Here is a roundup of the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Thursday:
Ontario outlines what can restart for Stage 1 of reopening province beginning Tuesday
Premier Doug Ford has announced more details on the province’s first stage of its “Phase 2: Restart” plan — beginning Tuesday — amid the coronavirus pandemic, as Ontario reported its lowest increase in new cases since March.
Ford said the province is currently entering Stage 1 of three in Phase 2 of a three-phase approach to reopening the province. Stage 1 could last anywhere from two to four weeks.
Everything listed can open and/or restart effective Tuesday, however, private parks, campgrounds, marinas, golf courses and businesses that board animals may allow boarders to visit, care for, or ride their animals beginning Saturday.
Ontario reports 258 new coronavirus cases, lowest number since late March
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Ontario reported 258 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the provincial total to 21,494 cases.
Thursday’s report is the lowest number of new cases within a single-day since March 29 and is lower than Sunday’s report of 294 cases.
The death toll has risen to 1,798 as 33 more deaths were reported.
Meanwhile, 16,204 people have recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, which is 75 per cent of cases.
Greater Toronto Area public health units account for 62.4 per cent of all cases in the province.
Ontario says testing guidelines will expand to anyone with COVID-19 symptoms
Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott says testing guidelines will be expanded so anyone with COVID-19 symptoms can be tested.
“Doing so will help identify and contain new cases and monitor any shifts in community spread to keep Ontarians safe,” Elliott said in a tweet Thursday morning.
Elliott said that the province has nearly completed all long-term care home testing for staff and residents and is looking at expanding testing to other vulnerable populations such as people in retirement homes and shared living spaces like shelters and group homes.
Toronto Western Hospital declares outbreak in ER after 5 staff tests positive
Toronto Western Hospital declared an outbreak in its ER department after five staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.
The hospital said the outbreak was confirmed Wednesday. In a memo sent to staff, it said if anyone worked in the emergency department between April 20 and May 13 to go get tested.
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