Ontario reports record of over 900 coronavirus cases as new restrictions announced

Ontario is reporting 939 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, and the government is implementing more strict measures as cases continue to rise in the province.

Friday’s case count surpasses Thursday’s, which saw 797 new infections and was the previous highest single-day case record in Ontario.

According to Friday’s provincial report, 336 new cases were recorded in Toronto, 150 in Peel Region, 126 in Ottawa, 68 in York Region, 59 in Halton Region and 40 in Hamilton. All other public health units in Ontario reported under 35 new cases.

The provincial government held an emergency meeting that stretched late into the night on Thursday. Officials will be convening again Friday morning to finalize new restrictions.

Read more: Coronavirus: Indoor dining, gyms ordered to close in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa

The new measures, which are set to take effect on Saturday at 12:01 a.m., include the closure of indoor dining at restaurants and bars, as well as the closure of gyms, casinos, cinemas, and performing arts centres.

Personal care services where face coverings must be removed must also discontinue operations. Interactive exhibits in places like galleries or museums must close.

Ontario health officials said the measures will last “at least 28 days in response to higher than average rates of transmission.”

The province’s chief medical officer of health is also calling all Ontarians to “limit trips outside of home” except for essential purposes including school, grocery shopping, medical appointments, and outdoor physical activities.

“In addition, travel to other regions in the province, especially from higher transmission to lower transmission areas, should only be for essential purposes,” a government statement read.

Social gatherings, meanwhile, continue to be limited to 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said more than 44,900 tests were processed in the last 24 hours.

Roughly 2.1 per cent of Friday’s tests were positive for coronavirus.

A total of 4,306,025 tests have been completed since the pandemic began. However, there is currently a backlog of 58,173 tests that need results.

The total cumulative number of cases now stands at 57,681.

“This Thanksgiving, only celebrate with those in your household and gather with friends and family virtually. Please follow public health measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” Elliott urged.

Read more: Ontario man who’s suffered months of COVID-19 symptoms: ‘I don’t even feel like I’m in my own body’

Here is a breakdown of the total cases in Ontario by gender and age:

  • 27,563 people are male — an increase of 467 cases.
  • 29,719 people are female — an increase of 470 cases.
  • 5,189 people are 19 and under — an increase of 156 cases.
  • 20,484 people are 20 to 39 — an increase of 358 cases.
  • 16,335 people are 40 to 59 — an increase of 266 cases.
  • 9,082 people are 60 to 79 — an increase of 109 cases.
  • 6,573 people are 80 and over — an increase of 44 cases.

The province notes that not all cases have a reported age or gender.

The province also notes that the number of cases publicly reported each day may not align with case counts reported by the local public health unit on a given day. Local public health units report when they were first notified of a case, which can be updated and changed as information becomes available.

The death toll in the province has risen to 2,997 as five more deaths were reported.

Meanwhile, 49,032 Ontarians have recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, which is 85 per cent of known cases. Resolved cases increased by 724 from the previous day.

Ontario has 225 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 (up by 19 from the previous day), with 47 patients in an intensive care unit (unchanged) and 29 patients in ICUs on a ventilator (unchanged). All hospitalizations have, overall, increased over the last several weeks.

The newly reported numbers for Friday’s report are valid as of 2 p.m. Thursday for Toronto, Ottawa and Middlesex-London public health units, and 4 p.m. Thursday’s for the rest of the province.

Ontario child care centres and schools

Meanwhile, government figures show there have been a total of 876 school-related COVID-19 cases in Ontario — 482 among students and 149 among staff (245 individuals were not identified). This is an increase of 56 more cases from the previous day.

In the last 14 days, the province indicates there are 369 cases reported among students and 94 cases among staff (165 individuals were not identified).

The COVID-19 cases are currently from 429 out of 4,828 schools in the province.

Four schools in Ontario are currently closed as a result of positive cases, the government indicated.

There have been a total of 236 confirmed cases within child care centres and homes — an increase of 20 since the previous day (nine new child cases and 11 new staff cases).

Numbers for cases in schools and child care centres is updated weekdays only, at 10:30 a.m.

Ontario long-term care homes

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 1,880 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario, which is an increase of one death from the previous day. Eight health-care workers and staff in long-term care homes have died.

There are 56 current outbreaks in homes, a decrease of one.

The ministry also indicated there are currently 145 active cases among long-term care residents and 178 active cases among staff — down by eight cases and up by six cases respectively in the last day.

— With files from Ryan Rocca.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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