Ontario reports 3,469 new COVID-19 cases, 22 deaths  Global NewsView Full coverage on Google News
According to Tuesday's report, 1074 cases were recorded in Toronto, 775 in Peel Region, 406 in York Region, 197 in Ottawa, 256 in Durham Region and 106 in Niagara.According to Tuesday's report, 1074 cases were recorded in Toronto, 775 in Peel Region, 406 in York Region, 197 in Ottawa, 256 in Durham Region and 106 in Niagara.

Ontario reports 3,469 new COVID-19 cases, 22 deaths | Globalnews.ca

Ontario reported another 4,212 cases of COVID-19 and 32 more deaths linked to the illness on Wednesday, as the government confirmed "enhancements" to the federal paid sick leave program are coming.Ontario reported another 4,212 cases of COVID-19 and 32 more deaths linked to the illness on Wednesday, as the government confirmed "enhancements" to the federal paid sick leave program are coming.

www.cbc.ca

Ottawa Public Health is reporting 181 more people in the city have tested positive for COVID-19 and one more person has died.Ottawa Public Health is reporting 181 more people in the city have tested positive for COVID-19 and one more person has died.

Ottawa sees second day of fewer than 200 new COVID-19 cases | CTV News

Ontario reported 4,212 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 32 deaths, as some early signs hinted case growth may be slowing.Ontario reported 4,212 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 32 deaths, as some early signs hinted case growth may be slowing.

Ontario reports 4,212 new coronavirus cases; 32 deaths | CP24.com

The Greater Toronto Area is home to the greatest number of food processing facilities in Canada, supporting supply chains across the country and aroun...The Greater Toronto Area is home to the greatest number of food processing facilities in Canada, supporting supply chains across the country and aroun...

www.thestar.com

Toronto and Peel want businesses with more than five COVID-19 cases closed, but York Region has a different approachToronto and Peel want businesses with more than five COVID-19 cases closed, but York Region has a different approach

www.yorkregion.com

Public health experts, labour groups and local officials have been calling for sick-leave support for much of the pandemic, arguing it would reduce COVID-19 spread in workplacesPublic health experts, labour groups and local officials have been calling for sick-leave support for much of the pandemic, arguing it would reduce COVID-19 spread in workplaces

Ontario cabinet finalizing sick-leave plan to be released in coming days - Kitchener News

Ottawa Police will no longer be maintaining a 24/7 presence on the interprovincial checkpoints in place between Ottawa and Gatineau.Ottawa Police will no longer be maintaining a 24/7 presence on the interprovincial checkpoints in place between Ottawa and Gatineau.

Ottawa police halts 24/7 presence at interprovincial checkpoints - 680 NEWS

The province has now administered more than four million doses of vaccinations against COVID-19Read the full story and comment on OrilliaMatters.

Ontario reports 4,212 new COVID cases Wednesday - Orillia News

Ontario reported more than 4,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday after dropping below that mark the day beforeOntario reported more than 4,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday after dropping below that mark the day before

Ontario's daily COVID-19 cases back above 4,000, another 32 deaths reported - CityNews Toronto

Here are the latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Wednesday.Here are the latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Wednesday.

COVID-19: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on April 21 | Globalnews.ca

Here are the latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Wednesday.

COVID-19: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on April 21 | Globalnews.ca

Ottawa's board of health passed a motion calling for additional powers to enforce COVID-19 measures in Ontario and a reduction in businesses deemed essential in the third wave.Ottawa's board of health passed a motion calling for additional powers to enforce COVID-19 measures in Ontario and a reduction in businesses deemed essential in the third wave.

Ottawa Board of Health asks Ontario for more COVID-19 enforcement powers - Ottawa | Globalnews.ca

Ottawa's board of health passed a motion calling for additional powers to enforce COVID-19 measures in Ontario and a reduction in businesses deemed essential in the third wave.

Ottawa Board of Health asks Ontario for more COVID-19 enforcement powers - Ottawa | Globalnews.ca

Ontario reported 4,212 cases of COVID-19 and 32 deaths on Wednesday.Ontario reported 4,212 cases of COVID-19 and 32 deaths on Wednesday.

Ontario reports 4,212 COVID-19 cases and 32 deaths - CHCH

Ontario is reporting a jump back above 4,000 COVID-19 cases, but a drop in the positivity rate. On Wednesday, 4,212 new cases were confirmed in the province.

