Newscast - Monday, May 11th 2020

Newscast - Monday, May 11th 2020

Pritha Mukherji

CAMPUS:

- Based on an initiative, concept and design by Western, General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada is now producing approximately 500 medical face shields per day to support Canada’s fight against COVID-19.

The London-based global aerospace and defence company is filling orders daily across the province with plans to expand further if demand remains.

More than 11,000 medical face shields have been ordered since production started in mid-April. General Dynamics and Western have already delivered 8,800 – completely free of charge – to 45 hospital, health-care systems, health teams, and extended-care facilities.

Last month, Western teams across campus began supporting the production of low-cost, substantively effective medical face shields.

To construct, the Advanced Manufacturing team at University Machine Services, an ancillary service based in Western Engineering, sheared and formed polycarbonate to create the shield face. They then attached Velcro fasteners, designed and 3D-printed by the Physics and Astronomy Machine Shop, to the completed masks to allow for adjustable head placement.

- After weeks of staying at home, Canadians are slowly beginning to see the impact of physical distancing on decelerating the spread of COVID-19. However, for some, prolonged social isolation amplifies feelings of disconnection and can result in negative psychological effects and disorders.

As the principal investigator of the iBelong research study, Health Studies professor Shauna Burke is examining social media use and social connectedness during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its impact on all aspects of health and wellbeing.

In collaboration with researchers at Western and Lakehead University, the study focuses on adolescents and young adults, a demographic who are simultaneously social media natives and particularly susceptible to the impacts of social isolation.

This includes young Canadians’ feelings toward physical distancing, as well as how and why they’re complying with public health measures. The iBelong team hopes the information they collect will inform future outreach and intervention initiatives directed at adolescents and young adults.

LOCAL AND NATIONAL:

- Environment Canada has issued a frost advisory for all of Southern Ontario.

This includes London-Middlesex, Windsor-Essex, Sarnia-Lambton, up to the Bruce Peninsula and even into the GTA.

Near or below freezing temperatures are expected to result in frost or freezing conditions overnight into Monday morning.

Along with these frost or freezing conditions there is the possibility of several centimetres snow tonight and Monday morning.

- Hardware stores are one of the first non-essential businesses to go back to, a ‘somewhat normal’ amid  COVID-19, as the government continues to ease restrictions in an effort to reopen the province.

Premier Doug Ford said Wednesday, that on Saturday, hardware stores and safety supply stores will be allowed to reopen, allowing people to make in-house-purchases for the first time in nearly two months.

The province is requiring hardware stores to implement the same safety measures as grocery stores and pharmacies that have been allowed to remain open during the pandemic.

That includes implementing physical distancing measures, providing contactless payment options, and the sanitization of surfaces.

Before Ontario can reopen, the chief medical officer of health is looking for a consistent, two-to-four week decrease in the number of new cases.

SPORTS:

- The NHL and NHLPA announced on Friday the postponement of the league’s 2020 international games.  

The Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators were supposed to square off in their 2020-21 season opener in Prague, Czech Republic. The Bruins and Predators were also going to complete their training camps in Germany and Switzerland, respectively.

Later in the fall, the Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets were slated for a pair of regular-season games in Helsinki, Finland.

“The NHLPA and the NHL remain committed to maintaining and growing our international presence. We hope that our fans overseas understand the need to postpone the 2020 games, but we look forward to being back with them in 2021,” the league and Players Association’ said via a release.

INTERNATIONAL:

- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday the coronavirus lockdown will not end yet, urging people to “stay alert” to the risks as he outlined plans to begin slowly easing measures that have closed down much of the economy for nearly seven weeks.

While his government was giving directions for England, it wants the United Kingdom’s other constituent nations – Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – to take the same approach. But there were immediate divisions, with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon saying she was sticking with the existing “stay at home” message.

WEATHER:

- On Tuesday, expect a temperature of 9 degrees with cloudy skies. Moving onto Wednesday, expect temperatures to soar to 13 degrees with sunny skies. It is currently 1 degree.