Province imposing tighter restrictions on Toronto, Ottawa, Peel Region amid increased COVID-19 caseload

939 cases announced on Friday

As COVID numbers continue to grow, the provincial government is putting tigher restrictions in place in Ontario hot spots.

Public Health Ontario officials confirmed this afternoon, Toronto, Ottawa, and Peel Region will roll back into a modified Stage 2 of recovery; while schools and daycares in these locations are expected to remain open, the modified restrictions will impact many other sectors.

These restrictions include banning indoor service at bars and restaurants in these locations, as well as the closure of gyms, fitness studios, cinemas, and casinos/gaming halls. No sporting events are permitted while training can continue. Eateries can continue to provide patio or take-out service.

Further limits are being placed on gatherings in these areas, with a maximum of 10 people indoors, and 25 outdoors.

It is expected these restrictions will come into effect Saturday, October 10, at 12:01, and will remain in effect for 28 days after that.

“The health experts presented the most recent health data which identified some alarming public health trends that require immediate attention and early action to keep people safe,” said Premier Ford. “That’s why we are making the difficult, but necessary decision to accept the health advice, and impose further restrictions in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region. By taking action ahead of the long weekend, we will help contain the spread in these hotspots, protect the surrounding communities, shield our seniors and most vulnerable, and contain the second wave surge. At the same time, we are providing support to our small businesses in these hotspots.”

Health officials point to a dangerous trend, with seven consecutive weeks of growing case counts in these hot spots. Hospitalizations are up over 250 percent over the past three weeks, according to Public Health Ontario.

Modeling data released Friday indicates the province could experience a worst-case scenario like that seen in northern Italy, where hospitals were overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.

On Friday, Public Health Ontario confirmed 939 cases of COVID-19, after nearly 45,000 tests were run. Toronto, Ottawa, and Peel region contributed a combined 612 cases to that total.