Province reports 4,212 new COVID-19 cases and 32 more deaths on Wednesday | Durham Radio News

Here are the latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Tuesday.Here are the latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Tuesday.

COVID-19: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on April 20 | Globalnews.ca

Bloomberg - Are you a robot?

Ontario reports 4,212 new cases, hospitalizations decline, ICU numbers climb President Joe Biden says the U.S. plans to provide Canada with more help in…

COVID-19: Ontario preparing paid sick-leave program; Quebec sees first case of 'Indian' variant | Ottawa Citizen

COVID-19: Ontario preparing paid sick-leave program; Quebec sees first case of 'Indian' variant | Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa's medical officer of health believes a tighter list of which businesses can open will reduce chances for COVID-19 to spread.Ottawa's medical officer of health believes a tighter list of which businesses can open will reduce chances for COVID-19 to spread.

Closing more businesses could prevent COVID-19 outbreaks, Ottawa’s top doc says - Ottawa | Globalnews.ca

Ottawa Public Health is reporting 186 new COVID-19 cases and one death related to the virus on Tuesday as workplaces across the city face numerous outbreaks.Ottawa Public Health is reporting 186 new COVID-19 cases and one death related to the virus on Tuesday as workplaces across the city face numerous outbreaks.

Ottawa Public Health reports 186 COVID-19 cases, 16 active workplace outbreaks - Ottawa | Globalnews.ca

Following in the footsteps of Peel Region, Toronto Public Health just announced new safety measures that will require workplaces in which COVID-19 ...Following in the footsteps of Peel Region, Toronto Public Health just announced new safety measures that will require workplaces in which COVID-19 ...

Toronto throws subtle shade at Ford government with new Section 22 workplace order

Data released last week showed Peel Region had the highest COVID-19 positivity rate in the province at 15 per cent

Peel Region orders businesses with 5 or more COVID-19 cases to shut down | National Post

Peel Region orders businesses with 5 or more COVID-19 cases to shut down | National Post

"You cannot bargain with this virus. With any other national disaster, we would shut things down""You cannot bargain with this virus. With any other national disaster, we would shut things down"

"We can't vaccinate our way out of the third wave": Why Peel public health chief Lawrence Loh is shutting down workplaces with outbreaks

Just hours after a similar announcement in Peel region, Toronto Public Health (TPH) announced a Toronto workplace shutdown for any businesses dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. In a press release published on Tuesday, TPH explained a new Section 22 order will force Toronto/GTA workplaces — or portions of workplaces — with an outbreak to close fully for a minimum of 10 days. Editor's Choice: Rogers Just Revealed Exactly What Went Wrong During That Giant Outage Toronto Public Health issues Section 22 Class Order to close workplaces to manage #COVID19 outbreaks. News release: https://t.co/XRtq6ezFBc pic.twitter.com/s1bNX7h34L — City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) April 20, 2021 "As easily transmitted COVID-19 variants of concern spread quickly throughout Toronto and the GTA, outbreaks are increasingly linked to workplaces, where the virus can spread through close contact between workers," the city said in the release. "At the City of Toronto we will continue to take every action, implement every measure, and do absolutely everything in our power to keep essential workers safe. That’s our commitment," added City Councillor Joe Cressy. If an outbreak — defined as five confirmed cases in 14 days — is declared at a workplace, workers will have to self-isolate for the 10-day period.They are following in the footsteps of Peel region.

Toronto Workplace Shutdown Will Keep Some Businesses Closed For 10 Days - Narcity

TORONTO – A union that represents food and commercial workers says Tuesday decisions by Toronto and its neighbouring Peel Region to temporarily close businesses with COVID-19 outbreaks is a “reactive measure” that doesn’t go far enough. Toronto and Peel each announced Tuesday that businesses with five or more COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks

Peel, Toronto order to shut COVID-stricken business a 'reactive measure,' union says - Medicine Hat NewsMedicine Hat News

Canada's biggest city Toronto and neighboring Peel, both of which are in the midst of a third wave of COVID-19 infections, on Tuesday said they would order businesses to close if they had outbreaks involving five or more people, medical officials said.Canada's biggest city Toronto and neighboring Peel, both of which are in the midst of a third wave of COVID-19 infections, on Tuesday said they would order businesses to close if they had outbreaks involving five or more people, medical officials said.

Toronto area to close some workplaces amid COVID-19 surge | Reuters

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province . The latest coronavirus updates from across the province . 

