Ontario confirms 42 new cases of COVID-19, provincial total reaches 145
TORONTO -- Ontario has confirmed 42 new cases of COVID-19, pushing the provincial total to 145, including five patients who have recovered.
The surge in cases comes after officials confirmed 24 new cases in the province on Saturday.
Sunday's update marks the biggest single-day jump since Ontario public health began tracking the cases.
Of the 42 new cases there are 14 in Toronto, five in Peel, five in Ottawa, three in Hamilton, three in York Region, two in Waterloo, two in Durham, two in Simcoe Muskoka, one in Niagara, one in Haliburton Kawartha Pineridge, two in Grey Bruce and one in Peterborough. The location of one case is listed as "pending".
All but one case is currently observing self-isolation, with the exception of a patient from Simcoe Muskoka who has been hospitalized.
The method of transmission of the virus is listed as "pending" for the majority of the patients. Except for a woman in her 50s from Niagara Region who had recently returned from Egypt, two people who were on a cruise and another who has recently returned to Canada from Spain and Portugal
On Sunday, Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency services said that patient who returned from Egypt is recovering at home in self-isolation.
"The patient has interacted only with a family member during the time she may have been contagious, and has not exposed anyone in the community," the agency said in a statement. All protocols were followed by health care providers resulting in no exposure of themselves nor other patients."
Ontario public health says that 8,462 have been tested for the virus so far. The agency is awaiting the results of a remaining 1,316 tests.
Toronto Mayor John Tory weighed in on the development in a number of videos posted to Twitter on Sunday, making a specific request to local business owners and landlords.
"I am asking employers now, today, to provide assurance to their employees that maximum accommodation will be extended to their employees to keep them whole for example, during the two extra weeks when schools are closed and those employees may have to miss work," Tory said in one tweet. "I am also asking landlords to offer accommodation to tenants. I am speaking in particular about small business tenants, many of whom will be experiencing hardship and may require extraordinary help in extraordinary circumstances."
Tory also warned against panic-buying as residents flock to grocery stores to stock up on toilet paper and canned goods. His comments come after the provincial government issued a statement assuring residents of Ontario's "robust" supply.
"The health and well-being of the people of Ontario is our government's number one priority," Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott said in the news release issued Saturday.
In a tweet published Sunday, Elliott advised anyone who may be feeling "anxious" about their health to use Ontario's COVID-19 self-assessment tool, before visiting a hospital.
Ford government preparing emergency legislation
As the number of cases of COVID-19 in the province continues to rise, a spokesperson for Premier Doug Ford has confirmed that he has directed members of his government to “draft legislation that will protect hardworking Ontarians and their families.”
The legislation would “include direction to employers to ensure protected leave and remove the requirement for employees to obtain sick notes prior to taking time off for self-isolation or quarantine, or to provide care for those who are in self-isolation or quarantine,” according to the spokesperson.
The province is expected to provide an update on the cases in Ontario Monday at 10:30 a.m.
With files from Chris Fox