covid 19 ontario

Ontario reports 1,242 new cases of COVID-19 as restrictions are lifted

Unsettling numbers from Ontario's Ministry of Health are giving people pause across the province this morning as bars, gyms, restaurants, casinos, cinemas and other previously-restricted businesses get back to the grind in high-risk areas. 

With 1,242 new cases of COVID-19 reported, Monday's daily increase count is the second-highest we've seen to date, beaten out only by the walloping 1,328 new infections confirmed on Sunday.

Combined with numbers around the 1,000 mark for most of last week, this brings us to a new seven-day high average of 1,106 cases per day.

Twelve new coronavirus deaths were recorded through the province's integrated Public Health Information System on Sunday, and 821 more cases are now considered to be resolved.

Ontario's overall recovery rate currently sits at 85.1 per cent, while the mortality rate due to COVID-19 is at 3.8 per cent with 3,245 deaths in total.

Among the new cases confirmed province-wide on Monday morning, 483 are from Toronto, 279 from Peel, 107 from York Region, 74 from Ottawa and 57 from Hamilton.

It's worth noting that "modified Stage 2" restrictions were lifted in every Ontario "hot spot" public health region (save for Toronto) on Saturday.

In the case of Peel, which went into the "red zone" of the province's new colour-coded coronavirus restriction system, gyms, bars and restaurants were allowed to reopen on November 7, but with a maximum capacity limit of 10 patrons per venue.

The health regions of York and Ottawa, on the other hand, left modified Stage 2 for the new system's "orange-restrict" level on Saturday, allowing high-risk businesses to reopen with public gathering limits of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors (private social gatherings are still capped at 10 and 25.)

Toronto, which will remain in modified Stage 2 for an extra week at the request of Mayor John Tory, is expected to enter the orange zone on November 14.

This will see bars, gyms, indoor restaurants and other places considered to be high-risk for virus transmission resume operations after more than a month of being closed (with safety protocols in place, of course.)

All other regions in Ontario entered either the "green-prevent" or "yellow-protect" zones at midnight on November 7.

With test positivity rates reaching historic new highs (we saw five per cent on Sunday), people are questioning the government's decision to loosen restrictions anywhere at this time.

Perhaps anticipating this kind of reaction, the province announced Monday morning that it would be providing additional public health supports to Peel Region, specifically, by way of expanding access to testing, increasing hospital capacity and boosting contact management.

Peel has even gone so far as to roll out its own "strong recommendations" for residents to follow amid the ongoing health crisis.

"We are working across government and alongside our partners in health care and public health to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Peel Region," said Health Minister Christine Elliott of the plan on Monday.

"Our government is focusing public health resources where they are needed the most to protect the individuals, families and workers in Peel Region."

Lead photo by

Hospital CLÍNIC

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