COVID-19: What you need to know for April 20 | TVO.org

Toronto and Peel are moving to temporarily shutter businesses where multiple and linked cases of COVID-19 have occurred.

Toronto and Peel to shut down businesses with COVID cases | Toronto Sun

Workplaces that have five or more employees with cases of COVID-19 could be shut down for two weeks and have their names published on Peel Public Health's website.Workplaces that have five or more employees with cases of COVID-19 could be shut down for two weeks and have their names published on Peel Public Health's website.

www.bramptonguardian.com

A union representing food and commercial workers says a move by two municipal heath units to temporarily close businesses with COVID-19 outbreaks is a “reactive measure” to preventing virus spread. Toronto and Peel Region announced Tuesday that businesses with five or more COVID-19 cases in the past 14 days will be required to close for

Union says Peel, Toronto order to shut COVID-stricken businesses a 'reactive measure' - Medicine Hat NewsMedicine Hat News

Just a moment...

A union that represents food and commercial workers says Tuesday decisions by Toronto and its neighbouring Peel Region to temporarily close businesses with COVID-19 outbreaks is a reactive measure that doesn't go far enough. Toronto and Peel each announced Tuesday that businesses with five or more COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks will be required to close for 10 days.

Order to shut COVID-stricken businesses in Mississauga and Brampton a ‘reactive measure,’ union says | insauga.com

www.theglobeandmail.com

Ontario's two biggest COVID-19 hot spots are moving to temporarily close businesses with recent outbreaks of the virus in an effort to rein in surging case counts they said were fuelled by workplace spread.

Toronto, Peel to order temporary closure of businesses amid new COVID-19 outbreaks - BNN Bloomberg

Across Ontario, officials reported another 4,250 confirmed cases of COVID-19, along with 18 new deaths and 3,338 newly resolved cases.Across Ontario, officials reported another 4,250 confirmed cases of COVID-19, along with 18 new deaths and 3,338 newly resolved cases.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Ottawa reach 110 patients with 30 in ICU

Ontario released new data on the number of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths in the province on Monday morning.Ontario released new data on the number of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths in the province on Monday morning.

Ontario reports nearly 4,500 new COVID-19 infections | News

A record number of Ontarians are in hospital with COVID-19, according to figures released by the province Sunday.

Record number of Ontario residents in hospital Sunday—province | Sault Star

COVID-19 in Ontario on April 19: The testing positivity rate has climbed to an all-time high as hospitalizations pass the 2,200 markCOVID-19 in Ontario on April 19: The testing positivity rate has climbed to an all-time high as hospitalizations pass the 2,200 mark

COVID-19: Singh urges Ottawa to use Emergencies Act in Ontario; Province expands AstraZeneca eligibility to 40+ - NOW Magazine

The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 11 p.m. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has lowered the minimum age for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 11 p.m. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has lowered the minimum age for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada - Coast Reporter

