaths reported at Toronto long-term care home. * Ontario Hospital Association sounds alarm about dwindling supplies. * Royal Canadian Legion adapting services to support veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic. * COVID-19 crisis results in power grid concerns. * Outbreak of COVID-19 at Lakeridge Health Oshawa. * Torontonians will now risk $5,000 fine if they stand less than two metres apart.Ontario confirmed 401 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the provincial total to 2,793.The tally includes 16 new deaths, putting Ontario's official death toll at 53, as well as 831 cases considered resolved.Another 2,052 people are awaiting test results, 1,083 fewer than the previous 24 hours. A total of 62,733 tests have been administered.Speaking at a news conference Thursday afternoon, Premier Doug Ford promised to release data Friday showing how many Ontarians could die from COVID-19 in various scenarios, warning that the projections will be hard to hear.Ford had resisted calls to release that modelling as recently as Wednesday, saying there were many different scenarios, but said medical experts will now provide a public briefing."Over the next little while, we will all have to make some very, very difficult decisions and you deserve the same information I have," Ford said."You deserve to see the same data that I see when I'm making decisions. You deserve to know what I know when you're making decisions for yourself, your family and your community."Numbers may be 'a real wake-up call,' Ford saysFord said the numbers may be "a real wake-up call" to people who may be tempted to pack the beaches and the parks as the weather gets nicer."The truth is, the situation is extremely, extremely serious," Ford said. "Right now, our best defence is to stay home, self isolate and don't go out. It is a matter of life and death.""People are going to see some really stark figures tomorrow," Ford said.The premier said the situation is "extremely serious," and again implored people to stay home.The updated figures from the province are a snapshot of the COVID-19 situation as of 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, meaning the current death toll is higher.A Bobcaygeon nursing home, for instance, reported two more deaths of residents in a COVID-19 outbreak there early this morning, bringing the total to 16 in that facility. The local health unit believes the outbreak at Pinecrest Nursing Home is the largest in the province, with at least 24 staff members also infected.For the first time, Ontario is also reporting data on hospitalizations, how many COVID-19 patients are in intensive care units, and how many cases have required a ventilator: * 405 infected people have been hospitalized. * 167 of those are in ICUs. * 112 patients are on ventilators.Numbers will be 'challenging'Meanwhile, without going into specifics, Dr. David Williams, the chief medical health officer, said some people might find the numbers challenging.At a Thursday afternoon news conference, Williams said his office has had scientists working hard at the modelling to get the information to provincial authorities."The more data we can give them, the more able they are to make some better projections and forecast in that sense. My point always with those things [is that] they give us an idea of what we should prepare for," Williams said."I really feel that by what we're doing we can still bend the curve. I think the numbers as always will be challenging as people see what might progress."COVID-19 outbreak at Lakeridge Health OshawaLate Thursday night, Lakeridge Health and Durham Region Health Department confirmed an outbreak of COVID-19 at an inpatient unit.at Lakeridge Health Oshawa.The individuals who have tested positive have been appropriately isolated, are receiving care and being monitored, they said in a joint statement.The unit is temporarily closed to admissions, the statement continued.3 deaths at long-term care home in TorontoMeanwhile, CBC News has learned of three deaths at a long-term care home in Toronto.Mary Hoare, CEO of St. Clair O'Connor Community Nursing Home, told CBC News the three deaths — all related to COVID-19 — happened Thursday morning.These are the first COVID-19-related deaths at the home since the outbreak of the deadly respiratory illness. On Thursday, City of Toronto officials announced a new bylaw that prohibits people from standing within two metres of each other in city parks and public squares — and failing to comply could mean a fine of up to $5,000. Watch The National's report on how COVID-19 is already putting stress on ICUs in Ontario:Health officials also offered the following breakdown of cases since Jan. 15, 2020: * 48.5 per cent are male, while 50.9 per cent are female. * 32.3 per cent are 60 years of age and older. * Greater Toronto Area public health units account for more than 53 per cent of cases.The newly confirmed cases in Ontario push the Canada-wide total to 10,132.Ford also announced Thursday that the province is pledging $12 million to online mental health supports for those who are struggling as isolation measures continue. "You are not alone. We're listening. We care," Ford said.How have you been affected by the coronavirus? Let us know by emailing covid@cbc.ca, and include the words "personal story" in your subject line.The association that represents Ontario's hospitals is sounding the alarm about dwindling supplies of personal protective equipment.The Ontario Hospital Association says it is "extremely concerned" that many of the facilities are running low.It says that as the number of COVID-19 cases in acute care units rise, many hospitals are experiencing a shortage, especially of masks.The association is calling on the federal and provincial governments to clearly communicate when new supplies will be provided to specific hospitals.Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey today announced $2.7 million for community agencies to support victims of domestic violence and other violent crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic.The province is also investing $1.3 million in technology to help courts and tribunals operate remotely.Support for veteransMeanwhile, Royal Canadian Legion branches are adapting their services to support veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic.But it's also warning that financial pressures could result in the closure of some branches.The head of the national veterans and community service group says that despite the shut down of most branches, volunteers continue preparing hot meals, delivering groceries and providing online social links to struggling veterans.Dominion President Thomas Irvine says the efforts come at a time when legion branches themselves are under considerable financial strain because of the pandemic.He says their main sources of income — in-house restaurants and bars, as well as hosted events — have been cut off.Power grid concernsA group of personnel key to keeping Ontario's electricity system functioning may end up locked down in their control centres due to the COVID-19 crisis.This according to the head of the province's power operator.Independent Electricity System Operator CEO Peter Gregg says the measure has so far proven unnecessary.He says that while about 90 per cent of staff were sent to work from home on March 13th, another 48 control-room operators deemed essential are still going into work.He says it could come to a point where they can't leave the workplace because without them, the power grid would fail.

  • Model predicts 250 Alberta patients will need intensive care at peak of COVID-19 pandemic
    News
    CBC

    Model predicts 250 Alberta patients will need intensive care at peak of COVID-19 pandemic

    Public health modelling predicts cases of COVID-19 could peak in Alberta in early May, Premier Jason Kenney said in an emergency debate in the legislature Wednesday night.The model predicts at the provincial peak, about 250 people will be in intensive care unit beds with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.The calculations, prepared by Alberta Health Services (AHS) and still being adjusted, are also prompting the provincial government to prepare for a much more dire, worst-case scenario. That scenario would require 1,200 intensive care beds and 925 ventilators, which Alberta Health Services aims to have ready by late April, Kenney said."Things will get worse before they get better," the premier said. "I also want everyone to know that Alberta's pandemic response is second-to-none in North America."He said the provincial health system has the resources, equipment and personnel it needs to cope with the peak of infections of the novel coronavirus.Delayed surgeries and other measures have allowed AHS to free up 1,300 hospital beds across the province, and there should be 2,250 available to treat COVID-19 patients by the third week of April, Kenney said. There were 509 ventilators available at last count, he said.Planning for worst-case scenarioAlthough the premier said he was confident the public health measures to close businesses, prohibit large gatherings and keep people apart were succeeding at slowing the spread of the virus, the government is preparing for a more catastrophic scenario.It has plans to assemble "backup facilities" should the number of sick patients exceed hospital space and possibly call on the military to help prepare such buildings, Kenney said.Although AHS has a four-month supply of gloves, masks, gowns and other medical equipment, the province has ordered an additional two million N95 masks, Kenney said.Alberta is also working with other provinces and the federal government to try and find sources of extra testing reagents and other critical supplies, he said.Opposition leader Rachel Notley expressed several concerns to the premier and cabinet ministers, including that the emergency homeless shelters being set up in the province appear to have mats and beds in close proximity, which risks facilitating transmission of the virus."We believe these people, these people in Alberta who do not have homes, are entitled to the same dignity and the same rights as other Albertans," Notley said. "And we also believe that the kind of setup that we see these folks living in right now is bound to create a concentration of infections and disease spread."Notley said the provincial government will have to accelerate economic diversification when the pandemic subsides. She chastised the government for a prolonged battle with Alberta doctors over how physicians are paid.Notley also questioned how governments intended to help small businesses survive the economic crash and how seniors' lodges and long-term care homes are preventing the spread of the coronavirus.Kenney said the government is in talks with e-commerce platform Shopify to potentially help some Alberta businesses move online. He also said the provincial government would consider topping up a federal government emergency income payment of $2,000 a month.Oil price crash lobs $7-billion hit to provincial coffersKenney also said the Canadian oil industry likely needs access to between $20- and $30-billion worth of cash to survive the global oil price war. He urged the federal government to come to the aid of the sector.Within two to three weeks, the price of Western Canadian Select — the type of oil extracted from the oilsands — may be negative, Kenney said.Without help, small and medium-sized energy companies are at risk of folding if oil prices remain in the gutter, he said.Kenney also said Alberta's projected revenue for the 2020-21 year is likely between $7 billion and $10 billion lower than budgeted. The province had forecast $50 billion in revenue for this year.However, Kenney said he expects an "extraordinary federal investment" in orphan well reclamation within days.

