TORONTO -- Ontario’s ministry of health has reported 24 new cases of COVID-19 in the province, including nine cases in the city of Toronto.

At least three of the latest cases cited travel to the United States as the cause of infection, while two others contracted the virus while travelling in Asia.

A woman in her 70s from Durham contracted the virus while traveling to “multiple locations” including Egypt. Another patient, a woman in her 60s from Haliburton, had recently travelled to Spain and Portugal.

Of the 24 new cases there are three in Durham Region, two in Waterloo Region, two in Ottawa, one in Halton Region, one in London-Middlesex, one in Cobourg, one in Huron-Perth, one in Hamilton and one in Peel.

On Saturday afternoon, officials reported two more cases. Both are travel-related. One of the new cases attended Victoria Hospital in Winnipeg.

The news comes as the provincial government limits who can be tested for COVID-19 as the demand for nasal swabs surges.

On Friday, the province had reported 74 active cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases of COVID-19 in Ontario currently sits at 103, with five cases reported as resolved.

At least 939 people are being investigated for possible infection in Ontario. 5,606 residents have tested negative for the virus.

All new patients are currently observing self-isolation as health officials work to determine the causes of the other 16 cases.

On Saturday, Premier Doug Ford asked Ontario residents to avoid non-essential travel as the government works to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Ontario's chief medical officer of health has also advised that long-term care homes, retirement homes, supportive housing, hospices and other congregate care settings to allow "essential visitors only." Under the new rules, those visitors will be screened before being allowed inside a long-term care facility.

'We have plenty of food': Government responds to panic-buying

As the number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario continues to grow, so to does the amount of people rushing to stock up on toilet paper, canned goods and cleaning supplies.

In response to the increased traffic at grocery stores across the province, the government has 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 a news release issued Saturday.

"Ontarians can be confident that our food supply is robust and that our distribution system will continue to operate and remain responsive to the needs of Ontarians." 

"Rest assured, we have plenty of food that will continue to reach grocery stores on a regular basis."

Elliott added that Ontario residents should continue to practice "normal grocery buying habits" amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lisa LaFlamme/CTV News Toronto


A previous version of this story reported 27 new cases in Ontario. This number has been corrected.