The Department of Health attributes part of the rise to a download error, which it says has since been corrected. He says today’s numbers include cases from Toronto public health that should have been factored into yesterday’s tally.
Saturday’s new numbers come as Ontario announced tighter restrictions will come into effect at York Region long-term care homes on Monday to match those already in place at homes in Toronto, Ottawa and the region of Peel.
These precautions include:
- Limit visitors to only essential visitors, including caregivers.
- Interrupt short-term and temporary absences for social or personal reasons. Only absences for medical or compassionate reasons will be authorized.
“We recognize that these restrictions are introduced just a week after we announced new measures for the City of Toronto, the Region of Peel and the City of Ottawa,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care , in a press release on Saturday.
“We also know we need to act quickly to deal with changing conditions to protect the residents and staff of Ontario’s long-term care homes. ”
A full list of affected homes can be found here.
Dr Nathan Stall, a geriatrician with Sinai Health in Toronto, said that with these new restrictions, the next concern will be to ensure that residents’ mental health and well-being becomes top priorities.
Although he said it was an important decision to restrict some activity inside and outside homes, the new policies are “pretty blunt.”
“Is it so brutal that we are going to restrict individuals from the basic needs they need to maintain their mental and physical well-being during this pandemic?” ” he said.
Stall applauded the regional approach to restrictions on long-term care homes, but said the province “needs to be careful” when adopting policies that restrict outings among a fragile population.
“There is a big difference between going to a social gathering… and being opposed to going for a walk outside. “
York Region to move to amended Stage 2
The new restrictions come a day after Ontario announced tougher health measures for all of York Region to contain what the province is calling an “alarming” spike in COVID-19 cases in that region.
Premier Doug Ford said the region would revert to a modified Stage 2 of the province’s pandemic plan, which bans indoor service in restaurants, closes gyms and movie theaters and limits public gatherings to 10 people inside and 25 people outside.
The more stringent measures will take effect Monday and will be in effect for 28 days.
“I hate doing this,” Ford said as he announced the restrictions on Friday. “We just need to stop the spread. ”
The announcement comes a week after Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa were placed under similar restrictions amid the rise in cases.
Most regions entered Phase 2, which imposed restrictions on non-essential businesses, in June and moved to Phase 3 in July, although a few were slower to complete.
Almost all businesses and public spaces have been cleared to reopen in Stage 3, with sanitary measures in place.
Elliott said on Friday there had been an “alarming upward trend” in cases in York Region recently, and evidence of community spread that requires stronger public health intervention. You can watch his comments in the video below:
Ontario sees 10 new deaths
Other regions are also experiencing a larger increase in COVID-19 cases.
Areas that saw double-digit increases on Saturday include:
- Durham Region: 30.
- Halton Region: 25.
- Region of Waterloo: 19.
- Hamilton: 12.
- Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health: 10.
Meanwhile, the official death toll from COVID-19 in Ontario has increased by 10 and now stands at 3,041.
The province now has a total of 63,713 COVID-19 cases, of which 54,686 are considered resolved. Some 682 cases were marked resolved in Saturday’s update.
The number of patients in Ontario hospitals has increased by 17 and now stands at 278.
Those requiring intensive care have also increased by five and are now 72, while those requiring ventilators have increased from six to 42.
Ontario’s network of community, commercial and hospital laboratories yesterday processed 44,722 new coronavirus test samples, according to the ministry.
The backlog of tests awaiting processing currently stands at 33,630.