  • COVID-19 in Quebec: Legault tells police to be 'less tolerant' of those not obeying restrictions
    News
    CBC

    COVID-19 in Quebec: Legault tells police to be 'less tolerant' of those not obeying restrictions

    * Quebec has 5,518 cases and 36 deaths attributable to COVID-19. There are 365 people in hospital, including 96 in intensive care. * Montreal remains the hardest hit region, with 2,642 cases — a jump of 545 cases since Wednesday. * More than 500 long-term care facilities in the province have reported at least one confirmed case.Premier Francois Legault is asking police forces across the province to crack down on Quebecers who are ignoring the new rules aimed at slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus.Legault said while most people are respecting physical-distancing directives, there are significant numbers of businesses that are still open and some people continuing to meet in large groups."If someone still thought this wasn't serious, it's time to wake up," Legault said at his daily news conference Thursday in Quebec City. Quebec now has 5,518 cases and 36 deaths attributable to COVID-19. There are 365 people in hospital, including 96 in intensive care. In Montreal, there are now a total of 2,642 cases — a jump of 545 cases in a single day.Legault said police across Quebec received some 7,000 calls Wednesday about potential violations of the rules against gathering in public. He reminded Quebecers people must stay two metres apart from each other, and they may not gather in groups.Police in Quebec have been authorized to hand out fines ranging from $1,000 to $6,000 to anyone who violates the rules.Outside of Montreal, officers are also enforcing travel restrictions in just about every region in the province, as authorities seek to limit the movement of people to an absolute minimum.Quebec ready to pay cash for more medical suppliesLegault also used Thursday's news conference to strike a bullish tone as he explained Quebec's efforts to secure enough medical supplies — especially masks and gloves — for health-care workers on the front lines of the outbreak.With most other countries facing similar shortages, competition is fierce for bulk orders of personal protective equipment. There have been reports in recent day of the U.S. outbidding and diverting shipments destined for other countries."We'll play the game," Legault said. "If [suppliers] want cash, we'll pay cash."Health-care workers have complained about shortages of protective equipment, and earlier this week Legault acknowledged supplies had dwindled and what Quebec had on hand wouldn't last more than a week.He said Thursday the scenario remains the same.The premier also announced the province will boost the pay of health-care workers who are in contact with people who are infected with COVID-19.More details about the pay raise — worth about $287 million — will be released at separate news conference later today."I think there is a group that has ever been more deserving of a pay raise," Legault said.

  • 'Unpredictable:' Super-spreading events linked to COVID-19 across the country
    News
    The Canadian Press

    'Unpredictable:' Super-spreading events linked to COVID-19 across the country

    Thousands of people smiled, laughed, shook hands and conversed at one of the largest dental conferences in North America last month unaware of a deadly virus circling among them.More than 15,000 attendees, presenters or vendors were part of the Pacific Dental Conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre in early March. Six days later, public health officials sent out a warning: an attendee had tested positive for COVID-19.More positive tests followed. A dentist from British Columbia, Dr. Denis Vincent, died two weeks after the convention.In the days and weeks that followed, positive cases linked to the conference popped up across Canada: at least 32 in B.C., nine in Alberta and three in Saskatchewan.It's not known how many people were infected with the novel coronavirus at the convention because not all regions have provided that information.Ontario let dental-care partners know of the potential risk, but has not revealed publicly how many cases have been traced back to the event.Quebec says it doesn't appear that many of its positive tests are linked.Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island say no cases there go back to the conference.Manitoba hasn't revealed any possible connections either. Although the first death in the province from COVID-19 was a woman in her 60s who worked for a dental supply company. That company had a booth at the Vancouver conference. The company directed The Canadian Press to speak with provincial health officials.Some attendees may have contracted the virus but never showed symptoms."(Infectious diseases) are unpredictable," says Jason Kindrachuk, a research chair in emerging viruses at the University of Manitoba.Kindrachuk says public health officials made decisions based on the information they had early on. There were "unfortunate misnomers:" believing the virus only affected seniors or people with underlying health conditions, and that only those showing symptoms could spread it.We now know a lot more people can be at risk and can unknowingly be carriers, Kindrachuk says.The situation across Canada has been changing daily as positive COVID-19 test results continue to rise. Some of those cases have been linked to other super-spreading events.More than 50 doctors from Western Canada were at a curling bonspiel March 11-14 in Edmonton, where an individual unknowingly spread the virus after returning from a trip to Las Vegas, said Alberta's chief medical health officer. Attendees from multiple provinces have since tested positive. At the time, events with less than 250 people could go ahead.A snowmobile rally where more than 100 people gathered for supper in Saskatchewan on March 14 has been connected to nearly 20 cases.And more than 100 positive cases, including one death, have been linked to funeral services in St. John's, N.L.Across the country, as more information came in, large-scale events were cancelled, then smaller events. Then it was recommended people only be around those they live with. Recommendations from health officials and politicians became orders.Alyson Kelvin is an assistant professor at Toronto's Dalhousie University and a research scientist at the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology. She says we're still in the early stages of understanding COVID-19.Just a few weeks ago, there wasn't much evidence of community transmission in Canada. Scientists are now learning how long the virus survives on different surfaces and how easily it can be spread even at small events."There's a big difference between a couple of weeks ago and now," Kelvin says.Our understanding of how it is shared by children is also changing. Kelvin studied research out of China that traced children in households where people had tested positive. It showed that many children had contracted the virus but weren't showing any symptoms."This trend could continue in Canada or the U.S., where we have children being able to be infected and spread or transmit the virus and not even know that they had it."Normal life may seem like ages ago, Kelvin adds, but efforts to slow down the pandemic's spread are just beginning. And super-spreading events show just how important it is to keep social distancing."I know Canadians can do it because we have a great sense of our community in our country. Even though we are spread out, I know that we can come together by staying apart."This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 2, 2020Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press

  • Food bank drive-thru 'in demand' as jobs on hold amid COVID-19 pandemic
    News
    CBC

    Food bank drive-thru 'in demand' as jobs on hold amid COVID-19 pandemic

    The Unemployed Help Centre (UHC) has launched a drive-thru food pick-up at its main location on Cantelon Road in Windsor to make sure staff, volunteers and visitors stay safe amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The new model comes almost two weeks after staff at the UHC moved away from the centre's previous grocery store set-up that gave visitors the chance to pick and choose food items on their own. Although the drive-thru helps protect the safety of workers and those looking to use the service, supplies remain a concern. "We've definitely seen a surge in demand for the need for food," said UHC assistant CEO Maxine Deleersnyder, adding that the local school boards have made donations of food."We have gotten quite a bit of food. However with the demand, we're not sure how long that will last."Watch: The Unemployed Help Centre has a new drive-thruDeleersnyder said the UHC still has a walk-thru area accessible by foot, but explained that visitors in cars can now drive up to a hub, answer a few questions "just to ensure we're supplying their needs as far as family size" and simply wait for staff to load car trunks with food items. "[There's almost] no interaction, we're just maintaining that physical distance," Deleersnyder said. "We have pylons erected to ensure that."For anyone concerned about health and hygiene, Deleersnyder said representatives for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit visited the UHC last week to make sure that the new set-up is safe.  We're hoping we have enough to supply the need, but … we just don't know how long this is going to last \- Maxine Deleersnyder, assistant CEO, UHC"They said we have gone over and above to ensure the safety of everyone who is involved," Deleersnyder said. The UHC is in the process of setting up similar drive-thru hubs in the Greater Essex County area, including Belle River, the Town of Essex and Leamington. "Those will pop up in the coming weeks," Deleersnyder said. Food supply still a concernDespite the new model, Deleersnyder said she's not sure how long food supplies will last. June Muir, CEO of the UHC, previously told CBC News on March 20 that food banks across Windsor-Essex only had about 10 days of supplies left. Members of the community, as well as local school boards, have provided "quite a bit" of food to the UHC, but Deleersnyder said demand has also steadily increased — driven in part by residents who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic. "We do track everybody that comes in through a database just to capture how many people we're serving," Deleersnyder said. "Through that process, we have learned that many [visitors] are new clients to the food bank."Listen to Maxine Deleerysnyder discuss how COVID-19 has affected food banks with Windsor Morning host Tony Doucette:Deleersnyder said the UHC is part of Feed Ontario group of food banks and Food Banks Canada — organizations that have received some money to make prepackaged food hampers available to local food banks in Windsor-Essex.She said the UHC should receive those hampers over the next two weeks. "We're hoping we have enough to supply the need, but … we just don't know how long this is going to last," Deleersnyder said. The UHC's drive-thru will be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

