The CORONAVIRUS REPORT for THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2020

A look at the numbers

Our province is reporting 721 new cases of COVID-19 as of yesterday, despite a decline in the number of test results received.

The majority of the new cases were in the three hotspots, Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa.

Ottawa has the highest rate of new infections, per capita, in the province.

The number of people in hospital continues to trend upwards, with 231 now being treated, 64 are in intensive care.

The percentage of tests coming back positive surged to three per cent yesterday, a trend that medical officials say is very worrisome.

Meantime, the provincial government is hiring 600 new contact tracers, in an attempt to track the spread of the virus and limit potential outbreaks.

 

Stage Two possible in hot spots

Provincial medical officials will be discussing whether to impose modified Stage Two restrictions on other regions, as the number of COVID-19 cases increases sharply in areas around the current hotspots of Toronto, Peel Region, and Ottawa.

York Region saw 79 new diagnoses yesterday, while Hamilton reported 41, and the eastern Ontario region saw 20 new cases.

Ontario’s associate chief medical officer of health, Doctor Barbara Yaffe says, with rising numbers spreading to more regions, the issue of further restrictions will be discussed this week.

The modified rules have resulted in the closure of indoor service in restaurants and bars, and the closure of locations such as gyms.

 

New rules for long-term in hot zones

New rules come into effect tomorrow for long-term care homes in coronavirus hotspots.

Residents will no longer be allowed short-term or temporary absences for personal or social regions in Toronto, Peel Region, and Ottawa.

Earlier this month, attendance at long-term care homes in those areas was limited to staff, essential visitors, and essential caregivers only.

The Minister of Long-Term Care, Merrilee Fullerton, says she realizes the new restrictions will cause hardships.

But she adds the priority must be the health and safety of residents and staff.

 

Flu shots being ordered

Provincial health officials say there will be plenty of flu vaccine to go around, despite some shortages now being reported.

The government has been recommending people get the shot this fall, to avoid the double threat of coming down with influenza and COVID-19.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says any local shortages are temporary, with new batches arriving all the time.

Ontario has ordered more than five-million vaccine doses this year, about 15 per cent more than last year.

 

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