Ontario Reverts To Modified Stage 2 After Record 939 New COVID-19 Cases
TORONTO _ Ontario is imposing new restrictions in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
They will prohibit indoor dining at restaurants and bars, and close gyms, movie theatres and casinos.
The measures will go into effect tomorrow and will be in place for at least 28 days.
The government is also asking people in those areas to leave their homes only for essential purposes.
The new restrictions come as Ontario marked a record 939 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, most of them in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says 336 cases are in Toronto, 150 in Peel Region and 126 in Ottawa.
The province is also reporting five new deaths due to the virus today.
The government says it has a backlog of 58,173 tests, and has conducted 44,914 tests since the last daily report.
In total, 225 people are hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19, up from 192 reported yesterday.
The province says 47 people are in intensive care and 29 are on a ventilator.
The government says if current trends continue, the province could experience “worst-case scenarios” seen in northern Italy and New York City earlier in the pandemic.
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The City of Toronto says it will be limiting its indoor recreational programs to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s medical officer of health, says she recommended the move to protect the health of residents, keep schools open, and address the second wave of the virus.
The city says that starting on Tuesday, a variety of indoor physical activities will be cancelled, affecting approximately 20,000 registrants.
Those programs include hockey games and scrimmages, learn-to-skate and swim programs, dance, group fitness and wellness programs.
The city says those programs are deemed high-risk for COVID-19 transmission because they are indoors and the physical nature of the activity results in close contact in an environment where masks cannot be worn.
The suspension of registered and instructional programs will affect approximately 20,000 people.
Groups like the Ontario Hospital Association and Registered Nurses’ Association have also called for targeted restrictions in hot spot regions.
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Those include closing indoor table service in restaurants, closing bars, gyms and places of worship.
Ontario also reported 56 new COVID-19 cases related to schools on Friday, including at least 32 among students. Those bring the number of schools with a reported case to 429 out of Ontario’s 4,828 publicly funded schools.
The latest figures bring the total of COVID-19 cases in Ontario to 57,681, with 2,997 deaths, and 49,032 cases resolved.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 9, 2020.
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