  • Law firm criticized by USSF asks to withdraw from lawsuit
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Law firm criticized by USSF asks to withdraw from lawsuit

    LOS ANGELES — Seyfarth Shaw, the law firm whose arguments critical of American women's players led to the resignation of U.S. Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro, has asked to withdraw from representing the federation in the lawsuit.Members of the women's national team filed a gender discrimination suit against the USSF last year under the Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They claim they have not been paid equally to the men's national team and asked for more than $66 million in damages. A trial is scheduled for May 5 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.In papers filed March 9 by Seyfarth Shaw, the USSF argued women's national team players had lesser skills and responsibilities than their male counterparts.Following widespread criticism that included rebukes by several USSF sponsors, Cordeiro apologized and brought in Latham & Watkins, the firm where former USSF President Alan Rothenberg is a retired partner. Latham defended the USSF in a wage discrimination complaint filed by women's players in 2016 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.Kristen M. Peters of Seyfarth filed a request to withdraw Wednesday night on behalf of herself and Brian M Stolzenbach, Chantelle C Egan, Cheryl A Luce, Ellen E McLaughlin, Giovanna A Ferrari, Kyllan B Kershaw, Noah A Finkel and Sharilee K Smentek.Jamie Wine of Latham & Watkins was listed as the new counsel in the filing, which was signed by Greg Fike, a USSF senior counsel. USSF chief legal officer Lydia Wahlke has been placed on administrative leave.Cordeiro resigned March 12. He was replaced by Cindy Parlow Cone, a former national team's player who had been vice-president. She disavowed by arguments made by Seyfarth Shaw and said she hoped the case could be settled. Her public comments entered the record when both sides filed a joint stipulation with the court on Wednesday night.“The parties have conferred and defendant has clarified that it is no longer relying on the specific argument that the work of WNT players does not require `equal skill, effort and responsibility' to that of MNT players in its motion for summary judgment or in opposition to plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment,” they said.Latham & Watkins' lawyers first asked the court for permission to join the case on March 16 and had taken over the federation's filings.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Socce r and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsThe Associated Press

  • Roughriders QB hopes CFL delay will be brief
    News
    CBC

    Roughriders QB hopes CFL delay will be brief

    Cody Fajardo's last football memory is one he would rather forget.Last November at Mosaic Stadium, his final pass attempt caromed off the crossbar, sending the Blue Bombers to the Grey Cup and the Roughriders into the off-season.It's a game he played with two torn oblique muscles, creating even more "what ifs."Unfortunately for Fajardo, due to the CFL's decision to delay the start of training camps, it's a memory he will be unable to erase from his mind anytime soon.For Fajardo, six months without football is long enough."And now to say it's postponed even more just makes it that much tougher," said Fajardo from his home in the U.S."You want to get back on the field and get this bitter taste out of your mouth." Fajardo, who just celebrated his 28th birthday, is a glass-half-full kind of guy. He hopes any delay will be a brief.He wants to be ready to go, which is not so easy when you don't have access to a gym, because due to COVID-19, they're all closed."My wife and I have turned to on-TV workouts, which are actually really tough, and it kicks my butt," he said."I'm just trying to find creative ways to stay in shape so when they tell us the season's back on, whenever it is, I'm ready to hit the ground running."But the hardest aspect for him is not being able to work out with receivers. Playing catch is not exactly practising good social distancing."Everyone touching it, sweating, spitting on the football and stuff — it can get a little bit scary, so I haven't been able to throw as much as I want."2019 was Cody Fajardo's breakout year. After spending the first three years of his career as a backup, he took advantage of an injury to Zach Collaros and grabbed the reins as the Riders' starter.He led the league with 4,302 passing yards and 18 touchdowns. He was named a CFL all-star and the West Division's most outstanding player.2020 would be his first as the No. 1 guy going into training camp. His first camp with a contract appropriate for a starting quarterback in the CFL.Now all that is on hold as the world deals with a health crisis.He feels for some of his teammates who may have to make life-altering decisions if the delay is not a short one."I know the last five years of my career have been hard, just trying to make ends meet throughout the off season. I had to pick up some off-season jobs," he said."There's gonna be some guys that are going to have to make some decisions here. If the season is going to be delayed for long, are they going to wait to play football or are they going to have to jump into a career or a job just because they need money for their family?"Fajardo, though, keeps in regular contact with the Riders' new offensive co-ordinator, Jason Maas, as the playbook gets closer to completion.Fajardo believes the fans will get excited over the new-look offence — provided there will be games played."I personally believe there will be a 2020 season. I don't know when but me and my faith and how I've been raised, I'm a positive thinker and it's up to us."He may not be able to practise football but he can practise social distancing and proper hand-washing. Fajardo says the more people that can do that, the quicker life can get back to normal."It's bigger than just football. We're all in this together. Our health is more important than just entertaining people."

  • Donald Trump says Canadians on two stranded cruise ships will be heading home
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Donald Trump says Canadians on two stranded cruise ships will be heading home

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — U.S. President Donald Trump says there are plans to remove nearly 250 Canadians from two cruise ships and get them back to Canada.The U.S. Coast Guard has directed all cruise ships to remain at sea where they may be sequestered "indefinitely" during the coronavirus pandemic, but Trump said Canada is coming to get the Canadians from the MS Zaandam and its sister ship the Rotterdam."We're taking the Canadians off and giving them to Canadian authorities. They're going to bring them back home," Trump said at his daily press briefing on Wednesday.Trump said the same is true for citizens of the United Kingdom on the ships.The president said states have been reluctant to take cruise guests, but he feels the U.S. is obligated to help. He said at a minimum, the U.S. will send medical teams on board."You have people that are sick on those ships and states don't want to take them," Trump said."They have enough problems right now and they don't want to take them, but we have to from a humane standpoint. We don't have a choice. I don't want to do that, but we have to. People are dying."According to the U.S. Coast Guard, cruise ships must also be prepared to send any severely ill passengers to the countries where the vessels are registered.The rules, which apply to any vessel carrying more than 50 people, were issued in a March 29 safety bulletin signed by Coast Guard Rear Admiral E.C. Jones, whose district includes Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Puerto Rico.But Trump said Tuesday he was going to speak with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis about whether to allow the Zaandam and the Rotterdam, one of which has seen four people die and 200 passengers and crew report flu-like symptoms, to dock.Global Affairs Canada said in a statement that there are 97 Canadian passengers on the Zaandam and 150 Canadians on the Rotterdam. At this time, no COVID-19 cases have been confirmed among Canadian passengers."We continue to engage with the passengers and Holland America to co-ordinate travel for Canadian citizens back to Canada upon disembarkation," Global Affairs said.The Zaandam, which set sail in early March on a South American cruise, is carrying sick passengers and crew, while passengers not showing symptoms were transferred to the Rotterdam, which was sent to the region to help. Both ships have cleared the Panama Canal and are sailing toward Florida. Two of four deaths on the Zaandam have been blamed on COVID-19 and nine people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the company said.Catherine McLeod, an Ottawa resident who was recently transferred to the Rotterdam from the Zaandam, said the captain came on the internal television system last night and "proposed a toast to world health and our safe return home."Champagne and sweets were left outside each passenger's doors.The Rotterdam captain "is a class act, so was the captain of the Zaandam," McLeod said in an email. "This guy has made some excellent speeches regarding his and the crew's devotion to getting us out of here healthy."The ship was off the northwest coast of Cuba by late Wednesday morning. McLeod said passengers have been told they'll reach Florida by Thursday morning."We were told that Holland America would arrange for our transportation home, and received a call yesterday from guest services asking our destination," McLeod said.They remain hopeful they won't be stranded at sea.DeSantis said he expected a resolution Wednesday after speaking with Trump, but port authorities later said discussions between the company and officials over the terms of docking were ongoing and they did not expect to update Broward County commissioners on Wednesday as it was foreseen at the Tuesday meeting.DeSantis maintained Florida's health care system is stretched too thin to take on the ships' coronavirus caseload, but he said he would accept the 49 Florida residents on board.“My concern is simply that we have worked so hard to make sure we have adequate hospital beds,” he said.Holland America said in a statement Wednesday night that it is awaiting confirmation to disembark guests from both ships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The company said both ships are scheduled to arrive at the boundary of U.S. waters early Thursday and will remain there while waiting for clearance.The ships are on the Port Everglades docking schedule for Thursday afternoon at 1 and 1:30 p.m. ET.Holland America also said guests fit to travel would transfer straight from ships to flights so they can return home. The approximately 45 guests who still have mild illness would continue to isolate on board. For the estimated less than 10 people needing critical care, Holland America says it has secured approval from a local health system partner that will accept them for treatment. More than two dozen cruise ships are either lined up at Port Miami and Port Everglades or waiting offshore, the Miami Herald reported. Most have only crew aboard, but several still carry passengers and are steaming toward ports in southern Florida. Carnival notified the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday that it has more than 6,000 passengers still at sea.Under normal conditions, when a passenger or crew member become too ill for the ship's medical team to care for, they call the Coast Guard to provide a medical evacuation to an onshore hospital. Under the new rules, sick passengers would be sequestered indefinitely on board.“This is necessary as shore-side medical facilities may reach full capacity and lose the ability to accept and effectively treat additional critically ill patients," the Coast Guard memo said.The document requires all ships in U.S. waters to report their numbers of sick and dead on board each day or face civil penalties or criminal prosecution.Cruise ships with sick passengers must consult with the Coast Guard, which may now recommend keeping the sick person on board. The Coast Guard will decide if a transfer is absolutely necessary, but the cruise line would be responsible for arranging on-shore transportation and hospital beds.— With files from Liam Casey in Toronto and The Associated Press.This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 1, 2020.The Associated Press

