Ontario sets another one-day record for new COVID-19 cases with 1,581; 20 more deaths

Deaths, hospitalizations and recoveries also climb

Less than 24 hours after the province announced changes to the colour-coded COVID system, Ontario set a new record number of daily infections on Saturday with 1,581 new cases, beating the old mark of 1,575 set on Thursday.

There were 1,003 more recoveries, but the province reported 20 more deaths on Saturday, the highest single-day death toll since the start of the second wave of the pandemic.

Another 50 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, bringing the tally province-wide to 502 patients. Of those, 107 are in intensive care and 66 are breathing with the help of a ventilator.

The province processed 44,387 tests in the past 24 hours, with 40,000 still to be cleared.

Today’s spike in cases, hospitalizations and deaths comes on the heels of a warning from Premier Doug Ford on Friday that Ontario is “staring down the barrel of another lockdown.”

Ford announced changesto the province’s tiered framework for the disease on Friday, lowering the thresholds for moving regions into more restrictive categories.

Toronto moved into the red zone on Saturday. York Region, Halton and Hamilton will do the same on Monday, and Peel Region has been in that category, one step away from a complete lockdown, since last week.

Simcoe Muskoka was kept in the yellow category.

The shift by the Ford government followed an outcry from the Ontario Medical Association, public health experts and epidemiologists who said the original plan was too lax.

New projections show the province could see as many as 6,500 new cases of COVID-19 per day by mid-December if more isn’t done to curb the spread of the illness.

General public health measures (gatherings, workplace requirements and face coverings)

  • Events and social gatherings (for example, barbeques):
    • 10 people indoors
    • 25 people outdoors
  • Organized public events and gatherings:
    • 50 people indoors
    • 100 people outdoors
  • Religious services, weddings and funerals:
    • 30% capacity indoors
    • 100 people outdoors
  • Requirement for workplace screening
  • Face coverings required in:
  • Where patrons without face coverings are within two metres of workers, workers must use additional protections such as eye protection
  • Workplaces must develop and implement a communication/public education plan (highlighting risk)
  • Physical distancing must be maintained
  • Non-essential travel from areas of high-transmission to areas of low transmission should be avoided

Restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments

  • Require patrons to be seated; 2 metre minimum between tables
  • Dancing, singing and performing music is permitted, with restrictions
  • Karaoke permitted, with restrictions (including no private rooms)
  • Require patron contact info (one per party)
  • No buffet style service
  • Night clubs only permitted to operate as restaurant or bar
  • Line-ups and patrons congregating outside venues managed by venue; 2 metres distance and face covering required
  • Face coverings except when eating or drinking only
  • Eye protection where patrons without face coverings are within 2 metres of workers
  • Limit operating hours, establishments must close at midnight
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 12 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Require contact information for all seated patrons
  • Limit of 6 people may be seated together
  • Limit volume of music (to be no louder than the volume of a normal conversation)
  • safety plan must be available upon request

Sports and recreational fitness facilities

  • Capacity limits:
    • 10 people indoors (classes)
    • 25 people outdoors (classes)
    • 50 people indoors (area with weights or exercise equipment)
  • Spectators allowed (50 indoors and 100 outdoors)
  • Limit of 50 people per room basis if operating in compliance with a plan approved by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (Guidance for Facilities for Sport and Recreational Fitness Activities During COVID-19)
  • Team or individual sports must be modified to avoid physical contact; 50 people per league
  • Exemption for high performance athletes and parasports
  • Limit volume of music to conversation level and prevent shouting by both instructors and members of the public
  • Face coverings required except when exercising
  • Increase spacing between patrons to 3 metres for areas of a sport or recreational facility where there are weights or weight machines and exercise and fitness classes
  • Require contact information for all patrons and attendance for team sports
  • Require reservation for entry; one reservation for teams
  • safety plan must be available upon request

Meeting and event spaces

  • Limits:
    • 50 people indoors
    • 100 people outdoors
    • exception for court and government services, weddings, funerals
  • Booking multiple rooms for the same event not permitted
  • 50 indoors per room, where physical distancing can be maintained if venue operates in accordance with the approved plan from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (Guidance for Meeting and Event Facilities During COVID-19)
  • Limit operating hours, establishments must close at midnight
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 12 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Require contact information for all seated patrons
  • Limit of 6 people may be seated together
  • Limit volume of music (to be no louder than the volume of a normal conversation)
  • safety plan must be available upon request

Retail

  • Fitting rooms must be limited to non-adjacent stalls
  • Line-ups and patrons congregating outside venues managed by venue; 2 metre distance and face covering required
  • Limit volume of music (to be no louder than the volume of a normal conversation)
  • For malls, a safety plan must be available upon request

Personal care services

  • Oxygen bars, steam rooms, saunas, and whirlpools closed
  • Require contact information from all patrons
  • safety plan must be available upon request

Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments

  • Capacity cannot exceed 50 persons
  • Table games are prohibited
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 12 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Require contact information from all patrons
  • safety plan must be available upon request

Cinemas

  • Limit in facility and area:
  • Face coverings except when eating or drinking only
  • Drive-in cinemas permitted to operate, subject to restrictions
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 12 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Require contact information from all patrons
  • safety plan must be available upon request

Performing arts facilities

  • Limits with 2 metre physical distance maintained:
    • 50 spectators indoors
    • 100 spectators outdoors
  • Singers and players of wind or brass instruments must be separated from spectators by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier
  • Rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcasted event permitted
  • Performers and employees must maintain 2 metre physical distance except for purposes of the performance
  • Drive-in performances permitted
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 12 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Require contact information from all patrons
  • safety plan must be available upon request