Coronavirus Canada Updates: Ontario expands free child-care eligibility

Coronavirus: B.C. adds 357 cases of COVID-19, lowest single-day total since February
Coronavirus: B.C. adds 357 cases of COVID-19, lowest single-day total since February

Ontario reported 3,443 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, including 234 cases in Ottawa.

The provincial number is a lower than the consecutive record highs reported on Thursday and Friday, but continues a troubling streak of days with case counts well above 3,000.

Saturday’s figures include 1,070 new cases in Toronto, 548 in Peel, 303 in York Region and 282 in Windsor-Essex County.

Ottawa Public Health reported 234 new cases on Saturday, bringing the city’s total number of active cases to 1,104. There were no new deaths.

Some 43 per cent of the active cases in Ottawa are people aged 29 and under, with the largest age group infected being people aged 20 to 29 (21 per cent of the total).

There are 26 COVID-19 cases in Ottawa hospitals, with seven in intensive care.

Earlier in the day, Public Health Ontario reported 179 new cases in Ottawa, but city and provincial totals frequently don’t match because each agency collects and publishes its data at different times.

The province said Saturday that there are 1,457 COVID patients in Ontario hospitals, an increase of 11 from the day before, of which 382 are in intensive care (up 13) and 244 are on ventilators (down by six).

Ontario reported 40 new COVID-19 deaths on Saturday, bringing the total number of deaths from the pandemic to 4,922.

Nearly 73,000 COVID-19 tests were performed Friday, the province reported.

Speaking at a Saturday morning press conference, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the province is expanding the list of essential workers eligible to receive free child-care during the time school is taught remotely.

Workers now eligible for childcare include Canada Post employees, staff with the RCMP or Canada Border Services, court services staff, power workers and those providing services to the homeless.

Lecce says childcare will also be available for education staff who are required to attend school in-person to teach students who cannot learn remotely.

Ontario residents working in victims services, providing frontline services with children’s aid societies or intervenor services for the deaf and deafblind are also among those on the list.

Earlier this week, the province announced online learning would continue until at least Jan. 25 for students across southern Ontario in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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