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Ontario reports 653 COVID-19 cases as new public health measures take effect

TORONTO — Ontario is reporting 653 cases of COVID-19 today and 41 deaths related to the coronavirus, but Health Minister Christine Elliott says an ongoing data review at Toronto Public Health is at least partly responsible for the spike.

Elliott says some cases and deaths that occurred in the spring or summer are only being reported today.

The same thing happened on Friday, when Ontario reported an all-time high of 732 new cases along with 76 deaths.

There are now 53,633 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario, including 2,968 deaths and 45,285 resolved cases.

The province was able to complete 46,254 tests in the previous 24 hours, but nearly twice that number — 91,322 — are still listed as “under investigation.”

Meanwhile, new public health restrictions kick in today in three of Ontario’s COVID-19 hot spots.

The provincial government announced Friday that Ottawa, Toronto and Peel Region would face tighter regulations as they grapple with a surge of new cases.

Restaurants, bars, banquet halls and gyms in those areas will all face restrictions on their operations.

No more than 100 customers will be allowed in restaurants and no more than six people will be permitted at a table.

Restaurants will also be required to collect contact information from all patrons to bolster contact tracing efforts.

Group exercise classes at gyms will be capped at 10 people and the total number of people in fitness settings will be limited to 50.

At meeting and event facilities — such as banquet halls — there will be a cap of 50 people, with only six people allowed at each table.

Also as of Friday, face coverings became mandatory in all indoor public spaces across Ontario.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 3, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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