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The COVID REPORT

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Restrictions continue to fall

Coronavirus restrictions are starting to fall across the country.

Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Prince Edward Island all announced yesterday that limits on movement and assembly will soon be ending.

In Quebec, which has had some of the strongest measures in place, most limits will be lifted as of March 14th.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault says they’re taking a calculated risk to “live with the virus.”

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Protest  continues

Police in Ottawa says truckers protesting vaccine mandates are frustrating efforts to get them to leave the capital, as their blockade of downtown streets in the capital enters its 13th day.

The city’s deputy police chief says some truckers are disabling their vehicles, making them impossible to move.

Steve Bell says the protesters are also subverting police efforts to prevent fuel from being brought in and the presence of dozens of children is causing concern.

Bell says many of the demonstrators who remain are, in his words, “highly determined and volatile.”

NDP leader Andrea Horwath has called on Premier Doug Ford to revoke the commercial licenses of those still participating in the protest.

Tests for families

We’re expecting an announcement from Health Minister Christine Elliott today, that the province will begin distributing COVID-19 rapid testing kits at grocery stores and pharmacies across the province.

Several reports say the kits will be made available, one per family visit in time for Stage Two of the latest reopening plan, which is to begin on February 21st.

Plans are to distribute as many as five-million testing kits per week.

Child care

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says it may be a while yet before Ontario has a child care agreement with the federal government.

Our province is the only remaining jurisdiction not to have a deal with Ottawa to lower child care costs to ten dollars a day by mid-decade.

Lecce says the Ford government wants to ensure what he calls a “fair deal” with Ontarians.

The province has argued in the past that the federal money won’t be enough to reach their target, because Ontario’s daycare costs are the highest in the country.

It’s also been asking for compensation for funding four- and five-year-old full-day kindergarten.

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