Ontario has a fourth consecutive day with more than 400 new cases of COVID-19; Trump declares places of worship “essential”


The last new coronavirus news from Canada and around the world on Saturday (this file will be updated throughout the day). Web links to longer stories if available.

May 23

8:30 a.m. New infections caused by outbreaks in homes for the aged and other institutional settings have declined sharply since the peak in mid-April.

But the number of new cases caught every day everywhere else remains high – close to the highest levels the province has known since the start of the pandemic.

An analysis by Star found that many more people in Ontario are catching COVID-19 in the community than previously known.

May 22

11:30 p.m. President Donald Trump has called churches and other places of worship “essential” and called on the country’s governors to let them reopen this weekend, even though some areas remain under coronavirus control.

On Friday, the president threatened to “override” the governors who challenge him, but it is unclear what authority he has.

5 p.m. Ontario regional health units are reporting their fourth consecutive day with more than 400 new cases of COVID-19 as the rate of new infections has continued to increase in recent days, according to the Star’s latest count.

Health units reported a total of 26,260 confirmed and probable cases, including 2,113 deaths.

The total of 492 new confirmed and probable cases reported since the same time Thursday was again higher than recent daily averages, indicating that the decline in infection rates across the province has been reversed in recent days.

The recent increase in the number of cases has not been felt also in the province. The daily rate of new COVID-19 remained stable in the GTA outside Toronto this month, with an average of around 125 new cases reported per day. Similarly, the rate of new infections has stabilized in the rest of the province, outside the GTA, with an average of about 80 new cases reported per day since May 10.

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New cases have increased this week in Toronto; the city has among the highest levels of new cases reported since the start of the pandemic.

The 194 cases reported per day on average in the past seven days in Toronto are only less than the number the city saw for a short time in mid-April, as the epidemic peaked in the province.


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