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Ontario reports 732 new COVID-19 cases, two new deaths

TORONTO — Ontario is reporting 732 new cases of COVID-19, marking a new record in its daily counts.

It is also reporting two new deaths related to the virus in the past 24 hours.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 74 additional deaths from the spring and summer are also being added to the province’s numbers after a data review at Toronto Public Health.

She says there are 323 new cases being reported in Toronto, 141 in Ottawa, and 111 cases in Peel Region.

Elliott says just under 60 per cent of the new cases are among people under the age of 40.

In total, 167 people are hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19, including 38 in intensive care.

The province conducted 40,093 tests since the last daily report, with a growing backlog of 90,513 tests.

The latest figures mean Ontario has seen a total of 52,980 COVID-19 cases, with 2,927 deaths, and 44,850 cases resolved.

Meanwhile, Ontario’s labour board has dismissed a challenge of the government’s pandemic back-to-school plan launched by the province’s four major teachers’ unions.

The unions alleged that Premier Doug Ford’s plan does not follow the province’s own workplace safety laws and asked the board to intervene.

In a joint statement, the unions say today they are deeply concerned with the ruling, which they say was made on jurisdictional grounds without having heard their evidence.

The unions had asked the labour board to establish provincial standards on issues like class size and distancing, cohorts for students and teachers, masking, ventilation and busing.

A spokeswoman for Education Minister Stephen Lecce’s said the province’s back-to-school plan has been endorsed by Ontario’s chief medical officer of health.

The Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association, and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation launched the challenge in August.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 1, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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