COVID-19: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on April 17

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Here are the latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Saturday:

Ontario to ‘curtail’ new police powers: source

The Canadian Press reports that the Ontario government should reverse new police powers to enforce pandemic measures.

A source familiar with the discussions – but who was not authorized to speak publicly about it – said a “scoping” clarification is in the process of being approved.

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The new powers allow the police to stop anyone at random and ask why they are not home and where they live.

The measures announced by Premier Doug Ford on Friday drew strong criticism.

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Ontario government changes new temporary police powers against COVID-19 after widespread backlash

Many police departments say they won’t use new powers

Before the announcement that the Ontario government would “curtail” the new police powers announced on Friday, many police forces across the province said they would not use the new measures.

The Toronto Police Service, Peel Regional Police, York Regional Police and Halton Police Service are among the forces that have said they will not be used.

“The Toronto Police Service will continue to engage, educate and enforce, but we will not be making random people or car stops,” a post on the Toronto Police Twitter account said. .

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“We can all do our part for everyone’s health and safety. The Toronto Police Service will continue to engage and enforce fairly and effectively, always recognizing that we must inspire public confidence.

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Many Ontario police services will not use new powers of COVID-19 to conduct random stops

Government backs off on playground closures

In a tweet published on Saturday afternoon, Premier Doug Ford said his government would reverse a measure originally announced on Friday that also drew widespread criticism.

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Ford said the regulations would be changed to allow the playgrounds to reopen.

“Ontario’s tighter restrictions were always aimed at preventing large gatherings where spread can occur,” he said.

“Our rules will be changed to allow playgrounds, but outdoor gatherings will still apply. Play outdoors safely. Parents keep your distance and wear masks if you cannot. ”

New measures enter into force

Premier Doug Ford announced a series of new restrictions on Friday that went into effect as early as Saturday morning.

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The province’s stay-at-home order is extended for another two weeks, outdoor gatherings are now limited to members of the same household only – although people living alone can join another household – and many recreation such as sports fields and golf courses are now closed.

Ford backtracked on playground closures on Saturday – a day after announcing their closure – amid fierce criticism.

Read more:

Ontario’s new COVID-19 restrictions include increased police powers and restriction on gatherings

State of Business in the Greater Toronto Area

Ontario reported 4,362 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday.

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From these:

  • 1162 were in Toronto
  • 936 were in Peel region
  • 430 were in York Region
  • 301 were in Durham Region
  • 144 were in the Halton region

Ontario reports more than 4,300 new cases, 34 deaths

Ontario reported 4,362 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 412,745.

Thirty-four new deaths were also reported, marking a third wave high and bringing the death toll in the province to 7,698.

The province said the positivity rate for the last day was 6.9%, which is down from Friday’s report, when it was 8.2%, and up from the report. from last Saturday, where it was 6.5%.

Provincial figures show 2,065 people are hospitalized with the virus (up 110 to a new pandemic high), including 726 in intensive care (up 25), including 501 on a ventilator (up 21).

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Ontario Reports More Than 4,300 New COVID-19 Cases, 34 Deaths

Over 107,000 more vaccines administered in Ontario

As of Friday evening, 3,751,316 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Ontario, an increase of 107,278 doses.

To date, 344,244 people in the province are considered fully immunized.

– With files from the Canadian Press

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© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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