  • 'Shoot them dead' - Philippine leader says won't tolerate lockdown violators
    News
    Reuters

    'Shoot them dead' - Philippine leader says won't tolerate lockdown violators

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned violators of coronavirus lockdown measures they could be shot for causing trouble and said abuse of medical workers was a serious crime that would not be tolerated. In a televised address, Duterte said it was vital everyone cooperates and follows home quarantine measures, as authorities try to slow the contagion and spare the country's fragile health system from being overwhelmed. "My orders to the police and military ... if there is trouble and there's an occasion that they fight back and your lives are in danger, shoot them dead."

  • Here are the medical supplies needed in B.C. and how you can donate
    News
    CBC

    Here are the medical supplies needed in B.C. and how you can donate

    One of the most critical questions around COVID-19 has been whether there will be enough medical supplies and personal protective equipment for health-care workers.If you have medical resources you want to donate — here's what you need to know:On Wednesday a one-stop online resource became available for British Columbia businesses with medical supplies who are open to donating.The website, called the COVID-19 Supply Hub, has been set up to triage supply offers from business and other organizations.Here's a list of what is needed — and how you can check whether the equipment you have is up to standard. Only unopened and unused items will be accepted.1\. Disposable respiratorsThe following type of respirator will be accepted: * P95, P99, and P100 masks. * R95, R99, and R100 masks. * N95, N99, and N100 masks.Approved masks will have the following texts printed on them: * The type of certification — for example, "NIOSH." * The type of approval. * The manufacturer's name and model number.Tap here for more information on how to identify a proper N95 mask.2\. Elastomeric half or full-face piece respiratorsAn approved elastomeric respirator will also have the following text printed on the mask: * The type of certification — for example, "NIOSH." * The manufacturer name — for example, "3M" or "North." * The model number.3\. Powered air-purifying respiratorAccording to SafeCare BC, these are "battery-powered blowers that provide positive airflow through a filter, cartridge, or canister to a hood or face piece."Accessories like the charger, battery, filters and blower tube are also needed.An approved respirator will have the following text printed on the blower unit: * The type of certification — for example, "NIOSH." * The manufacturer name — for example, "3M" or "North." * The model number.4\. Surgical masks or procedural masks5\. Eye protection, including glasses, goggles, and face shields6\. Protective gownsGowns should be fluid-resistant and long-sleeved to cover the wrists.7\. Examination gloves Appropriate examination gloves will be labelled with specific words, for example:  * Health care, examination, patient examination, sterile, medical-grade. * Nitrile vinyl, latex or nitrile gloves will all provide adequate protection.8\. Hand sanitizer (60 per cent alcohol or higher) and medical-grade disinfectant wipes.

  • Feds: Man intentionally derailed LA train near hospital ship
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Feds: Man intentionally derailed LA train near hospital ship

    LOS ANGELES — A train engineer intentionally drove a speeding locomotive off a track at the Port of Los Angeles because he was suspicious about the presence of a Navy hospital ship docked there to help during the coronovirus crisis, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.The locomotive crashed through a series of barriers and fences before coming to rest more than 250 yards (230 metres) from the U.S. Navy Hospital Ship Mercy on Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a release.Nobody was hurt.Eduardo Moreno, 44, was charged with one count of train wrecking, prosecutors said. It wasn't immediately known if he has an attorney.Moreno acknowledged in two separate interviews with law enforcement that he intentionally derailed and crashed the train near the Mercy, according to the criminal complaint.“You only get this chance once. The whole world is watching. I had to," Moreno told investigators, according to the complaint. "People don’t know what’s going on here. Now they will.”Moreno said he was suspicious of the Mercy and believed it had an alternate purpose related to COVID-19 or a government takeover, an affidavit states. Moreno stated that he acted alone and had not pre-planned the attempted attack.In an interview with FBI agents, Moreno stated that “he did it out of the desire to ‘wake people up,’” according to an affidavit.“Moreno stated that he thought that the USNS Mercy was suspicious and did not believe ‘the ship is what they say it’s for,'" the complaint said.The Mercy arrived in port this week to provide a thousand hospital beds for non-coronavirus cases to take the load of regional medical centres expecting a surge of COVID-19 patients.Cell phone video showed the locomotive upright in a patch of dirt. It apparently smashed through a concrete barrier at the end of the track, slid across pavement and gravel, and hit a chain-link fence before coming to a rest.Phillip Sanfield, spokesman for the Port of Los Angeles, said the locomotive never came close to the Mercy.“It would have had to have gone several hundred yards through a parking lot and cross a water channel to reach the ship,” Sanfield said. “ The tracks are nowhere near the Mercy.”The engineer wasn’t a port employee but apparently was working for Pacific Harbor Line Inc., a train company that handles cargo in the port and connects to major railroad lines, Sanfield said. The company didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment.A small fuel leak was quickly controlled and port operations weren’t seriously affected, Sanfield said.Moreno was arrested by a California Highway Patrol officer who witnessed the crash and captured him as he fled the scene. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Port of Los Angeles Police are now leading the investigation.The CHP officer reported seeing “the train smash into a concrete barrier at the end of the track, smash into a steel barrier, smash into a chain-link fence, slide through a parking lot, slide across another lot filled with gravel, and smash into a second chain-link fence,” according to an affadavit.___Associated Press writer Robert Jablon in Los Angeles contributed to this report.Christopher Weber, The Associated Press

  • News
    CBC

    Bylaw officers can warn people who ignore COVID-19 health rules, but can't detain them

    As most British Columbians hunker down at home, a small few are still throwing parties, ignoring post-travel requirements to self-isolate, refusing to close non-essential businesses or disregarding physical distancing requirements.Now the provincial health officer has issued new guidelines that clarify what bylaw officers and other compliance officers across B.C. can and can't do as they enforce the rules under the Public Health Act.Bylaw enforcement officers can't detain or fine people under the act, but they can help public health officers by monitoring places that are closed because of a public health order, give warnings to individuals and businesses who are breaking the rules and report contraventions to health officials. Any enforcement is up to the public health officer or local medical health officer.Current public health orders prohibit gatherings of 50 people or more, and require that all international travellers returning to Canada self-isolate for 14 days, that restaurants provide takeout only or close, and that all "personal service establishments" such as barber shops, beauty salons, tattoo parlours and spas also close. If people have concerns, they are advised to contact their local government which can then dispatch bylaw officers. "Local governments are key partners in ensuring the provincial health officer's orders are obeyed so people in our communities can stay healthy," said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth."It's important that communities, and those responsible for compliance, have clear and consistent guidelines to enforce the provincial health officer's orders so businesses can adapt their workplaces and help keep people safe."In order to beef up compliance and enforcement measures, Farnworth also announced his department is redeploying compliance offers from other ministries, among them liquor and cannabis control inspectors, gambling enforcement officers, and community safety personnel.

