Ontario reports 203 new COVID-19 cases, most in 3 weeks

Ontario reported 203 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the most on any single day in about three weeks.

In a series of tweets this morning, Health Minister Christine Elliott attributed the uptick to “localized increases,” namely in Peel, Ottawa and Windsor-Essex. The three regions each confirmed 57, 43 and 24 new cases, respectively. 

Another 30 were also reported in Toronto. 

Elliott noted that 57 per cent of today’s newly confirmed infections of the novel coronavirus are in people 39 years old or younger.

“While one day of data, today’s increase is concerning,” Elliott wrote.

“Ontarians of all ages need to continue to adhere to public health guidelines: maintain only one social circle of 10 people, physically distance with anyone outside of it and wear a face covering when doing so is a challenge.”

Ontario has now seen a total of 37,942 cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak began in late January. Of those, about 88.6 per cent are resolved. 

After several weeks of steady decline, the number of active cases in the province has risen this week, up to about 1,584 at present.

The jump in new daily cases comes one day after Premier Doug Ford announced that another seven public health units would be moving into Stage 3 of the province’s reopening plan on Friday. That means by the end of the work week, only Toronto, Peel and Windsor-Essex will remain in Stage 2.

(CBC)

Ontario’s official COVID-19 death toll grew by one in today’s update, and now sits 2,753. A CBC News count based on data provided directly from public health units puts the real current toll at 2,785 as of yesterday evening.

Meanwhile, the province’s network of labs processed nearly 23,000 tests for the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours. Another 11,842 are in the queue waiting to be completed. 

Ford is scheduled to hold his daily COVID-19 briefing beginning at 1 p.m. in Mississauga. Ford’s office says he will be joined by Minister of Long-term Care Merrilee Fullerton and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie. You can watch it live in this story.

Front-line hospital staff hold protest

Front-line hospital staff in Ontario are planning a five-minute in-hospital protest this morning to fight the proposed extension of the province’s emergency orders.

The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, a division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, says it does not want the province’s emergency order extended in its current form because it suspends their collective bargaining agreement.

The Progressive Conservative government introduced a bill two weeks ago that would allow it to keep some emergency measures in place in the months ahead.

The union says that without the CBA in place they have no workplace rights, including having the time and location of shifts changed without notice or vacations cancelled.

Union president Michael Hurley argues that while those measures were acceptable at the start of the pandemic the emergency is over in most of Ontario.

CUPE hospital workers staged workplace rallies across Ontario opposing aspects of Bill 195 on Friday.

The union’s membership voted in favour of further political protest actions last night unless the bill is amended.

Health-care workers in Ontario do not have the right to strike and have a very limited right to refuse unsafe work.

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