With a record 732 new COVID-19 cases, Ontario announces new public health restrictions and testing measures

Masks required indoors across Ontario, no more social circles, and all testing to be by appointment only as test backlog climbs to a record high of 90,513

Ontario Premier Doug Ford at a media conference on October 2, 2020 at Queen's Park, along with Ontario's chief medical officer of health Dr. David Williams, Ontario Health president and CEO Matthew Anderson, health minister Christine Elliott, and Ontario's chief coroner and COVID-19 testing lead Dr. Dirk Huyer, where the government announced additional public health restrictions and new testing measures. (CPAC screenshot)
Ontario Premier Doug Ford at a media conference on October 2, 2020 at Queen's Park, along with Ontario's chief medical officer of health Dr. David Williams, Ontario Health president and CEO Matthew Anderson, health minister Christine Elliott, and Ontario's chief coroner and COVID-19 testing lead Dr. Dirk Huyer, where the government announced additional public health restrictions and new testing measures. (CPAC screenshot)

With Ontario reporting a record 732 new COVID-19 cases today, Premier Doug Ford announced new public health restrictions — including an indoor mask requirement across Ontario and the tightening of social circles to household members only — as well as additional restrictions in Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa and new testing measures to help address the backlog of of tests under investigation, which has climbed to a record high of 90,513.

“We’re in a second wave of COVID-19 and as Premier it’s my duty to protect the people,” Ford said at a media conference at Queen’s Park on Friday (October 2), along with health minister Christine Elliott, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health Dr. David Williams, Ontario Health president and CEO Matthew Anderson, and Ontario’s chief coroner and COVID-19 testing lead Dr. Dirk Huyer.

“Throughout this pandemic, we have made some tough but necessary decisions, always based on the best medical advice and scientific evidence available,” Ford added. “After consulting with the chief medical officer and the Public Health Measures table, we will be bringing in more public health restrictions to stop this virus from spreading any further.”

Effective 12:01 a.m. on Saturday (October 3), face coverings will now be required in all public indoor settings across Ontario, including at businesses, facilities, and workplaces (with some exceptions, including corrections and developmental services). The government is also tightening social circles — advising Ontarians to only allow close contact with people living in their own household and to maintain two metres of physical distance from everyone else.

“This will be especially important to consider as we look ahead to Thanksgiving next weekend,” Ford said. “We also have to extend the pause on the reopening of any other businesses and facilities for another 28 days.”

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The government is also implementing additional public health restrictions in Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa — the province’s COVID-19 hot spots. Indoor capacity at restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments (including nightclubs) will be restricted to the number of patrons who can can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other patron, to a maximum of 100 patrons, with no more than six patrons per table.

Group exercise classes at gyms and other fitness settings in Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa will be restricted to 10 people with no more than 50 people in total allowed at these facilities to a maximum of 50. At meeting and event facilities, including banquet halls, only six people will be allowed per table and 50 people per facility. All the new measures for in Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa come into effect 12:01 a.m. on Saturday (October 3).

Ford also announced changes to how testing is conducted at all of Ontario’s assessment centres in an effort to reduce testing turnaround times and to help assessment centres prepare for the cold winter months where long line-ups will be even more problematic. Beginning next Tuesday (October 6), testing will be by appointment only, with walk-in testing discontinued starting Sunday (October 4), The province will also increase testing and processing capacity to 50,000 tests per day by mid-October and 68,000 tests per day by mid-November, and will introduce new testing methods once they are approved by Health Canada.

Today’s record number of 732 new cases comes as the Ontario exceeds 4 million tests completed. As has been the case for weeks, most of the new cases are in Toronto (343), Ottawa (141), and Peel (111), with significant increases in York (38) and Durham (34). There are smaller increases in Simcoe Muskoka (13), Halton (11), Niagara (11), Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph (10), Waterloo (9), Hamilton (6), and Windsor-Essex (6). The remaining 22 public health units are reporting 5 or fewer cases, with 13 reporting no cases at all.

