Ontario reported an additional 783 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, with an increase of 779 resolved cases for a total of 53,291 recoveries to date. The death toll increased by five to 3,022.
New cases are concentrated in the usual four public health units:
- Toronto: 239
- Peel Region: 136
- York Region: 127
- Ottawa: 89
While 127 cases is a new record high for York Region, Ottawa currently has the worst per-capita rate of COVID-19 cases in Ontario — even more than Toronto, according to health officials.
“Just over the last week, Ottawa had 70 people per 100,000 testing positive. Toronto had 57. If you look at the trend, Ottawa’s rate per 100,000 grew faster than the rate in Toronto, which was relatively stable,” Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s medical officer of health, said to city council on Wednesday.
In an effort to slow the spread of the virus, effective Oct. 10, the province implemented modified Stage 2 restrictions in COVID hot spots, including measures for gatherings and events (limited at 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors), and a number of business closures (e.g., indoor gyms and indoor dining at restaurants).
Meanwhile, the City of Toronto’s COVID-19 enforcement team continues to respond to complaints and enforce provincial orders and bylaws. On Tuesday, the city received 25 complaints related to parks use and physical distancing, 61 complaints related to businesses and two complaints related to gatherings on private property. Officers issued one notice related to gatherings on private property.
In his daily press briefing, Ontario Premier Doug Ford asked Ontarians to download the COVID Alert app and, again, urged food delivery companies to cut their commission rates for restaurants in COVID hot spots in the province, as their businesses will be affected by the latest provincial restrictions.
NEW: On food delivery app commissions he wants lowered, Premier Doug Ford just issued “warning number two” to the companies and says he will “bring down the hammer” if they don’t do it voluntarily. #COVID19 #onpoli
— Rob Ferguson (@robferguson1) October 15, 2020
Ford says this is “warning number two” for the food delivery companies.
“All I’m asking is, be part of the team. Don’t be greedy, because I can’t stand when people are greedy,” Ford noted. “And don’t charge these restaurants 30 per cent, and then, on top of it, they got the delivery charge, the service charge — they keep tacking it on. And the poor restaurant owners, they’re the ones holding the bag.”
With rising case numbers and a growing testing backlog, the federal government has a contract to buy nearly 7.9 million of the ID NOW COVID-19 tests from Abbott Rapid Diagnostics, where results are reportedly expected in 13 minutes or less.
With the first shipment of rapid tests reportedly being delivered to Canada this week, Ford was asked about how many tests Ontario will get and how they’ll be distributed.
“We’ll set the priority for long term care, frontline healthcare workers,” Ford said, noting that he’ll have more information later today.
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