Ontario confirms 25 more COVID-19 deaths, adds 408 new cases
TORONTO -- Ontario public health officials confirmed 25 more COVID-19 deaths and reported 408 new cases of the virus on Sunday morning.
There are currently 4,038 cases in the province, including a total of 119 deaths as a result of the novel coronavirus.
Of those 4,038, more than 1,449 patients have recovered, up 230 from Saturday's report.
As it stands, the province says it has tested 75,046 people for the virus, while 981 of those tests are listed as "under investigation." In recent weeks, the backlog for COVID-19 cases under investigation had grown to over 11, 000 as public health officials worked to ramp-up their testing capabilities.
On Saturday, Ontario’s Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe said that the province has the capacity to perform roughly 9, 400 tests in the span of 24 hours. Last month, public healths officials said that the number of daily tests is expected to rise, with a goal of 19,000 tests a day by mid-April.
The province also says that 17 more patients with COVID-19 have been hospitalized, bringing the provincial total to 523. Of those 523, 200 are being treated in the intensive care unit, 154 of which are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
Seniors' residences and long-term care homes in Ontario continue to feel the devastating effects of COVID-19. According to the ministry of health, there are currently 44 outbreaks in those facilities across the province, with more than 50 confirmed deaths.
Of all reported cases, the provinces says that 20.4 per cent had travelled in the 14 days prior to becoming ill, 12.1 per cent had close contact with a confirmed cases and 19 per cent had neither. The exposure information for almost half of the confirmed cases is listed as pending.
Toronto represents more than a quarter of all cases of COVID-19 reported in the province.
As of Sunday, health officials reported 1,232 cases in the city, an increase of 113 cases from the day prior. Of those 1,232, 140 patients have been hospitalized and 27 patients have died as a result of the virus.
‘Some problem areas persist’: Toronto bylaw officers on enforcing COVID-19 measures
Toronto bylaw officers say they are seeing “encouraging behavior”, but that some “problem areas persist” a day after physical distancing measures were enforced in parks and green spaces across the city.
“Yesterday, 311 received 141 complaints about gatherings and unsafe behaviour at parks,” the city said in a news release issued Sunday afternoon. “In just the first day of the enforcement blitz, 800 vehicles were turned away at Bluffers Park and 140 vehicles were deterred from parking at High Park.”
On Friday, the city announced a new physical distancing bylaw that prohibits people who don’t live together from being less than two metres apart in city squares and parks. Anyone who does not obey the new bylaw could be subject to a fine of up to $5,000.
“Police issued nine tickets while MLS (Municipal Licensing & Standards) enforcement officers gave out one ticket related to park amenities and five to non-essential businesses that were operating in violation of provincial orders.”
Earlier today, Toronto Mayor John Tory said that he is considering closing High Park completely to keep crowds from forming during the massively popular cherry blossom season.