  • Music never dies: "Bolero" busts out of coronavirus lockdown
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Music never dies: "Bolero" busts out of coronavirus lockdown

    LE PECQ, France — Look closely: The kettle drum player has a wooden spoon in one hand, a ladle in the other ... and doesn't even have his drums.But, hey, cutting a few corners can be forgiven of an orchestra that managed the remarkable feat of performing “Bolero” while its musicians are scattered far and wide under coronavirus lockdowns.Why? To send this message to music lovers: We are still here for you.Like building a musical jigsaw puzzle, the National Orchestra of France used the magic of technology to weave together the sight and sounds of its musicians, who filmed themselves playing alone in their homes into a seamless, rousing whole.Posting a video of their stitched-together performance on YouTube was a way of keeping in touch with each other and with audiences they sorely miss playing for.“For us, the public is essential. Without the public, we don't really exist," said Didier Benetti, the kettle drum player.The video posted Sunday has quickly racked up hundreds of thousands of views.The performance starts with three musicians: a cellist, a violinist and a percussionist with “Stay home” written on his red drum.A flutist joins, haunting, bewitching, seemingly playing in his lounge.The musical tension and power builds as more and more join, until they are an orchestra of 50.Benetti rearranged French composer Maurice Ravel's work, chopping it down from the usual 15 minutes to a more manageable and social media-friendly length of just under four minutes.The musicians got their scores by email. They also got an audio track to listen to through headphones as they played. That audio included a previous recording of the music and the ticking sound of a metronome, to help them keep time and stay in perfect unison despite being scattered to the winds.The musicians filmed themselves over four days in the final week of March. One violinist played outside, with a beautiful seascape as his backdrop. Most of the others filmed themselves inside, making the performance feel particularly intimate. No black tie. The clothes were casual, with open shirts, T-shirts, jeans.Dimitri Scapolan, a video producer and sound engineer, burned the midnight oil to stitch together the musicians' self-shot footage into a remarkably coherent musical and visual patchwork.For a smoother sound, Scapolan also blended in audio of a previous performance that the orchestra recorded before the new coronavirus turned the world upside down. France is one of Europe’s hardest-hit countries, with more than 57,000 confirmed cases and 4,000 dead.When France went into lockdown on March 17, Benetti couldn't take his hefty kettle drums home. So unlike other musicians, he had to improvise for the video, enthusiastically pretending to bang two chairs in his living room with utensils he took from his kitchen.Performing for the video was “very therapeutic,” but still felt like second-best compared to being all together on stage, Benetti said.But isolation is having an unforeseen upside.“We are starting to realize that we really need each other,” he said. “Music is sharing."___While nonstop global news about the effects of the coronavirus have become commonplace, so, too, are the stories about the kindness of strangers and individuals who have sacrificed for others. “One Good Thing” is an AP continuing series reflecting these acts of kindness.___Follow John Leicester on Twitter at http://twitter.com/johnleicester___Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreakJohn Leicester, The Associated Press

  • 'It was a no-brainer': TTC Wheel-Trans drivers volunteer to help COVID-19 patients get tested
    News
    CBC

    'It was a no-brainer': TTC Wheel-Trans drivers volunteer to help COVID-19 patients get tested

    When John Begg got a call to join the front lines in Toronto's battle against COVID-19, he didn't hesitate."As soon as they said they needed help, to me it was a no-brainer," said Begg, a TTC Wheel-Trans driver for the last nine years."If this is a way to help decrease it, I'm in."Begg is one of 18 Wheel-Trans drivers who have volunteered to bring potential COVID-19 patients to assessment centres around Toronto during the pandemic.The TTC is offering the service to its regular Wheel-Trans customers, who rely on the service due to mobility issues and disabilities that prevent them from using other forms of public transit.The drivers who volunteered to help have undergone new training by emergency responders and will wear personal protective equipment during the runs. Two drivers will be on duty each day to respond to calls.Watch TTC Wheel-Trans driver John Begg talk about joining the battle against COVID-19: "Once we got the word out, we had 18 volunteers right away," said Dwayne Geddes, the department head for Wheel-Trans and a former streetcar operator."It just goes to show you how important these employees are and how much they care about the city of Toronto."Wheel-Trans customers booking a trip to a hospital or COVID-19 testing facility are asked to call the service's dedicated reservations line at 416-393-4222. The TTC is also advising customers to only book essential trips.Toronto's Office of Emergency Management, which is overseeing the city's response to the crisis, asked the transit agency to assist transporting the potential patients.Drivers bring 'a special touch' for vulnerable residentsThe TTC says its Wheel-Trans drivers are especially well-equipped to assist the city's most vulnerable residents, since they are the same people they already serve every day."They have a special touch with our customers," Geddes said of his drivers. "They know that they're vulnerable, they know there's really no other way for them to get around in most situations."But in normal circumstances, the job of a Wheel-Trans driver does not include the risk of exposure to a contagious disease, which as of April 1 had infected 818 residents, causing at least 19 deaths.Six TTC employees have tested positive so far.Begg acknowledges that the risk of contracting COVID-19 weighs on his mind, but the concern isn't enough to deter him from offering his help."In a way, I think about it once in a while, the risk I'm putting myself into and possibly my family, but if I follow all the training I've gotten from EMS, I feel 100 per cent fine and protected," he said."Toronto's a unique city," he added. "We all try to look after each other and try to get rid of this virus as fast as possible."

  • Grocery store staff fed up with 'social' shoppers who flout pandemic rules
    News
    CBC

    Grocery store staff fed up with 'social' shoppers who flout pandemic rules

    For 20 years, Joy Barreda worked as a bouncer in bars. Now, she's a security guard in a grocery store in Toronto, ensuring people are practising physical distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19.She said people are treating the grocery store like it's a bar — chatting and getting way too close. "Everybody wants to look over each other's shoulder and look at produce or peek at the meats and we have to go, like, 'Sorry, folks, remember six feet for safety,'" Barreda told CBC News. Politicians and health officials across the country have been urging Canadians not to treat grocery shopping, an essential service, as a social activity, even if it happens to be one of the few remaining places where social interaction is even possible.  Now, grocery store employees are adding their voices to the call, asking shoppers to be as efficient as possible: Don't stop to chat, shop alone, and only shop once a week.WATCH | Tips for making sure your food is safe: Dino Virgona, who owns Fiesta Farms in Toronto, said most of his customers are respectful and appreciative, but the hours have been long and he and his staff are tired. He said people really need to stop shopping in groups. "If somebody's coming with their spouse, or one of their kids or something, 'It's OK today,' we would tell them, 'But next time, if you could please shop solo.'"Many grocery stores have implemented safety measures such as sanitizing their carts, and installing Plexiglas as protective barriers in front of their cashiers and markers on the floor to separate customers when they line up to pay.Employees say they have been verbally abusedCBC News has also spoken with a number of grocery store employees who say they have been verbally abused by angry, frustrated and impatient customers. They say they have been yelled at, cursed at, and accused of overreacting as they try to enforce physical distancing measures put in place by their employers.They didn't want their names published for fear of losing their job.   The union representing grocery store employees in this country says its members don't have to tolerate bad behaviour and encourages them to report it to their manager or union representative."I know in retail very often we say, '[The] customer is No. 1. They come first.' But I don't think, in this case, it's true," said Anouk Collet, executive assistant to the national president of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which has 250,000 members across Canada, more than half of whom work in grocery stores, including those owned by Loblaws, Sobeys and Metro.The 'reckless few'On Sunday, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil scolded shoppers. "I'm hearing stories of grocery stores packed with people," he said during the province's daily COVID-19 briefing.  He said if people go to the grocery store and the parking lot is full, they should find another place to shop.  "The reckless few, shame on you," the premier said, noting most Nova Scotians are doing their part to follow physical distancing rules. On Monday, John Haggie, Newfoundland and Labrador's health minister, called on the public to follow the shopping guidelines."One person, one trip, each week," Haggie said. "Don't take your children with you unless there is really no alternative, and please don't let them lick the handles on the shopping cart." The safety measures put in place by employers are not just to protect customers and staff, but also their families and everyone else they come into contact with.   Transplant recipient pleads for safe shoppingLisa Walsh of Antigonish, N.S., knows firsthand just how important that is. She's a severely immunocompromised transplant recipient who lives with bronchitis, asthma and an array of other medical issues.Her partner, mother and mother-in-law all work in grocery stores and she has a serious message for the people who continue to shop socially. "You could pass it on to me or an elderly person and never know if you could be responsible for that person's death."