Toronto and Peel Region are issuing orders to force businesses with five or more cases of COVID-19 in the past two weeks to close. Peel's top doctor said closures will last 10 days if it is found that those infected "could have reasonably acquired their infection at work" or if "no obvious source" for transmission is identified outside of the workplace. "Workplaces that remain open continue to be a major driver of COVID-19 cases in Peel, as they have been throughout the course of our emergency response," Dr. Lawrence Loh, medical officer of health for Peel Region, said in a news release Tuesday morning. All employees impacted by a closure will need to self-isolate and cannot work anywhere else during that period. Employees work at the Amazon fulfilment centre in Brampton, Ont., on Nov. 26, 2018.(Chris Young/The Canadian Press) The order will be issued through Section 22 of Ontario's Health Protection and Promotion Act, which grants local medical officers certain authority when faced with public health crises. Businesses and workplaces "essential to the well-being" of the region, such as health care, first responders and emergency child care, will not be forced to close, the release said. A full list of exempt workplaces will be included in the order later Tuesday. Toronto Public Health announced its decision following Peel, saying in a statement it had worked closely with the neighbouring region to develop the order. "This Section 22 order is meant to help slam the brakes on workplace outbreaks that we know are moving much faster due to the variants of concern," Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a statement. "I urge all employers to follow the public health advice to stop outbreaks and protect their employees including against the financial consequences of illness." An Amazon facility in Brampton that employs approximately 5,000 workers has been linked to more than 600 COVID-19 cases since October. An outbreak in March resulted in an order by Peel Public Health to close the warehouse for two weeks. Justin Brewer, a process assistant at the Amazon facility, told CBC News he supports the Section 22 order, and believes it will help keep him and his co-workers safe going forward. "I think it should of been done a long time ago, to be honest. I wish that this time last year this was all being done," he said. Manufacturers push back The manufacturing sector is "deeply disturbed" by the order, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters president and CEO Dennis Darby said in a statement. He called on the provincial government to intervene and create a co-ordinated plan for Ontario. "Although we recognize the situation is critical right now, this unilateral decision could have a catastrophic impact on Ontario's manufacturing sector," Darby said. The decision could impact the supply of food, personal protective equipment and medications, as well as disrupt global supply chains Canada contributes to including automotive and aerospace, he said. "The Region of Peel is putting the integrity of our supply chain at risk," said Darby. WATCH | Toronto, Peel issue orders to try and curb workplace outbreaks of COVID-19: Order is necessary, doctor says In an interview with CBC Radio's Metro Morning, Loh said he believes the order is necessary because the conventional approach of closing parts of workplaces to investigate outbreaks is not fast enough to keep up with the spread of variants of concern. "The story of Peel is the story of disparity, throughout the pandemic. It's the story of workers that have showed up in person, even with precautions against these variants, and they are vulnerable," he told host Ismaila Alfa. "The reality is that we have a large essential workforce and an employment profile with all these manufacturers and warehouses where they remain open and as they remain open they are seeing bigger and wider outbreaks that necessitated this update." Dr. Lawrence Loh, medical officer of health for Peel Region, is among those who have called on the provincial government to implement a paid sick-leave program.(CBC) As of last week, Peel Region had confirmed 402 outbreaks of COVID-19 linked to workplaces, with about 37 per cent of those in the industrial and manufacturing sectors. Retail and corporate offices collectively make up another 23 per cent of all outbreaks, according to the region's COVID-19 dashboard. Large swaths of Brampton and many neighbourhoods in Mississauga are consistently logging test positivity rates well over 10 per cent, the latest publicly available data shows. Moreover, through each week of April so far, more than 70 per cent of samples that tested positive for COVID-19 in Peel Region also screened positive for a telltale genetic mutation that indicates the presence of a variant of concern. Paid leave for affected workers? Loh also recommended that businesses forced to close because of COVID-19 cases provide paid leave for employees forced to isolate. "In the absence of legislated paid sick days, we also call on all employers impacted by expedited closure to provide paid leave for all employees impacted by COVID-19 or these new safety measures, and to consider moving as many operations as possible virtually to reduce risk," Loh said. Loh is among the many regional medical officers of health and other health professionals who have repeatedly called on Premier Doug Ford and his cabinet to implement a provincially run paid sick-leave program. More than a year into the pandemic, the government has refused to do so, instead directing Ontarians to the federal Canada recovery sickness benefit. In his interview with Metro Morning, Loh said he hopes that employers forced to temporarily close will "do the right thing" when it comes to compensating workers. "I think it is very vital that companies do their part. The situation is very serious," he said. "Our hospitals are overwhelmed. Our ICUs are filling up and people are dying."Toronto and Peel Region are issuing orders to force businesses with five or more cases of COVID-19 in the past two weeks to close. Peel's top doctor said closures will last 10 days if it is found that those infected "could have reasonably acquired their infection at work" or if "no obvious source" for transmission is identified outside of the workplace. "Workplaces that remain open continue to be a major driver of COVID-19 cases in Peel, as they have been throughout the course of our emergency response," Dr. Lawrence Loh, medical officer of health for Peel Region, said in a news release Tuesday morning. All employees impacted by a closure will need to self-isolate and cannot work anywhere else during that period. Employees work at the Amazon fulfilment centre in Brampton, Ont., on Nov. 26, 2018.