Ontario reports 721 new cases of COVID-19, 170 in Peel

Deputy Premier Elliott

Ontario reports 721 new COVID-19 cases; majority in Toronto, Peel and York

One hundred contact tracers have already been hired and many will begin work this week.

Another 721 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Ontario on Wednesday, bringing the province's pandemic total to 61,413. "Case and contact management is a key component of Ontario's fall preparedness plan".

Premier Doug Ford said $1.37 billion will be spent to enhance contact tracing and testing. "As part of that plan, our government will continue to work collaboratively with public health units and provide additional staff and resources to support this important work".

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The bulk of the new cases are among those under the age of 60. The members of this critical and growing workforce are all working to keep Ontarians safe and healthy.

Last Friday, Ford ordered the closures of gyms and fitness centres in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa because of rapidly rising case levels on the advice of his health experts in addition to banning indoor dining and drinking, indoor team sports, and closures of theatres, bingo halls and casinos. In response, the province is providing an additional 150 staff to the Ottawa area and over 200 staff are being onboarded in Toronto.

The government has also recently implemented a centralized Public Health Case and Contact Management (CCM) I&IT System.

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"That greatly reduced the amount of movement that people particpated in, and there was a great shutdown in public gatherings and public venues, therefore the number of contacts per case is much less than it is now".

No new cases of COVID-19 were recorded Wednesday by Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health.

The latest date showed the health unit said no person was listed as hospitalized nor are any people in intensive care. "It may reflect that less tests were done. however it also indicates that we see transmission in the community at this point, and that's no surprise". Providing this data will help accelerate case management and contact tracing work.

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It's another sign Ontario isn't ready for the expected spread of COVID-19 this fall, said Green Leader Mike Schreiner.

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