  • P.E.I. Buddhist monks adjust communal prayers, meals due to COVID-19
    News
    CBC

    P.E.I. Buddhist monks adjust communal prayers, meals due to COVID-19

    Buddhist monasteries on P.E.I. continue to hold communal prayers, meals and classroom sessions, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.Monasteries at Little Sands and Heatherdale have instituted what the monks are calling community self-isolation, with no contact with the outside world.A spokesperson for the religious enclaves calls their situation "vulnerable.""Not just to the campus, to the community on the Island as well," said a monk named Venerable Walter."We've been informing and maintaining a contact with P.E.I. [Department of] Health and Wellness, to tell them what we do and update with them our situation."No symptoms have been reported among the approximately 600 people who live in the monasteries, according to Walter, including the community's 130 students, all boys."We've heard places like Taiwan, Australia, Sweden and Singapore made the decision not to stop their school," said Walter in an email. "After some careful considerations, we have decided not to stop our classes." At this moment in time, the community is not in contact of anyone in the public. — Venerable WalterInternational travel by monks was discontinued in early February.Students remain in the monastery by parental consent, according to Walter. Some parents felt their children would be safer on P.E.I. than on international flights home."We did consult with them and tell them our protocols," said Walter. "They feel their child is safe here."Gatherings have been scaled back, to no more than 50 people in prayers, meal hall and classrooms, he said. Typically, early morning prayers in the facilities would be attended by up to 200 people. Monks are generally keeping the prescribed two-metre distance away from each other, he said. Self-imposed isolationP.E.I.'s chief public health officer has recommended no public gatherings of any size take place. The monks say they are aware of provincial directives, as well as recommendations from the UN's World Health Organization.The monastic communities entered into self-imposed isolation March 6. 'This is the time when we really should pray hard' — Venerable Walter"At this moment in time, the community is not in contact of anyone in the public," said Walter.Food, supplies and mail are being dropped off at a safe location and picked up by specified staff. The goods are then sanitized with chlorine solution before use by monks.Dormitories continue to contain four bunks per room. There's not enough space to move them, according to Walter, but students are told to keep movement from room-to-room to a minimum.Monks at Heatherdale are unable to maintain physical distancing at meal times, due to the size of the dining facility. Plans to expand the kitchen facilities at Heatherdale are on hold because of the pandemic.The monks say they are educating themselves on what to do and what to watch for, and following world events as the pandemic unfolds."We want to contribute to the Island," said Walter. "We don't want to become a burden. To do that, you have to make sure you're OK first."Community outreach projects, such as distribution of food boxes, are on hold. The monks believe spiritual discipline will be needed in the weeks ahead. "There are people who are suffering," said Walter. "This is the time when we really should pray hard and that's what the world and the province and the nation would ask."The monasteries at Little Sands and Heatherdale are operated by a non-profit group called the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society. It also owns additional properties and homes near the monasteries. Buddhist nuns live in a communal facility in Uigg, P.E.I.COVID-19: What you need to knowWhat are the symptoms of COVID-19?Common symptoms include: * Fever. * Cough. * Tiredness.But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.Health Canada has built a self-assessment tool.What should I do if I feel sick?Isolate yourself and call 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested. A health professional at 811 will give you advice and instructions.How can I protect myself? * Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. * Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. * Clean regularly touched surfaces regularly.More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.More COVID-19 stories from CBC P.E.I.

  • 8 residents die after COVID-19 outbreak at Toronto long-term care facility
    Global News

    8 residents die after COVID-19 outbreak at Toronto long-term care facility

    Seven Oaks, a Toronto long-term care facility is in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak and has seen eight deaths connected to the virus. Erica Vella reports.

  • News
    CBC

    COVID-19 on P.E.I.: What's happening Thursday, April 2

    One new case of COVID-19 has been confirmed on P.E.I. bringing the total to 22, said chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison in a news briefing Thursday afternoon.The new case — a Queens County man in his 50s — is related to international travel, and he is at home self-isolating.Morrison highlighted that the case is an example of why self-isolating is so crucial. She spoke to the man Thursday morning and said he is doing well.Going forward, she said the province will be following up with each individual who has been instructed to self-isolate on a daily basis, to ensure they are complying with the new health measures. "One of the many things that keeps me up at night is worrying about what will happen if we get widespread community transmission in P.E.I." A group of small businesses is asking the P.E.I. government for more support in order to avoid having to close permanently.P.E.I.'s Chinese community has raised thousands of dollars to support the provincial health-care system.The manager of the Upper Room Food Bank describes the last two weeks as "chaotic."Buddhist monasteries on the Island have closed themselves off to outside community contact.The government of P.E.I. is heightening COVID-19 screening and enforcement measures at the Confederation Bridge starting Wednesday evening, said Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Steven Myers.Myers said travellers who are not considered to be essential workers, students returning home, those moving goods, or commuting to the Island under compassionate grounds will be told to turn back. In addition, a new COVID-19 income support fund has been established to help Islanders experiencing a loss of income ahead of the arrival of other federal benefits. It and will arrive as a one-time lump sum of $750, said Minister of Economic Growth Matthew MacKay.  Some nursing homes have closed their dining rooms.Recent storiesFinancial relief * IRAC has suspended rental hearings indefinitely in response to the pandemic. * The Charlottetown water and sewer utility is offering options for flexible payments to people suffering financial difficulties during COVID-19. * Small businesses affected are eligible for loans of up to $100,000. * The province's largest landlord, the P.E.I. Housing Corporation, suspended evictions for six weeks as of March 17. Health * Health PEI is rescheduling non-essential appointments, and said those affected will be contacted directly.EducationTravel * Any Islanders who have travelled out of province — whether experiencing symptoms or not — are required to self-isolate for 14 days following their return. This applies to people who have travelled internationally since March 8, and anyone who travelled to another province since March 21.COVID-19: What you need to knowWhat are the symptoms of COVID-19?Common symptoms include: * Fever. * Cough. * Tiredness.But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.Health Canada has built a self-assessment tool.What should I do if I feel sick?Isolate yourself and call 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested. A health professional at 811 will give you advice and instructions.How can I protect myself? * Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. * Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. * Clean regularly touched surfaces regularly.More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.More COVID-19 stories from CBC P.E.I.

  • A death and a birth in the same week — and COVID-19 keeps this family apart for both
    News
    CBC

    A death and a birth in the same week — and COVID-19 keeps this family apart for both

    Alison Michilsen lost her grandfather just days ago and is expecting her third child Thursday— and COVID-19 is robbing her family of the chance to properly celebrate either life."It's a very weird and surreal time … to bring in a life and to lose a life in the same week," Alison, 33, said."He was excited to see his great-grandchild and now, I wasn't expecting this and I can't even say goodbye properly."COVID-19 hasn't infected anyone in her family, but it is punishing all of them.Because of physical distancing measures set in place to mitigate the novel coronavirus, Alison will have to wait months before attending a ceremony for her grandfather's death and introducing the rest of her family to her newborn.'Nobody gets to say goodbye'Martin Poos, Alison's 88-year-old grandfather, died Saturday after a life of devotion to his community in Grimsby, Ont., and to his family.He formed his town's local youth soccer club, served as an alderman on Grimsby town council and helped the community in other ways, prompting the city to name its main soccer field at Grimsby's Southward Park after him."He was just a great person with a great heart," Alison said.Poos would have had a busy funeral this week. Now, it'll be months before he gets one at all."It feels like no closure … nobody gets to say goodbye," Alison said."Who knows when we'll be able to do that? When we'll be able to get together, even for a burial, a celebration for life, it's very strange."Of the many things Poos did accomplish, one thing he still eagerly anticipated was meeting his next great-grandson.'Very scary' time to be bornAlison has a nine-year-old daughter, Callie, and seven-year-old son, Jace, but said giving birth this time around is "very scary."Her newborn son, who she will name Reed, is due Thursday.She plans on giving birth at McMaster Children's Hospital, where a nurse recently tested positive for COVID-19."You just don't know who has been where and who has what," Alison said."I'm just hoping we get to discharge earlier than expected."Her husband, Steve, was laid off because of the virus. He is already leery about leaving the house. Now, he will be the only one allowed by Alison's side at the hospital — and if he leaves the hospital, he won't be allowed back in.There's never been a lonelier time to be born."It's a big life event for not only myself... I was looking forward to [family] coming to the hospital," Alison said.And it may be months before the newborn meets his grandparents, who are also being cautious because of COVID-19."How old will he be when people do get to come and hold him finally, besides just seeing him through the window?" Alison said."My mom said, 'Nope … we're not anticipating for two months to hold that baby,' which is sad from her point of view as well, you don't have that bonding experience."And while Alison waits for the answers to a swarm of questions buzzing in her brain, she's trying to imagine every possible situation she may end up in because of the virus.But Alison still has one glimmer of optimism amid the cruel circumstances."This whole pandemic makes you realize what's important in life," she said."Family is more important and your health is more important and the things people worry about aren't a big deal really."

