OTTAWA – There are nine new cases of COVID-19 and five deaths as of Sunday (May 24) evening, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reports.
That’s a jump from the two cases reported Saturday, but a decrease in the number of deaths. According to Sunday’s update, the city’s total cases stand at 1,896 and 233 deaths. Seventy-eight per cent — or 1,488 — cases have been resolved.
The number of residents who are hospitalized with the virus is 38 — down from 41 Saturday.
There continues to be 20 ongoing outbreaks in institutions. The ward experiencing the most number of cases is Rideau-Rockliffe. Healthcare workers and first responder account for 517 of city cases, or 27 per cent.
These numbers come after the province reported another spike in cases Sunday — 460 cases and 25 deaths across the province, which equals about an 11 per cent increase compared to Saturday’s report of 412 new cases.
The province’s total number of confirmed cases is 25,500 and the total number of deaths is 2,073 as of Sunday afternoon.
The mortality rate of COVID-19 in Ontario sits at eight per cent. 19,477 of those cases have been resolved — or about 76 per cent of cases.
The number of people hospitalized is 878 — of those, 148 are in the ICU and 104 of which are in ICU on a ventilator.
Fourth resident dies at Peter D. Clark residence
NEPEAN – A fourth resident has died of COVID-19 at the long-term care centre Peter D. Clark located in Nepean.
Donna Gray, general manager of community and social services, confirmed the news in a city memo Saturday (May 23) night.
“Regrettably, today I am sharing the news that a resident of Peter Dr. Clark has passed away at hospital due to complications arising from COVID-19,” Gray released in a memo to council. “In addition, we have received confirmation that two additional staff have tested positive for COVID-19.”
The centre now has a total of 20 positive resident cases and 18 positive staff, including four deceased residents and one deceased staff.
The affected employees are currently in isolation at home.
Air Canada revises refund policy
CANADA – Air Canada is revising its cancellation policy amid mounting customer frustration,
Air Canada is now offering travellers the option of a voucher with no expiration date or Aeroplan points if the airline cancels their flight due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The airline says the new policy — the previous one capped travel vouchers at 24 months, with no Aeroplan option — applies to non-refundable tickets issued up to the end of June, with an original travel date between March 1 and June 30.
Air Canada’s change in policy comes as consumer advocates and thousands of passengers continue to demand their money back for services they paid for but have not received.
Three petitions with more than 89,000 signatures are calling for full refunds to be implemented before financial aid is handed out to airlines, two of which were presented to the House of Commons over the past 11 days.
Air Canada said it has refunded nearly $1 billion to customers since Jan. 1, largely to travellers who paid for refundable tickets.
“While the world is making great progress against COVID-19, we know we must remain vigilant, which includes being flexible,” chief commercial officer Lucie Guillemette released in a statement Friday (May 22).
The loyalty points option allows customers to convert their booking into Aeroplan miles “and get an additional 65 per cent bonus miles,” she said.
Airlines have been sending repatriation flights and offering customers vouchers, but typically they advertise no refund policies for cancelled routes.
WestJet’s website highlights future travel credit for cancelled flights but says: “we are not processing refunds to original form of payment at this time.”
The disclaimer comes despite the company’s tariff — the contract between airline and passenger — which states “the unused portion of the passenger’s ticket(s) will be refunded” in the same form as it was purchased, “should the alternate transportation proposed by the carrier not meet the passenger’s satisfaction.”
On Friday, Air Canada also said it will bolster its summer schedule, which nonetheless remains more than 50 per cent smaller than last year as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pound the airline industry.
The 97 destinations compare with 220 last summer but mark an improvement from the past six weeks, when 95 per cent of its flights were still suspended.