As of Wednesday, there were 45,383 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario reported to date. Compared to the previous day, this represents an increase of 315 confirmed cases (77 in Toronto), an increase of two deaths, and an increase of 154 resolved cases.
In an effort to further flatten the curve, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced today that the province will soon be lowering the limit on social gatherings — although no new health guidelines have been provided as yet. Currently, in Stage 3 of the provincial reopening, there is a limit of 50 people on social gatherings indoors and 100 outdoors.
Ford said he will have discussions with his cabinet, local mayors, and medical officers before going forward with the new guidelines.
“Yes there will be fines,” Ford added. “There’s going to be some severe, severe fines for people who want to ignore the regulations and the guidelines. So it’s going to be severe. They’re going to be the highest in the country, and they’re going to be under provincial jurisdiction, it’s not going to be under federal jurisdiction, so we’ll make sure that they’re followed through.”
More information on the new guidelines and fines should come this week.
Meanwhile, as of Wednesday, there has been a total of 41 positive cases of COVID-19 in Ontario schools. Ford’s team today announced the launch of a new interactive COVID-19 screening tool for students, parents, and teachers to help identify symptoms and manage cases of the novel coronavirus.
The free tool is only an aid and cannot actually diagnose an individual, but it is meant to help parents screen kids before they head to school, and for teachers and staff to screen themselves before going to school.
“We want everyone to put health and safety first,” Ford said. “We need parents to be able to pull their kids out of school, anytime, if they’re showing even mild symptoms.”