- The Premier announces that the province will shut down parts of the construction industry.
- Provincial health officials reveal projections suggesting COVID-19 could kill 3,000 to 15,000 people.
- Ontario confirmed 462 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. Pthe provincial total is now 3,255.
- The official count includes 67 deaths.
- CBC News has accumulated data from local public health units and counted 81 deaths in the province.
- Across the province, 1,023 cases are considered resolved.
- A total of 66,753 tests were administered province-wide and 1,245 people are awaiting test results.
- The Pinecrest Nursing Home has reported four additional resident deaths in a COVID-19 outbreak, bringing the total to 20.
- The health unit west of Toronto apologizes after mistakenly sending letters to 16 people telling them that their COVID-19 tests were negative when in fact they were positive.
- Health Minister Christine Elliott announces a new online site for the public to access the results of its COVID-19 tests.
- The province is making a new order under the Emergency Management and Emergency Preparedness Act to give health units more flexibility by hiring retired nurses, medical students and volunteers.
Premier Doug Ford has announced that the province will shut down parts of the province’s construction industry as part of an effort to contain COVID-19.
The changes come as the government updates its list of essential businesses and services in response to recommendations from public health officials to further restrict physical interactions between people.
Private sector industrial, commercial and institutional projects will be affected, while public sector infrastructure and some residential construction will be allowed to continue.
Health sector projects, including all work necessary to ensure the production of critical medical equipment and devices, as well as those necessary to maintain the operations of petrochemical plants and refineries, will be exempt from closure.
Ford said it would continue to follow the advice of public health officials to determine if the list of essential businesses should be refined, but reiterated that supply chains for food and other essential items would remain in place, c ie grocery stores and pharmacies, for example, will remain open.
Meanwhile, Ontario cannabis retail outlets have been removed from the essentials list and will be forced to close, although people can still order from the province’s online store.
Meanwhile, senior provincial health officials have revealed projections that suggest COVID-19 could kill 3,000 to 15,000 people in the province during the pandemic, which could last up to two years. You can find out more about this here, or review the province’s presentation of this data yourself at the bottom of this story.
“I think it’s important that we all be very realistic about the magnitude of the challenge we face,” said Dr. Peter Donnelly, director of Public Health Ontario, on Friday.
But these projections also show that Ontario’s actions to date to slow the spread of COVID-19 have prevented thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of cases, and that stronger action today would save hundreds more lives.
Just two days ago, Prime Minister Doug Ford resisted calls to release the screenings. Now he says the move could also serve as a wake-up call for some Ontarians who don’t take physical distancing seriously.
“These are striking and sobering numbers,” said Ford at a press conference after the projections were released on Friday.
“The numbers are real,” says Williams.
Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, hopes these figures will keep people following the directions of health officials.
“The numbers are real, the numbers are difficult, they can be a little scary for some people,” Williams said at an afternoon press conference.
“I think the need is to turn that apprehension into a determination to do what we need to do, because we have told you what you have to do.” You can do it. We had an impact.
“You have made an impact and, as the Premier said, we know the people of Ontario are up to the task and we ask you to focus on that for the next two weeks,” said added Williams.
Provincial total of cases up to 3,255
Ontario confirmed 462 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the provincial total to 3,255.
The official count includes 67 deaths, but CBC News has accumulated data from local public health units and counted 97 deaths in the province.
Another 1,023 cases are considered resolved – a jump of about 30% since the last update.
Some 1,245 people are awaiting test results, more than 800 fewer than Thursday. A total of 66,753 tests were administered across the province.
The most recent data provides an overview of the situation in Ontario at 4 p.m. And yesterday.
In terms of hospitalizations:
- 462 cases of COVID-19 were hospitalized.
- 194 cases are in intensive care units.
- 140 cases are under fans.
The province has also offered this distribution of cases since January 15, 2020:
- 48.5% are men, while 50.9% are women.
- About 32% of the cases are aged 60 and over.
- Public health units in the Greater Toronto Area account for 53% of the cases.
Meanwhile, a nursing home in central Ontario is reporting four other residents’ deaths in a COVID-19 outbreak, bringing the total to 20.
The local health unit estimates that the outbreak at the Pinecrest nursing home in Bobcaygeon is the largest in the province, with at least 24 staff members also infected.
Peel false test results
Meanwhile, a regional health unit west of Toronto apologized after mistakenly sending letters to 16 people who said their COVID-19 tests were negative when in fact positive.
Dr. Lawrence Loh, Acting Medical Officer of Health in Peel, said in a statement that the letters were posted Tuesday and Wednesday. His unit was informed of the errors Thursday evening, he added.
“I know that the relief these residents felt for a few moments unfortunately turned into feelings of fear and uncertainty. Our team works quickly to inform these residents and make sure they have what they need to manage this difficult situation, “said Loh.
Investigation has revealed that several positive test sheets were mixed with a batch of negative results received from the laboratories, according to Loh. The Peel Health Unit has changed its process to avoid repeating the errors.
“On behalf of the Peel region, I apologize to the residents affected by this error,” said Loh.
Online portal for test results
Health Minister Christine Elliott has announced a new online site that will allow the public to access the results of its COVID-19 tests.
The hope is that it will ease the burden on local public health units “so that they can better focus on mastering COVID-19,” Elliott said in a statement.
In addition, the province has also issued a new Emergency Management and Emergency Preparedness Act to give health units more flexibility by hiring retired nurses, medical students and volunteers .
The order comes after Ontario’s top medical official recommended more aggressive contact tracing to track the spread of the coronavirus in the community.
You can read the full Ontario government model below: