538 cases of COVID-19 reported province-wide, 19 locally

Ontario reported 538 cases of COVID-19 across the province on Thursday, while the local health unit reported 19.

Of Thursday’s province-wide increase, the biggest single contributor continues to be Toronto, with 229 cases of COVID-19 reported in the last 24 hours. There were 101 cases reported in Peel Region, 66 in Ottawa, and 43 in York Region, rounding out the biggest hot spots in the province.

Within Simcoe and Muskoka, the local health unit reported 19. Of those, there were six cases in Bradford-West Gwillimbury, five in Barrie, two each in Clearview, New Tecumseth, and Innisfil, with one in Springwater and in Muskoka Lakes. The majority of Thursday’s local caseload increase are below the age of 34, while two girls, one from Bradford, another from Barrie, are under the age of 17. One case came via close contact, two others were community-acquired, while the source of the rest remain under investigation.

On Thursday afternoon, the Ford Government announced it will be committing $461 million to temporarily increase the wages of over 147,000 personal support workers (PSWs)across Ontario. The PSW would have to delivery publicly funded personal support services, and the amount of the raise is dependent on the service offered:

  • $3 per hour for approximately 38,000 eligible workers in-home and community care;
  • $3 per hour for approximately 50,000 eligible workers in long-term care;
  • $2 per hour for approximately 12,300 eligible workers in public hospitals; and
  • $3 per hour for approximately 47,000 eligible workers in children, community and social services providing personal direct support services for the activities of daily living.

The temporary wage increase came into effect October 1, anc could extend through March 31, 2021.

With the recent rise in cases and affirmation that we’re in a second wave of the virus, Health Minister Christine Elliott details what the government looks for when deciding whether to roll back any restrictions. “We take a look at a variety of issues. Of course, the increase in case counts on a daily basis, where they’re happening, the hospital’s ability to cope, the reproductive number of cases, that determines what sort of a setting we expect to reach,” she said Thursday afternoon. “We released the modeling the other day, which shows a concerning increase in cases. So we’re watching this very closely.”