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Ontario reported 1,058 cases of COVID-19 on Monday as a long-term hot spot for the disease moves back to the province’s color-coding system.
Today’s update includes new cases 325 in Toronto, 215 in the Peel region and 87 in the York region, where businesses are allowed to reopen and essential retailers and restaurants can welcome customers back with capacity limits.
York formally moved to the red “control” level of Ontario’s reopening structure this morning, meaning the home stay order has been lifted.
The area continues to have the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario, but the local health officer asked the province to move it to a rebuilt structure to bring it in line with other public health departments in Ontario.
Orders for Toronto, Peel and North Bay-Barry Sounds to stay only until at least March 8 are in effect.
Other public health units that have seen double-digit increases in confirmed cases are:
- Hamilton: 56
- Ottawa: 51
- Waterloo Region: 48
- Simko Muscoca: 47
- Durham Region: 45
- Thunder Bay: 32
- Halton Region: 28
- Northwest: 26
- Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 18
- Niagara Region: 14
- Lampton: 10
- Windsor-Essex: 10
(Note: All figures used in this story are found on or below the COVID-19 dashboard of the Ministry of Health Daily epidemiological summary. The number of cases for any region may differ from that reported by the local public health unit, as local units report statistics at different times.)
Ontario’s laboratory network for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, has just completed 31,163 tests and reported a positive test rate of 3.3 percent.
The seven-day average of daily cases rose to 1,045. There was a drop in the seven-day average that began on January 11th.
There are now approximately 10,335 confirmed, active infections in the province.
The Ministry of Health said there were 646 people with Govt-19 in hospitals. Of them, 280 were being treated in intensive care and 189 needed a ventilator.
The official figure for Ontario has risen to 6,872.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education announced a further 55 school-related illnesses, 47 students and eight staff.
The ministry also released the initial results of its recently launched symptom testing program as part of the government’s plan to reopen all publicly funded schools.
A total of 3,706 students were examined in 416 schools, broken by the public health department:
- 336 schools in the Peel region
- 40 schools in Toronto
- 35 schools in Ottawa
- Three schools in Sutbury
- Two schools in Hamilton
This test confirmed COVID-19 cases in 32 students, or .86 percent of all tested. Two additional trials are pending in the Peel region.
The ministry said it planned to provide weekly updates on the results of the project.
In addition, the province administered 12,922 doses of Covid-19 vaccines yesterday, according to the Ministry of Health. A total of 240,669 people have now received two shots of a single vaccine and are fully immunized.
Later today, the state’s chief public health officer is due to testify before a commission of inquiry into how Ontario’s response to COVID-19 affected long-term care homes.
Dr. David Williams’ comments will not be broadcast live, but the long-term maintenance COVID-19 Commission is expected to release a transcript later.
And funding for 373 PSWs
The Ministry of Labor, Training and Skills Development says it will spend $ 4.1 million to train hundreds of personal support workers.
In a statement, the ministry said the money would go towards eight projects in the worst-hit regions and help train 373 new PSUs.
Many projects are already underway, while others will begin in the spring, the release said.
Some funds will also be used to develop educational resources to reduce exposure to BSW infections.