Coronavirus Canada updates: Worrisome trends continue in Ontario’s COVID-19 fight

Coronavirus: Quebec reports 1,537 new positive COVID-19 cases
Coronavirus: Quebec reports 1,537 new positive COVID-19 cases The restrictions were first put in place for Toronto, Peel and Ottawa on Friday, but have now been extended after the province recorded 407 new cases on Saturday — the most in a 24-hour stretch since June 2. It also comes a day after Ontario recorded 402 cases. Previously, gathering limits were set at 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. “Folks, the alarm bells are ringing,” said Ford on Saturday. “Too much of it is being tied to people who aren’t following the rules, people who think it's OK to hold parties, carrying on as if things are back to normal. They aren't. ... We can't have these wild parties right now. It's just way, way too risky.” For those who organize a gathering that exceeds the new limit, they can face a minimum fine of $10,000 under the current emergency orders. If you're caught going to one of these parties, “you can get slapped with a $750 fine,” said Ford. These new restrictions do not apply to events held in facilities such as movie theatres, restaurants, banquet halls, places of worship, gyms, or convention centers.

The Ministry of Health reported 412 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario, after performing 11,028 tests in its latest 24-hour stretch.

It now marks the sixth straight day that the province has failed to meet its goal of 16,000 tests a day, or its max capacity of 21,000. It’s also the third day that Ontario has reported more than 400 cases.

In comparison, between May 9 and May 18, the province had gone through a stretch where it stayed below the 400 daily case mark each day, while also hitting its testing goal on six of those 10 occasions.

Throughout the past week, Premier Doug Ford and health officials have both called the trends “concerning.” As of May 23, Ontario’s seven-day averages are 390 cases out of 10,197 tests. It’s a steady rise compared to May 16, when the seven-day averages stood at 338 cases out of 16,033 tests.

The premier said if there aren’t improvements he won’t hesitate to roll back the province’s reopening plans, with Ontario currently in its first phase, which kicked off Tuesday.

To ramp up testing over the weekend, Ford said the province will investigate both symptomatic and asymptomatic frontline health-care workers, and also perform a second round of testing in long term care homes.

More details on a new testing plan are also expected next week, which could include “random testing” of asymptomatic people in high-risk settings, such as truckers, taxi drivers, and workers in automotive and food processing plants province-wide.

Ministry of Health update

Along with the new cases on Saturday, 27 more people have died after contracting the respiratory virus, increasing Ontario’s death toll to 2,048.

There are now 19,146 who have recovered, an increase of 379 since Friday’s update, setting a recovery rate of 76.5 per cent in Ontario.

In hospitals around the province, there are 912 patients (down by 49), which includes 147 in intensive care (down by six) and 119 who require a ventilator (down by one).

In long-term care facilities there are 165 outbreaks, which is a decrease of six, according to the Ministry of Long-Term Health.

In those facilities, 1,437 staff members are currently infected with COVID-19 (a decrease of 86). Among residents there are 2,148 infected (a decrease of 104), and 1,495 who have passed away (an increase of nine). Six staff members have also died after contracting the virus.


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