Ontario restricts social gatherings across entire province as 407 new COVID-19 cases reported

'The alarm bells are ringing' says Premier Doug Ford as gatherings for everyone restricted to 10 people indoors, 25 people outdoors

Ontario premier Doug Ford announces the extension of restrictions on unmonitored and private social gatherings to the entire province at a media conference at Queen's Park on September 19, 2020, along with associate chief medical officer of health Dr. Barbara Yaffe and health minister Christine Elliott. (CPAC screenshot)
Ontario premier Doug Ford announces the extension of restrictions on unmonitored and private social gatherings to the entire province at a media conference at Queen's Park on September 19, 2020, along with associate chief medical officer of health Dr. Barbara Yaffe and health minister Christine Elliott. (CPAC screenshot)

With Ontario reporting 407 new COVID-19 cases today, the second straight daily increase over 400, the government is extending restrictions on unmonitored and private social gatherings to the entire province.

Premier Doug Ford made the announcement on Saturday morning (September 19) at a media conference at Queen’s Park along with health minister Christine Elliott and associate chief medical officer of health Dr. Barbara Yaffe.

“The alarm bells are ringing,” Ford said. “And too much of it is being tied to people who aren’t following the rules. People who think it’s okay to hold parties, to carry on as if things are back to normal. They aren’t.”

Ford said the government needs to take “decisive action” and, effective immediately, is extending the same restrictions currently in place in Toronto, Ottawa, and Peel Region for unmonitored and private social gatherings — a maximum of 10 people indoors and a maximum of 25 people outdoors — to every region in Ontario for the next 28 days.

“We made this decision on the advice of our chief medical officer of health, Dr. Williams, and our public health team,” Ford added. “Folks, we can’t have these wild parties right now. It’s just way, way too risky.”

Unmonitored and private social gatherings include functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs, or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, parks, and other recreational areas. Indoor and outdoor events and gatherings cannot be merged together — gatherings of 35 (25 outdoors and 10 indoors) are not permitted. Under new legislation, organizers and hosts of illegal gatherings face a minimum $10,000 fine, while individuals who attend such gatherings can already by fined $750 each.

“We can’t have people merging indoor and outdoor parties, so don’t try to get around the rules,” Ford said. “This is about everyone’s health and safety, and we have to come down hard on the rule-breakers. We have to crack down on the illegal parties.”

The new limits do not apply to events or gatherings held in staffed businesses and facilities, such as bars, restaurants, cinemas, convention centres, banquet halls, gyms, places of worship, recreational sporting or performing art events. Existing rules, including public health and workplace safety measures for these businesses and facilities, continue to be in effect.

Advertisement - story continues below

 

 

With the 407 new cases reported today, the number of active cases in Ontario is now at 5,707, an increase of 230. Most of the new cases are in Toronto (129), Peel (94), Ottawa (55), and York (28) with smaller increases in Halton (18), Waterloo (14), Hamilton (12), Simcoe Muskoka (11), Middlesex-London (10), Windsor-Essex (6), Durham (6), and a new outbreak in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph (14). The remaining 22 public health units in Ontario are reporting five or fewer cases, with 14 reporting no new cases.

Of the new cases, 71% of today’s cases are among people under the age of 40. There have been 6 new hospitalizations and 1 new death. There is no change to the number of patients admitted to ICUs or on ventilators.

With Ontario completing 38,940 tests yesterday, the backlog of tests being investigated has now climbed to 42,778, an increase of 2,335 since yesterday.

In the greater Kawarthas region, there are no new cases to report in Peterborough (on September 19, the health unit reported 1 new case for a total of 112 cases and 7 active cases; this was an administrative error and has since been corrected). Reports are not issued on weekends for Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland, Haliburton, and Hastings and Prince Edward counties.

Since the pandemic began in the greater Kawarthas region, there have been 111 confirmed positive cases in the Peterborough area (103 resolved with 2 deaths), 178 in the City of Kawartha Lakes (159 resolved with 32 deaths), 41 in Northumberland County (34 resolved with 1 death), 15 in Haliburton County (15 resolved with no deaths), and 52 in Hastings County and Prince Edward County (47 resolved with 5 deaths). The most recent death was reported in Northumberland on September 8.

