Ontario reports 1,589 new cases, and 19 new deaths

The Canadian Press

TORONTO – Ontario is reporting a record 1,589 new cases of COVID-19 today, and 19 new deaths due to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 535 cases are in Peel Region, 336 cases are in Toronto, and 205 cases are in York Region.

The province also reported 60 new COVID-19 cases related to schools, including at least 51 among students.

Those bring the number of schools with a reported case to 676 out of Ontario’s 4,828 publicly funded schools.

In the province’s long-term care homes, 528 residents currently have COVID-19 and 11 new deaths have been reported today.

The province says 101 of its 626 long-term care homes are experiencing an outbreak.

Meanwhile, Toronto and Peel Region have entered the lockdown stage of Ontario’s pandemic protection plan today.

It means that for at least the next 28 days, non-essential retailers can only offer curbside pickup, while restaurants are closed to all but takeout and delivery orders in the two COVID-19 hot spots.

Personal services have also been forced to close, but schools and child-care centres remain open.

Premier Doug Ford announced the move on Friday, but it didn’t come into effect until 12:01 a.m. today.

That gave residents of Toronto and Peel the chance to stock up over the weekend — flooding local malls, even as the facilities extended hours in an effort to prevent too many people from coming at once.

While Toronto and Peel face the strictest measures, other areas of the province are also seeing rules tighten.

Durham Region and Waterloo joined York Region in the red classification today. The rules limit restaurants, gyms and food courts to 10 indoor patrons with social distancing, with even tighter restrictions on private gatherings.

The areas around Huron, Perth, Simcoe, Muskoka, and Windsor-Essex have moved to the orange classification, which caps gatherings at staffed businesses to 50 people indoors, or four per table at restaurants.