COVID-19: Ontario cases rise slightly; Five new cases in Ottawa
After almost a week of daily increases of fewer than 200 new cases of COVID-19, Ontario saw a slightly higher rise in its most recent report.
On Saturday, the province reported 206 new confirmed cases since the previous report for a new total of 33,301. About 85.5 per cent of the cases are considered resolved.
There are 333 patients hospitalized with the virus. Of those, 80 are in intensive care and 63 are on ventilators.
There was one new outbreak at a long-term care facility, for a total of 67 outbreaks in the province.
Five new laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported in Ottawa on Saturday, but, for the fourth day in a row, there were no additional deaths.
There have been 2,054 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March 11, with 260 deaths.
There are 58 known active cases in Ottawa, while Ottawa Public Health says 84.5 per cent of all cases have been resolved.
Three patients remain hospitalized, one of them in intensive care, according to Saturday’s report.
There are currently eight outbreaks in long-term care-type facilities, the most recent involving Welcome House refugee centre on Argyle Street, where two staffers were confirmed positive on Thursday.
However, a COVID19 outbreak at the Robertson House retirement home has been declared resolved. Four residents and a staffer tested positive there.
Quebec and rural Eastern Ontario
Quebec reported 124 new confirmed cases as of Friday night for a total of 54,674. There were 33 new deaths, bringing the toll to 5,408.
No new cases or deaths were reported in the Outaoauis region.
Meanwhile, Parc Omega nature site reopened Saturday with new pandemic precautions and systems: The gift shops will have distancing markers, restaurants will be takeout-only and several hand sanitizer stations have been set up.
The park asks that visitors reserve and pay for their tickets online to enable the site to better control admission.
The Eastern Ontario health unit and Leeds, Grenville and Lanark units both reported no new cases Saturday, leaving their totals at 163 cases and 352 cases, respectively.
One case was taken off the Renfrew list, producing a new total of 28 cases.
Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam issued a special statement Saturday urging Canadians not to let up on pandemic prevention measures as summer arrived.
“Although sunny days are ahead, we must not let our guard down because there are still areas where COVID-19 is actively spreading,” Tam wrote. “Although all indicators of COVID-19 activity have steadily declined in recent weeks, our epidemic curve and cumulative cases are a reminder of how quickly this disease can spread.”
Tam urged Canadians to keep in mind rules of thumb when planning vacations, such as: outdoor spaces are better than inside — avoid or limit time in enclosed spaces; less people are better than more — avoid crowds and large gatherings, and; when you can’t maintain a two-metre distance from others, wearing a non-medical mask or face covering can provide an additional layer of protection.
As of Friday night, Canada reported 100,629 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 409 from the previous report. There have been 8,346 deaths.
Via Rail said Friday that, beginning Tuesday, passengers and staff who interact with them will be required to masks to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 when physical distancing can’t be maintained.
The Montreal-based passenger rail service says it is making the change as ridership increases with the gradual reopening of the economy.
Via’s policy is in line with Transport Canada guidelines for wearing face coverings for planes, trains, ships and public transit. Masks must be worn throughout trips, except for when eating or drinking and when physical distancing is not possible in stations and at boarding.
The rail company said a a limited number of disposable masks would be available for passengers who didn’t have them at boarding time.
Passengers with medical conditions that result in trouble breathing unrelated to COVID-19, infants under two years old and small children or anyone unable to remove a mask without assistance will not be required to wear one.