(Chris Young/The Canadian Press) The order will be issued through Section 22 of Ontario's Health Protection and Promotion Act, which grants local medical officers certain authority when faced with public health crises. Businesses and workplaces "essential to the well-being" of the region, such as health care, first responders and emergency child care, will not be forced to close, the release said. A full list of exempt workplaces will be included in the order later Tuesday. Toronto Public Health announced its decision following Peel, saying in a statement it had worked closely with the neighbouring region to develop the order. "This Section 22 order is meant to help slam the brakes on workplace outbreaks that we know are moving much faster due to the variants of concern," Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a statement. "I urge all employers to follow the public health advice to stop outbreaks and protect their employees including against the financial consequences of illness." An Amazon facility in Brampton that employs approximately 5,000 workers has been linked to more than 600 COVID-19 cases since October. An outbreak in March resulted in an order by Peel Public Health to close the warehouse for two weeks. Justin Brewer, a process assistant at the Amazon facility, told CBC News he supports the Section 22 order, and believes it will help keep him and his co-workers safe going forward. "I think it should of been done a long time ago, to be honest. I wish that this time last year this was all being done," he said. Manufacturers push back The manufacturing sector is "deeply disturbed" by the order, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters president and CEO Dennis Darby said in a statement. He called on the provincial government to intervene and create a co-ordinated plan for Ontario. "Although we recognize the situation is critical right now, this unilateral decision could have a catastrophic impact on Ontario's manufacturing sector," Darby said. The decision could impact the supply of food, personal protective equipment and medications, as well as disrupt global supply chains Canada contributes to including automotive and aerospace, he said. "The Region of Peel is putting the integrity of our supply chain at risk," said Darby. WATCH | Toronto, Peel issue orders to try and curb workplace outbreaks of COVID-19: Order is necessary, doctor says In an interview with CBC Radio's Metro Morning, Loh said he believes the order is necessary because the conventional approach of closing parts of workplaces to investigate outbreaks is not fast enough to keep up with the spread of variants of concern. "The story of Peel is the story of disparity, throughout the pandemic. It's the story of workers that have showed up in person, even with precautions against these variants, and they are vulnerable," he told host Ismaila Alfa. "The reality is that we have a large essential workforce and an employment profile with all these manufacturers and warehouses where they remain open and as they remain open they are seeing bigger and wider outbreaks that necessitated this update." Dr. Lawrence Loh, medical officer of health for Peel Region, is among those who have called on the provincial government to implement a paid sick-leave program.(CBC) As of last week, Peel Region had confirmed 402 outbreaks of COVID-19 linked to workplaces, with about 37 per cent of those in the industrial and manufacturing sectors. Retail and corporate offices collectively make up another 23 per cent of all outbreaks, according to the region's COVID-19 dashboard. Large swaths of Brampton and many neighbourhoods in Mississauga are consistently logging test positivity rates well over 10 per cent, the latest publicly available data shows. Moreover, through each week of April so far, more than 70 per cent of samples that tested positive for COVID-19 in Peel Region also screened positive for a telltale genetic mutation that indicates the presence of a variant of concern. Paid leave for affected workers? Loh also recommended that businesses forced to close because of COVID-19 cases provide paid leave for employees forced to isolate. "In the absence of legislated paid sick days, we also call on all employers impacted by expedited closure to provide paid leave for all employees impacted by COVID-19 or these new safety measures, and to consider moving as many operations as possible virtually to reduce risk," Loh said. Loh is among the many regional medical officers of health and other health professionals who have repeatedly called on Premier Doug Ford and his cabinet to implement a provincially run paid sick-leave program. More than a year into the pandemic, the government has refused to do so, instead directing Ontarians to the federal Canada recovery sickness benefit. In his interview with Metro Morning, Loh said he hopes that employers forced to temporarily close will "do the right thing" when it comes to compensating workers. "I think it is very vital that companies do their part. The situation is very serious," he said. "Our hospitals are overwhelmed. Our ICUs are filling up and people are dying."

Toronto, Peel to close businesses with 5 or more COVID-19 cases linked to the workplace

Toronto and Peel are moving to temporarily shutter businesses where multiple and linked cases of COVID-19 have occurred.

Toronto and Peel to shut down businesses with COVID cases | Toronto Sun

Toronto and Peel to shut down businesses with COVID cases

Toronto and Peel to shut down businesses with 5 or more COVID cases | Toronto Sun

Ontario reported another 4,447 cases of COVID-19 and 19 more deaths of people with the illness on Monday, while the number of hospitalizations topped 2,200. It's the sixth straight day of more than 4,000 new infections in the province. They come as labs completed 42,873 tests for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and logged a positivity rate of 10.5 per cent — the highest recorded since in Ontario since the beginning of the pandemic. There are 2,202 people with COVID-19 in hospitals, according to the Ministry of Health. Of those, 755 are being treated for COVID-related critical illnesses in intensive care units. A total of 516 patients require a ventilator to breathe. All three figures are new pandemic highs for Ontario. Health officials warned last week that admissions to hospitals and ICUs are expected to continue to rise for the next several weeks, as they are lagging indicators to the explosive growth in cases this month. Meanwhile, up to 60 patients from the Toronto area are expected to be transferred to Windsor this week to help with the crush of patients from the third COVID-19 wave, according to an internal memo from London Middlesex Primary Care. Another 40 are heading to the London area. WATCH | Ontario doctors prepare to use triage protocol:. Public health units collectively administered just 66,897 doses of vaccines Sunday, the fewest in two weeks. As of last evening, some 346,005 people in the province had received both doses. Ontario has given out 3,904,778, or about 80 per cent, of the 4,852,885 total doses of vaccines it has received thus far. Provincial health officials said early last week that public health units have combined capacity to administer up to 150,000 shots per day. Then during a news conference Friday, Ontario's Chief Medical of Health Dr. David Williams repeatedly said the province could be doing up to 500,000 shots daily, though it is unclear how he arrived at that figure, as no government official had cited it publicly before. CBC Toronto has reached out to the government for clarification on the discrepancy between the numbers. Meanwhile, Williams confirmed Monday morning that starting Tuesday, Ontario will begin offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to adults aged 40 and older. The vaccine had previously been limited to those 55 and up. Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec have also said they would lower age requirements for the vaccine. About 1,400 pharmacies throughout the province are offering the AstraZeneca vaccine, as well as some primary care physicians in six public health units. In some provincially-designated hot spots, those under 40 have been able to get their first doses of vaccine. York Region announced Monday those 35 and older in five high-priority communities (L4L, L6A, L4K, L4J and L3S postal code areas) are now eligible. The new cases reported Monday include: 1,229 in Toronto 926 in Peel Region 577 in York Region 233 in Ottawa 227 in Hamilton 205 in Durham Region 203 in Niagara Region 169 in Halton Region 114 in Simcoe Muskoka The seven-day average of daily cases rose slightly to 4,348 — a 59 per cent increase from two weeks ago, Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe said Monday. Seventy-one people have died with the virus since Friday alone. The 19 additional deaths in today's update pushed the official toll to 7,735. The seven-day average of deaths stands at 24. New COVID-19 measures face backlash Students across Ontario returned to the virtual classroom Monday morning as school buildings remain shuttered following the spring break. The provincial government announced the move to remote learning early last week as it dealt with a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. It also announced a suite of new measures meant to curb the spread of COVID-19, including limiting interprovincial travel. Checkpoints are set up at interprovincial border crossings and only those coming into Ontario for work, medical care, transportation of goods and exercising Indigenous treaty rights are allowed through. The province held firm to that measure over the weekend, despite walking back other public health rules that were announced at the same time Friday. Premier Doug Ford on Saturday reversed his decision to shutter playgrounds, following a swift backlash from parents and public health experts alike. They said the move was unlikely to curb the spread of COVID-19, as evidence suggests most transmission happens indoors. WATCH | Director of Ontario's COVID-19 science table disappointed with new measures: The government did, however, keep in place a number of controversial limitations on outdoor activities. In an interview with CBC News Network today, the director of Ontario's COVID-19 science advisory table said the restrictions were the "opposite" of what the group of experts recommended to cabinet. Dr. Peter Jüni, who is also a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Toronto, said the new round of measures failed to address the root causes driving the growth in cases in Ontario. "Right now we have a pandemic that is focused on essential workers and their families," he said. "We need to pay people in an uncomplicated and efficient manner to stay home." The science table and other health experts have repeatedly called for Ford and his cabinet to institute a provincially-run paid sick leave program. The federal counterpart, the Canadian Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), is "too complicated, not enough and the help comes too late," Jüni said. Ford government votes against essential workers motion Ford and Ontario Minister of Labour Monte McNaughton have urged Ontarians to rely on the federal program, saying the province wants to avoid duplication. And during question period at the legislature today, House Leader Paul Calandra said the province expects the federal government to improve the CRSB in today's budget, including paid time off for vaccinations. The Ontario government voted against a series of Opposition motions aimed at supporting essential workers Monday, including one that sought to create a provincial paid sick-leave program. