Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Saturday.
Ontario doctors ask government to reopen schools before other sectors
Ontario’s regional public health officials are asking the province to prioritize opening schools before other public health restrictions are lifted.
The chair of the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health has written to the provincial health and education ministers, asking for deployment of extra measures including getting children back into classrooms.
Ontario mandates rapid testing in long-term care homes
The Ontario government has sent a memo to long-term care homes advising them that they must implement the use of rapid COVID-19 antigen tests.
Homes in Toronto, York Region, Peel Region, Durham Region, Windsor-Essex, Ottawa, and Simcoe Muskoka will be required to use ensure the testing is fully operational by Feb. 16, with all other homes in the province meeting that requirement by Feb. 22.
The testing will apply to staff, student placements, volunteers, caregivers, support workers and other visitors who are permitted to enter the homes.
Doctor says Canada’s LTCs are in a ‘humanitarian crisis’
Status of cases in the GTA
Ontario reported a total of 2,063 new cases on Saturday.
- 713 were in Toronto
- 379 were in Peel Region
- 178 were in York Region
- 89 were in Durham Region
- 55 were in Halton Region
However, the province said that due to “technical issues,” Toronto Public Health is reporting 230 additional cases from a previous date.
Coronavirus: Ontario modelling shows UK variant likely will become dominate strain by March
Ontario reports 73 more COVID-19-related deaths, 2,063 cases
Ontario reported 2,063 cases of the novel coronavirus Saturday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 266,363.
A total of 240,494 COVID-19 cases are considered resolved, which is up by 2,623.
Seventy-three additional deaths were also reported on Saturday, bringing the provincial death toll to 6,145.
The province indicated that the positivity rate for the last day was 3.3 per cent, which is the same as the last two days and is down from last Saturday’s report, when it was 4.5 per cent.
25 more deaths reported by Ministry of Long-Term Care
According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 3,516 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario, which is an increase of 25.
Confusion and concern over vaccine shipments for Canada
Nearly 9,400 more vaccine doses administered
As of 8 p.m. Friday, 336,828 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Ontario, which is an increase of 9,373.
So far, 67,787 people have received both required doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
— With files from The Canadian Press
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