  • Managing personal finance during the COVID-19 pandemic
    CBC

    Managing personal finance during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Finance experts answer viewer questions about coping during the COVID-19 pandemic including whether small businesses should take on debt with uncertain times ahead.

  • News
    CBC

    N.S. musicians use social media to spread love during pandemic

    Nova Scotia musicians are using their craft in novel ways to entertain, build community and send love at a time when self-isolation and physical distancing is the new normal.One of the burgeoning initiatives helping to bridge the ever-present six-foot gap is called Covers for Comfort — a musical telegram of sorts that lets people request and dedicate a song to a loved one.A local artist records themselves performing the song, along with a personalized message from the requester to the recipient.Longtime friends Carla Bezanson and Kirsten Wells came up with the idea in late March. Bezanson said she was inspired by seniors in nursing homes who are unable to see their families."Just thinking about how lonely and how difficult that must be, and not only for the seniors themselves, but for their families too," said Bezanson, a program co-ordinator with the province's Justice Department who is currently working from home."I thought, what can we do to try and ease the pain of that and make this a little bit easier? Music has a way of cheering people up."Bezanson and Wells, both graduates of the music arts program at NSCC, reached out to about 15 musician friends to put their plan into motion.The women take requests through social media and by email, and then post the requested song in a group chat with the pool of musicians, which has since grown to about 50 artists.Someone claims the song, and a few days later, sends in a recording. It is sent directly to the recipient and with permission from the musician and the person who made the request, it is also posted to Instagram and Facebook.Some of the performances include Dylan Guthro singing Avicii's Wake Me Up, Will Hansen playing Hey Good Lookin' by Hank Williams and Lindsay Misiner performing Janis Joplin's Me and Bobby McGeeThey're now receiving about 15 requests a day."It's become something so much bigger than we ever imagined," said Wells, an early childhood educator who works at a daycare that has been closed as a result of the outbreak."We have gotten so many emails back, so many messages about people crying when they saw the videos and thanking us for our time…. The response has been overwhelming, to say the least."Wells and Bezanson even facilitated a live phone call performance for a daughter who requested Bette Midler's Wind Beneath My Wings for her mother in the hospital.Susan and John Feltmate called her hospital room and performed the ballad as a duet, prompting tears from both the mother and daughter.Bezanson said they'll continue the initiative as long as requests are coming in. She said it could even expand to other provinces, as someone from western Canada reached out to ask permission to mimic the idea.Meanwhile in another corner of the internet, Nova Scotians are still managing to jam at a massive kitchen party despite the province's state of emergency.The aptly named Ultimate Online Nova Scotia Kitchen Party (COVID-19 Edition) Facebook group has garnered about 190,000 members in less than two weeks.'My mind is blown by the response'Hundreds of videos of musicians performing original and cover songs, children singing or families dancing have been posted, prompting lively discussions in the comments.Heather Cameron Thomson said she started the group for "selfish purposes:" she wanted to fill her Facebook feed with more positive content."I was having my first drink of coffee sitting at my kitchen table in the sunshine and stressing about all the things that are going on in the world right now and how different our world has become," Cameron Thomson told CBC's Maritime Noon."Music has always been a joy for us in our family, so I thought what better way than to reach out to some of our musician friends here in Pictou County and ask them to join a group where we can get a little escape from what has become the new normal."The group has seen posts from well-known musicians and amateurs alike, but Cameron Thomson said the tone has remained positive — quite a feat for a group of that size."Honestly, my mind is blown by the response," she said.MORE TOP STORIES

  • Amazon wins trademark case in boost for online retailers vs luxury firms
    News
    Reuters

    Amazon wins trademark case in boost for online retailers vs luxury firms

    Amazon is not liable for unknowingly stocking goods for third-party sellers that infringe trademarks, Europe's top court said on Thursday, handing online retailers a victory in their battle against luxury goods companies. The case, brought by U.S. cosmetics company Coty's German unit, illustrates the tension between brand names seeking to preserve their brand exclusivity and sprawling online platforms such as Amazon and eBay fighting against curbs on their business. Luxury goods makers have questioned the scope of online platforms' responsibility for products sold, or content transmitted, on their sites.

  • Here's what the oilpatch wants in financial aid from Ottawa
    News
    CBC

    Here's what the oilpatch wants in financial aid from Ottawa

    Finance Minister Bill Morneau made it clear to a Senate committee how dire the financial situation is in the oilpatch and how quickly his government is ready to act to provide some sort of relief to the beleaguered sector to keep companies afloat.The relief was apparently coming quite quickly, as Morneau told the senators, "I'm not talking about weeks. I'm talking about hours, potentially days."That was more than one week ago and the federal government has yet to unveil how it plans to help the oil and gas sector.In recent years, the oilpatch in Western Canada hasn't had a lot of good things to say about the federal government. But executives around the sector these days are voicing few complaints — and even expressing words of encouragement.As the federal government assembles some sort of relief package, oilpatch leaders are saying how well Ottawa is handling the situation and how communication about the issue has abundant and positive.Several board members of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers are in weekly conversations with Natural Resources Minister Seamus O'Regan and calls with provincial government leaders."They've all been really just excellent in understanding the size of this crisis, and they're all over it and they're basically saying, 'We're making plans and we need your input to get it right,'" said Jonathan Wright, chief executive of NuVista Energy, a Calgary-based oil and gas company with a focus on northwest Alberta.Wright wouldn't get into the specifics of those conversations, to respect the confidentiality, but said there is no secret about what the oilpatch wants."At a time like this, the number one thing is liquidity. The first three things are liquidity," he said.When commodity prices are so low, oilpatch companies often struggle to obtain financing from banks, investors and the broader finance community."The last thing you want to see is, for example, your bank line shrink at a time like this, even though you're a strong company," said Wright. "Where the government can step in is ensuring they are providing liquidity and encouragement to the banks such that we don't get an undue compression of liquidity for strong companies."The oilpatch is struggling because of three main factors right now: The decision by Saudi Arabia and Russia to flood the market with oil, problems with accessing funding from equity markets, and COVID-19, which has resulted in demand for oil to plunge.Oil prices in Alberta are at record lows with a barrel of crude selling for about $4 US this week.Still, any talk of financial help for the oilpatch will enrage critics who would much rather see government money used to promote renewable energy sources, instead of aiding the fossil fuel sector. If money goes to the oilpatch, they say, it should be aimed at helping workers, not companies.This federal government has said it needs a strong oil and gas industry to help with the transition to cleaner energy.The oilpatch doesn't want a handout or bailout from Ottawa, according to Grant Fagerheim, the chief executive of oil producer Whitecap Resources. Instead, industry leaders want the federal and provincial governments to look at ways to reduce expenses for the industry such as providing funding for debt and lowering royalties."Then you are not picking winners and losers, you're actually doing it overall for the energy space to help drive down their costs to make it more competitive with other places around the world," he said.Richard Masson, an executive fellow at the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy and chair of the World Petroleum Council of Canada, said Ottawa could provide financial relief in many forms such as loans with flexible repayment terms."We need to allow the companies to have enough cash so they don't get so much debt on their balance sheets that the creditors won't continue to support them," he said."They need enough financial capacity that they can continue to pay all these operating costs, even if they're losing money, and get through to the other side."Tristan Goodman, president of the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada, which represents junior and mid-sized oil and gas producers, said the sector is also looking for relief in other ways, such as regulatory changes that reduce costs while the industry deals with its current struggles."Anything around regulatory support to make sure we can continue to move forward during times of cash flow crisis, as well as making sure the fiscal side of that is also taken care of, meaning taxes and anything on that side," he said. Goodman said help for the sector will help other industries across the country as well that it does business with, from technology firms to steel manufacturers to finance companies."It's really not just about the oil and gas business," he said."It really is about the broader Canadian economy and all those sectors, whether they're professional accountants and lawyers, finance people or IT people."In the past, the federal government has provided funding for the cleanup of orphan oil and gas wells, which provides jobs for the oilfield service sector, and it may look to support more of this type of work.Morneau's office did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