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath presented the motions — which required unanimous consent of the legislature to pass — during a session Monday morning. A frustrated Jüni said that "political considerations" are behind the government's refusal to take the science table's advice. "I don't think we can be any clearer: this is not a problem at the sending end, it's a problem at the receiving end. We need to stop having political considerations guide this pandemic [response]," he told host Heather Hiscox. "This does not work. It hasn't worked in the past, it won't work now. It hasn't worked in other jurisdictions and it wont work in Ontario." Advisory table 'deeply concerned' about new measures On Monday, the Ontario COVID-19 Bioethics Table issued a statement saying it was "deeply concerned" about the enhanced enforcement measures outlined in the province's stay-at-home order, saying they will "disproportionately harm" racialized and marginalized people. "The enforcement measures fail to adequately address the root causes of transmission of COVID-19 in Ontario," the statement said. The table said it commends the extension of the stay-at-home order, but urged Ontario to "implement evidence-informed public health measures grounded in public health ethics." "Provision of provincially mandated paid sick leave is one such measure that is urgently needed," it said. On Saturday the province also quickly rescinded new powers given to police officers, saying officers will no longer be able to stop any pedestrian or driver during the stay-at-home order to request their home address and their reason for being out of the house. Instead, police must have "reason to suspect" that a person is out to participate in an organized public event or social gathering before stopping them. Speaking to reporters today, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said that despite the public outcry and condemnation from legal experts that the powers generated, the details were "very clearly laid out." Jones said the government initially decided to enact the new powers because the science table recommended limiting mobility. "We've all seen those photographs of people who continue to basically ignore the advice of the science table and the stay-at-home. And the intention was always to ensure those large public gatherings were stopped and didn't continue because it puts everyone else at risk," she said. Speaking in Parliament on Monday, Bill Blair, minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, said the move was a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. "Mr. Speaker, we had just this weekend in Ontario an extraordinary example where the police were offered the authorities to violate the charter," Blair said. "And unanimously, they stood up to that and said no. And so I want to acknowledge that leadership and assure the member we remain committed to upholding all of the rights and freedoms that are available to all Canadians throughout the country.Ontario reported another 4,447 cases of COVID-19 and 19 more deaths of people with the illness on Monday, while the number of hospitalizations topped 2,200. It's the sixth straight day of more than 4,000 new infections in the province. They come as labs completed 42,873 tests for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and logged a positivity rate of 10.5 per cent — the highest recorded since in Ontario since the beginning of the pandemic. There are 2,202 people with COVID-19 in hospitals, according to the Ministry of Health. Of those, 755 are being treated for COVID-related critical illnesses in intensive care units. A total of 516 patients require a ventilator to breathe. All three figures are new pandemic highs for Ontario. Health officials warned last week that admissions to hospitals and ICUs are expected to continue to rise for the next several weeks, as they are lagging indicators to the explosive growth in cases this month. Meanwhile, up to 60 patients from the Toronto area are expected to be transferred to Windsor this week to help with the crush of patients from the third COVID-19 wave, according to an internal memo from London Middlesex Primary Care. Another 40 are heading to the London area. WATCH | Ontario doctors prepare to use triage protocol:. Public health units collectively administered just 66,897 doses of vaccines Sunday, the fewest in two weeks. As of last evening, some 346,005 people in the province had received both doses. Ontario has given out 3,904,778, or about 80 per cent, of the 4,852,885 total doses of vaccines it has received thus far. Provincial health officials said early last week that public health units have combined capacity to administer up to 150,000 shots per day. Then during a news conference Friday, Ontario's Chief Medical of Health Dr. David Williams repeatedly said the province could be doing up to 500,000 shots daily, though it is unclear how he arrived at that figure, as no government official had cited it publicly before. CBC Toronto has reached out to the government for clarification on the discrepancy between the numbers. Meanwhile, Williams confirmed Monday morning that starting Tuesday, Ontario will begin offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to adults aged 40 and older. The vaccine had previously been limited to those 55 and up. Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec have also said they would lower age requirements for the vaccine. About 1,400 pharmacies throughout the province are offering the AstraZeneca vaccine, as well as some primary care physicians in six public health units. In some provincially-designated hot spots, those under 40 have been able to get their first doses of vaccine. York Region announced Monday those 35 and older in five high-priority communities (L4L, L6A, L4K, L4J and L3S postal code areas) are now eligible. The new cases reported Monday include: 1,229 in Toronto 926 in Peel Region 577 in York Region 233 in Ottawa 227 in Hamilton 205 in Durham Region 203 in Niagara Region 169 in Halton Region 114 in Simcoe Muskoka The seven-day average of daily cases rose slightly to 4,348 — a 59 per cent increase from two weeks ago, Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe said Monday. Seventy-one people have died with the virus since Friday alone. The 19 additional deaths in today's update pushed the official toll to 7,735. The seven-day average of deaths stands at 24. New COVID-19 measures face backlash Students across Ontario returned to the virtual classroom Monday morning as school buildings remain shuttered following the spring break. The provincial government announced the move to remote learning early last week as it dealt with a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. It also announced a suite of new measures meant to curb the spread of COVID-19, including limiting interprovincial travel. Checkpoints are set up at interprovincial border crossings and only those coming into Ontario for work, medical care, transportation of goods and exercising Indigenous treaty rights are allowed through. The province held firm to that measure over the weekend, despite walking back other public health rules that were announced at the same time Friday. Premier Doug Ford on Saturday reversed his decision to shutter playgrounds, following a swift backlash from parents and public health experts alike. They said the move was unlikely to curb the spread of COVID-19, as evidence suggests most transmission happens indoors. WATCH | Director of Ontario's COVID-19 science table disappointed with new measures: The government did, however, keep in place a number of controversial limitations on outdoor activities. In an interview with CBC News Network today, the director of Ontario's COVID-19 science advisory table said the restrictions were the "opposite" of what the group of experts recommended to cabinet. Dr. Peter Jüni, who is also a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Toronto, said the new round of measures failed to address the root causes driving the growth in cases in Ontario. "Right now we have a pandemic that is focused on essential workers and their families," he said. "We need to pay people in an uncomplicated and efficient manner to stay home." The science table and other health experts have repeatedly called for Ford and his cabinet to institute a provincially-run paid sick leave program. The federal counterpart, the Canadian Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), is "too complicated, not enough and the help comes too late," Jüni said. Ford government votes against essential workers motion Ford and Ontario Minister of Labour Monte McNaughton have urged Ontarians to rely on the federal program, saying the province wants to avoid duplication. And during question period at the legislature today, House Leader Paul Calandra said the province expects the federal government to improve the CRSB in today's budget, including paid time off for vaccinations. The Ontario government voted against a series of Opposition motions aimed at supporting essential workers Monday, including one that sought to create a provincial paid sick-leave program. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath presented the motions — which required unanimous consent of the legislature to pass — during a session Monday morning. A frustrated Jüni said that "political considerations" are behind the government's refusal to take the science table's advice. "I don't think we can be any clearer: this is not a problem at the sending end, it's a problem at the receiving end. We need to stop having political considerations guide this pandemic [response]," he told host Heather Hiscox. "This does not work. It hasn't worked in the past, it won't work now. It hasn't worked in other jurisdictions and it wont work in Ontario." Advisory table 'deeply concerned' about new measures On Monday, the Ontario COVID-19 Bioethics Table issued a statement saying it was "deeply concerned" about the enhanced enforcement measures outlined in the province's stay-at-home order, saying they will "disproportionately harm" racialized and marginalized people. "The enforcement measures fail to adequately address the root causes of transmission of COVID-19 in Ontario," the statement said. The table said it commends the extension of the stay-at-home order, but urged Ontario to "implement evidence-informed public health measures grounded in public health ethics." "Provision of provincially mandated paid sick leave is one such measure that is urgently needed," it said. On Saturday the province also quickly rescinded new powers given to police officers, saying officers will no longer be able to stop any pedestrian or driver during the stay-at-home order to request their home address and their reason for being out of the house. Instead, police must have "reason to suspect" that a person is out to participate in an organized public event or social gathering before stopping them. Speaking to reporters today, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said that despite the public outcry and condemnation from legal experts that the powers generated, the details were "very clearly laid out." Jones said the government initially decided to enact the new powers because the science table recommended limiting mobility. "We've all seen those photographs of people who continue to basically ignore the advice of the science table and the stay-at-home. And the intention was always to ensure those large public gatherings were stopped and didn't continue because it puts everyone else at risk," she said. Speaking in Parliament on Monday, Bill Blair, minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, said the move was a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. "Mr. Speaker, we had just this weekend in Ontario an extraordinary example where the police were offered the authorities to violate the charter," Blair said. "And unanimously, they stood up to that and said no. And so I want to acknowledge that leadership and assure the member we remain committed to upholding all of the rights and freedoms that are available to all Canadians throughout the country.

Ontario sees 4,447 new COVID-19 cases as admissions to ICUs top 750

Public health experts, labour groups and local officials have been calling for sick-leave support for workers for months

Ontario cabinet finalizing paid sick-leave program for essential workers | National Post

Ontario cabinet finalizing paid sick-leave program for essential workers | National Post