The percentage of cases in older people continues to increase, with 58% of today’s cases among people under the age of 40. In early September, 70% of new cases were in that age group. There have been 5 new hospitalizations, with 2 new cases admitted to ICUs and 4 new cases on ventilators.

There have been 2 new deaths since yesterday, but the total number of deaths has increased to 2,927 because it now includes 74 deaths from the spring and summer that were not previously recorded.

There are 36 new cases in Ontario schools today (29 students, 2 staff, and 3 unidentified individuals). In licensed child care settings, there are 12 new cases (8 children and 4 staff).

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In the greater Kawarthas region, there is 1 new case to report today in Peterborough are 2 new cases in Hastings and Prince Edward counties. There are no new cases to report in Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland, and Haliburton.

None of the new cases in schools and child care settings are in the greater Kawarthas region.

There are currently 26 active cases in the greater Kawarthas region, including 13 in Peterborough, 6 in Hastings and Prince Edward counties, 4 in Kawartha Lakes, 1 in Northumberland, and 2 in Haliburton.

Since the pandemic began in the greater Kawarthas region, there have been 126 confirmed positive cases in the Peterborough area (111 resolved with 2 deaths), 182 in the City of Kawartha Lakes (159 resolved with 32 deaths), 43 in Northumberland County (41 resolved with 1 death), 17 in Haliburton County (15 resolved with no deaths), and 58 in Hastings and Prince Edward counties (47 resolved with 5 deaths). The most recent death was reported in Northumberland on September 8.

Province-wide, there have been 52,980 confirmed cases, an increase of 732 from yesterday, with 44,850 (85% of all cases) resolved, an increase of 428. There have been 2,927 deaths, an increase of 2 from yesterday plus 74 deaths for cases in the spring or summer that were not previously recorded. These additional 74 earlier deaths has also increased the number of deaths in long-term care homes to 1,909 deaths (the number of new deaths since yesterday is not reported). A total of 4,003,204 tests have been completed, an increase of 40,093 from yesterday, with 90,513 tests under investigation, an increase of 8,040 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.

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Peterborough Public Health

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

The health unit provides daily reports, including on weekends.

Confirmed positive: 126 (increase of 1)
Active cases: 13 (decrease of 2)
Deaths: 2 (no change)
Resolved: 111 (increase of 3)
Total tests completed: Over 29,300 (no change)
Institutional outbreaks: Fairhaven (no change)

 

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 from Monday to Friday, excluding statutory holidays.

Confirmed positive: 242, including 182 in Kawartha Lakes, 43 in Northumberland, 17 in Haliburton (no change)
Probable cases: 0 (no change)
Hospitalizations (total to date): 15 (no change)
Deaths: 33 (no change)
Resolved: 215, including 159 in Kawartha Lakes, 41 in Northumberland, 15 in Haliburton (increase of 1, in Northumberland)
Active cases: 7, including 2 in Haliburton, 4 in Kawartha Lakes, and 1 in Northumberland (decrease 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 from Monday to Friday, excluding statutory holidays.

Confirmed positive: 58 (increase of 2)
Active cases: 6 (increase of 2)
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 (no change)
Total tests completed: 39,169 (increase of 1,379)
Institutional outbreaks: None (no change)

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Province of Ontario

Confirmed positive: 52,980 (increase of 732)
Resolved: 44,850 (increase of 428, 85% of all cases)
Hospitalized: 167 (increase of 5)
Hospitalized and in ICU: 38 (increase of 2)
Hospitalized and in ICU on ventilator: 21 (increase of 4)
Deaths: 2,927 = 2,853 (increase of 2) plus 74 earlier deaths*
Deaths of residents in long-term care homes: 1,909 (increase of 71)*
Total tests completed: 4,003,204 (increase of 40,093)
Tests under investigation: 90,513 (increase of 8,040)

*There were 74 deaths reported for cases that occurred in the spring or summer and are now being recorded as part of a data review and data cleaning initiative.

New COVID-19 cases in Ontario from September 1 - October 1, 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 September 1 – October 1, 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 September 1 - October 1, 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 September 1 – October 1, 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 latest reports from Peterborough Public Health and Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit.

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