  • Sackville dad's homemade balance board keeping bored kids busy
    News
    CBC

    Sackville dad's homemade balance board keeping bored kids busy

    A Sackville father has found a unique way to keep his active kids busy while they are stuck in the house.Kevin Alder got the idea for a balance board online, and when schools closed nearly three weeks ago, he decided it was a good time to make one."I put one together and the kids jumped on it right away and loved it," he said. "Hockey is cancelled and music classes and things like that, so we were trying to keep them busy."A piece of ABS pipe is placed on the floor with a large skateboard-shaped board sitting on top of it.His 14-year-old daughter, Jesse, and 12-year-old-son have spent hours mastering their balance. Jesse has started playing her fiddle while rocking back and forth on the board in the living room."It was hard at the beginning, but I got the hang of it quicker than anyone else," she said.Jesse said it's much harder than she makes it look.Her brother, Aaron, has been using his balance board to practise his hockey stick-handling skills.The proud dad posted videos of both his children on social media and said he immediately received a lot of feedback, with some people asking if he would make them one.The busy father of three, who is also a paramedic, is now selling his balance boards to other bored families stuck in the house during the COVID-19 pandemic.Kevin said so far about 40 orders have rolled in, which has come in handy for Jesse who was looking for a way to pay for her phone bill since babysitting jobs have dried up.She has been in the shop every day with her father, helping him to fill the orders.Kevin does the cutting, and Jesse and Aaron help with assembly and sanding.Jesse said as she continues to find new ways to pass the time, it's becoming easier to be home all day. Aaron said it isn't the same as playing on his hockey team, but the balance boards have been a welcome distraction. "I'm glad I have that now, and we've got the [hockey] net out in the shed, there's lots of ways to keep up and still practice."Like many families, Aaron and Jesse had been busy with school and activities when everything came to a grinding halt, but the say they are finding a silver lining to being home."I can't say I enjoy it, but I like it better than school," said Aaron.

  • No, you can't make an N95 mask out of a bra
    News
    CBC

    No, you can't make an N95 mask out of a bra

    No, drinking hot lemon water, breathing in steam and gargling with salt water will not protect you from getting COVID-19.These are just some of the many misleading and false claims about remedies or ways to prevent infection that have been shared to millions of people since the coronavirus outbreak began. "A lot of people [are] floating home remedies, trying to make a profit out of this," says Dr. Sander van der Linden, a social psychology professor at Cambridge and creator of the Bad News game, a simulation that helps participants learn how to spot fake news.Consider the motives, he says."I think a lot of the health stuff is people trying to dupe other people to make money off of this situation." CBC News readers have asked us to fact-check many claims about so-called cures that are floating around social media. Here are some of the common ones: MYTH 1: Lemons prevent COVID-19A Facebook post and a video with a robotic voice-over both cite the expert advice of Chinese researcher Jiao Shenme Minzi. The first clue is his name, which can roughly be translated from Mandarin into "What is your name." Minzi doesn't appear to exist, nor does the university where he purportedly works. The video then claims that lemon in hot water "destroys the virus and cures the flu." It attributes this to Prof. Chen Horin at the Beijing Military Hospital. An institution of that exact name does not appear to exist, and neither does Horin."It's very easy to blind with credentials," says Jonathan Jarry, a biologist at McGill University, using names of doctors and institutions that may or may not exist. "But if something is indeed true, you would expect public health agencies to embrace these ideas."MYTH 2: Steam and heat kills the virus in your bodyOne such video quotes a Dr. Dan Lee Dimke, author of a 1984 book titled Conquer the Common Cold & Flu. According to his "about the author," he is not a medical doctor, but he claims to have become a lecturing astronomer at age 10 and a college teacher by age 17, and to have the ability to read 25,000 words per minute. The video says coronaviruses are vulnerable to heat, and claims the virus only lives in the coolest part of your body, which it identifies as the nose and sinuses. It recommends breathing in hot air from a hair dryer or in a hot-weather locale.  Jarry, who specializes in communicating science, says it can be difficult to discern that the video's main claim is false. "In a lot of these pseudoscientific videos, there is a kernel of truth. There's something there that is true, and it is true that viruses can be inactivated using heat," said Jarry, noting there's some evidence that steam vapour can disinfect surfaces. "But there's a very big difference between sanitizing a surface and sanitizing yourself, because the virus is not just waiting … in your nostrils. It's further down your airways."MYTH 3: You can make your own N95 maskPeople are circulating do-it-yourself video tutorials, including one 20-minute-long instruction on turning a bra into a supposed N95 mask that's been viewed more than a million times on YouTube. It was made by a woman who has dozens of other videos on recipes, dieting and beauty tips.At one point she claims, "Natural materials like cotton and wool naturally repel viruses. I had to find that out on the internet!" There is no evidence that claim is true.She provides no sources for her information and doesn't warn her audience that her method would not be as effective as an actual N95 mask.She concludes by saying, "I think this might really help a lot of people."But good intentions can be dangerous, van der Linden says."Perhaps somebody who honestly thinks that they're contributing by doing something useful is actually spreading misinformation in the sense that these masks won't help people. And if they do think they help them, they go on to get sick. And so it could have serious consequences," he says. WATCH | Experts warn about products claiming to cure, prevent coronavirusThere may not be consensus on whether a mask of any kind could provide some measure of protection, but Dr. Jen Gunter, an obstetrician-gynecologist who frequently debunks pseudoscientific medical claims, says homemade masks can't compare to an actual N95 mask, even if they are similar in shape to a bra cup. "It's nothing to do with the shape. You know, N95s filter out at least 95 per cent of particles that are smaller than — I think it's point three microns," she said. "And the fabric that's used in them, the very specific mesh, is very difficult to make."MYTH 4: A breath test can detect coronavirusA printed sheet of instructions lays out how to test yourself for coronavirus infection by holding your breath, and encourages readers to perform the daily test created by "experts" in Taiwan.The paper claims that if a person can hold their breath for more than 10 seconds without coughing or discomfort, that's proof there is no infection. "If it were that simple, we wouldn't be hearing on the news day in, day out that we are running out of test kits for COVID-19," Jarry said. "If you can successfully hold your breath, you could still have the virus and be contagious.""And again," Gunter said, "apart from the fact that that's incorrect, this makes other information about the virus harder for us to get out to people." MYTH 5: Drinking warm water, gargling salt water can protect youA chain email is going around attributing a list of things you can do to protect yourself — like drink warm water every 20 minutes and gargle with salt water — to a friend of a friend who is "connected in China health care."The email claims you have to regularly unblock your airways by drinking liquids to keep yourself safe. Using the old method of a chain letter, these types of messages spread easily among friends on WhatsApp or Facebook "because a person who is giving you the information is already somebody that you trust," said Jarry.But, he added, "If you don't know who the actual primary source is, it's very difficult to assess the accuracy."These recommendations, says Gunter, are "absolutely not true.""But I can see when there's so much uncertainty how something that's almost a bit ritualistic ... could make people feel comfortable. And the problem is, is when there's nothing to do except hand-washing and stay inside, that people look for something concrete to do."How to evaluate COVID-19 advice you spot online 1. First, pause. Don't share anything, especially out of fear, before you have had a chance to evaluate the claim. 2. Take a look at where the information is coming from. Texts from "friends of friends" or unnamed hospital workers are likely to contain false information. 3. Google it. You can enter the words you're interested in searching, like "lemon water and coronavirus" and the words "fact-check" into a search engine and see what you get for results. Often claims have already been debunked and you will be able to find those results quickly. 4. If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is. There is, as yet, no approved drug therapy or vaccine for COVID-19. Also be skeptical of products and practices that claim to boost immune function or detoxify your body or organs. 5. Check the names and credentials of people cited as experts. For example, it's easy to verify that Dr. Theresa Tam is Canada's chief public health officer. But sometimes so-called experts are speaking outside their area of expertise. Is a physicist giving you information about mask wearing? They may not be a reliable source of information. 6. When in doubt, don't share information.  You may be spreading misinformation and causing others to panic needlessly.CBC's COVID-Check unit is here to help you sift through the noise and get to the truth. If there is something you want us to check out and verify, contact us at covid@cbc.ca.