Ontario reported 1,249 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday — a decrease from the 1,487 cases recorded on Monday. The province also reported 12 new deaths (an increase from the 10 deaths reported on Monday). These figures bring the total number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario to 96,745, with 80,430 cases resolved, and 3,383 deaths.
Ontario is reporting 1,249 cases of #COVID19. Locally, there are 569 new cases in Toronto, 256 in Peel and 94 in York Region. There are 1,135 more resolved cases and nearly 26,500 tests completed.
Today’s numbers will be available at 10:30 a.m. at https://t.co/ypmgZbVRvn.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) November 17, 2020
Even with a decrease in overall cases in the province, Tuesday’s case count marked a record high for Toronto, with 569 new cases (an increase from the 538 cases reported on Monday). The city officially entered the red category of Ontario’s new, colour-coded COVID-19 response framework on Saturday, meaning extra measures will be in effect for at least 28 days.
Restrictions at the red level are the most severe available before wide-scale business or organizational closure. General public health measures include gathering limits (for all organized public events and social gatherings) of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors; requirement for workplace screening; face coverings required in indoor workplaces and indoor public spaces. For restaurants and bars, restrictions include a maximum of 10 people permitted to be seated indoors, with a two-metre minimum between tables.
In response to the increasing numbers in Toronto, Dr. Eileen de Villa, the medical officer of health for Toronto, issued an order under section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act last week.
“This order strengthens COVID-19 protections for Toronto under the provincial Reopening Ontario Act to prevent the further spread of the virus and prevent healthcare systems from being overwhelmed,” the city stated in a press release on Monday. “The penalties associated with being found guilty of an offence under the Health Protection and Promotion Act (namely failure to comply with a s. 22 Order) range from up to $5,000 per day for an individual and $25,000 per day for a corporation.”
Over the weekend, city enforcement teams inspected businesses for compliance with new COVID-19 regulations. In the entertainment district, enforcement teams inspected approximately 80 restaurants and bars — 71 were found to be in compliance, with five charges laid for non-compliant indoor dining.
Enforcement teams also responded to 25 complaints related to gatherings on private property over the weekend, including a large birthday party being held in a commercial storage unit in Etobicoke, with more than 100 people in attendance. Officers shut down the party and laid charges under the Reopening Ontario Act against the organizer.
How desperate do you have to be to hold a birthday party in a storage locker for 100+ people? At no point did anyone think through the sheer stupidity? Is a party even fun at that point?
— Rabioli ➍ (@queen7fold) November 17, 2020
In a press conference on Monday, Mayor John Tory encouraged Toronto residents to stay at home — and to not visit family or friends with whom they do not live (indoors or outdoors).
“To me, the status quo is not enough. And even our stronger series of measures should be made stronger still,” Tory said. “Please stay home except for essential travel like getting your groceries, going to the doctor, getting your exercise, or going to work if you can’t work from home.”
Our advice right now from our public health professionals is very simple: Please stay home.
Please stay home except for essential travel like getting your groceries, going to the doctor, getting your exercise, or going to work if you can’t work from home. pic.twitter.com/FJCwqpE4rE
— John Tory (@JohnTory) November 16, 2020
Toronto is also working with other GTA cities, as well as the provincial government, to come up with even more restrictions for the city.
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