Province-wide, there have been 46,484 confirmed cases, an increase of 407 from yesterday, with 40,777 (87.7% of all cases) resolved, an increase of 177. There have been 2,826 deaths, an increase of 1 from yesterday, with 1,824 deaths reported in long-term care homes (no change from yesterday). A total of 3,508,463 tests have been completed, an increase of 38,940 from yesterday, with 42,778 tests under investigation, an increase of 2,335 from yesterday.

This report is based on data supplied by the province’s integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS), as well as any additional information supplied by health units. This information is at least 24 hours old, so it is not real-time data. Note that each health unit reports the information in a different way.

Advertisement - story continues below

 

 

Peterborough Public Health

Peterborough Public Health’s service area is the City and County of Peterborough and the Hiawatha and Curve Lake First Nations.

Confirmed positive: 111 (no change)*
Active cases: 6 (no change)*
Deaths: 2 (no change)
Resolved: 103 (no change)
Total tests completed: Over 27,150 (increase of 150)
Institutional outbreaks: Fairhaven (no change)

*On September 19, the health unit reported 1 new case, for a total of 112 cases and 7 active cases. This was an administrative error and has since been corrected.

 

Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit’s service area is the City of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County, and Haliburton County.

The health unit provides reports on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, excluding statutory holidays. These numbers are from September 18.

Confirmed positive: 234, including 178 in Kawartha Lakes, 41 in Northumberland, 15 in Haliburton (increase of 1 in Northumberland)
Probable cases: 0 (no change)
Hospitalizations (total to date): 15 (no change)
Deaths: 33 (no change)
Resolved: 208, including 159 in Kawartha Lakes, 34 in Northumberland, 15 in Haliburton (no change)
Active cases: 6 (increase of 1 in Northumberland)
Institutional outbreaks: None (no change)

 

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health’s service area is Hastings County (including Bancroft) and Prince Edward County.

The health unit provides reports on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, excluding statutory holidays. These numbers are from September 18.

Confirmed positive: 52 (no change)
Active cases: 0 (decrease of 5)
Deaths: 5 (no change)
Hospitalized: 0 (no change)
Hospitalized and in ICU: 0 (no change)
Hospitalized and in ICU on ventilator: 0 (no change)
Recovered: 47 (increase of 5)
Total tests completed: 28,894 (increase of 1,574)
Institutional outbreaks: None (no change)

Advertisement - story continues below

 

 

Province of Ontario

Confirmed positive: 46,484 (increase of 407)
Resolved: 40,777 (increase of 177, 87.7% of all cases)
Active cases: 5,707 (increase of 230)
Hospitalized: 64 (increase of 6)
Hospitalized and in ICU: 20 (no change)
Hospitalized and in ICU on ventilator: 10 (no change)
Deaths: 2,826 (increase of 1)
Deaths of residents in long-term care homes: 1,824 (no change)
Total tests completed: 3,508,463 (increase of 38,940)
Tests under investigation: 42,778 (increase of 2,335)

New COVID-19 cases in Ontario from August 19 - September 18, 2020. The red line is the number of new cases reported daily, and the dotted green line is a five-day moving average of new cases. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
New COVID-19 cases in Ontario from August 19 – September 18, 2020. The red line is the number of new cases reported daily, and the dotted green line is a five-day moving average of new cases. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
COVID-19 tests completed in Ontario from August 19 - September 18, 2020. The red line is the number of tests completed daily, and the dotted green line is a five-day moving average of tests completed. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
COVID-19 tests completed in Ontario from August 19 – September 18, 2020. The red line is the number of tests completed daily, and the dotted green line is a five-day moving average of tests completed. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)

 

For more information about COVID-19 in Ontario, visit covid-19.ontario.ca.

This story has been updated with the September 19 COVID-19 report for Peterborough.

Comments