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Active cases, hospitalizations and patients in intensive care are all on the rise
2:15 pm Ontario is modifying the rules in the grey lockdown level to allow outdoor fitness classes and personal care services to resume.
Effective Monday, March 29 at 12:01 am, the province will permit outdoor fitness, outdoor training for team and individual sports and outdoor personal training in grey zones, including Toronto and Peel.
Capacity will be a maximum of 10 patrons and everyone must stay at least three metres apart. Classes and training will require a reservation and patron screening, the province said in a statement on Friday.
Additionally, marinas and boating clubs can operate clubhouses, restaurants and bars for outdoor dining starting on March 29.
Personal care services will be able to resume operation on April 12 at 12:01 am, the government said.
Barber shops, hair and nail salons and tattoo shops can operate at 25 per cent capacity or with five patrons (which ever is less), subject to physical distancing. Personal care services must operate by appointment only.
2:10 pm Ontario is moving Hamilton into the grey lockdown zone effective Monday just after midnight.
“Over the last week, we have continued to see some concerning trends in key health indicators in regions across the province,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a statement. “As we cautiously make targeted adjustments to public health measures to support the well-being of individuals and small business owners, it is critical that everyone remains vigilant and continues to strictly follow all public health measures and advice to keep each other safe.”
Hamilton reported a daily increase of 122 new cases today. The move means personal services, including hair salons, must close. Read the full list of grey-lockdown restrictions here.
1:45 pm As fast-spreading variant cases grow, Mayor John Tory urged all eligible residents to get vaccinated and asked everyone else to encourage seniors to sign up for the 3,000 empty appointments at mass immunization sites.
“You can encourage those people to register,” Tory said during a press conference at city hall today. “Help them to register if they need any help. But encourage them to register and get vaccinated.”
Tory said the city has seen increased supply, but added that research has shown some people are waiting to get vaccinated to “what would happen.” But with Ontario’s case count crossing the 2,000 mark for a second straight day, the tone of his voice had a distinct urgency.
“We are at a crucial time in our city’s fight against this virus,” he added. “We see the cases of variants ramping up and we see the troubling numbers.”
Toronto is expanding eligibility to people aged 70 and up starting tomorrow.
1:30 pm People in Toronto aged 70 and up can start booking vaccine appointments at mass immunization sites on Saturday, the province announced on Friday.
The expanded eligibility will expand to other public health units in the “near future.”
On March 22, the province expanded vaccination to people aged 75 and up at mass immunization clinics.
As of 8 pm last night, more than 71 per cent of Ontario residents aged 80 and over had received at least one dose and more than 13 per cent are fully vaccinated, the province said.
The city of Toronto said there are almost 30,000 appointments for eligible seniors available at mass immunization clinics
Weekend appointments will be at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the Toronto Congress Centre and Scarborough Town Centre. Starting on Monday, appointments will be available at Malvern Community Recreation Centre and Mitchell Field Arena.
Hospital-based clinics began booking appointments for people aged 70 and up earlier this week.
Eligible seniors can book appointments online via toronto.ca/covid-19 or by phone at 1-888-999-6488 (TTY 1-866-797-0007).
11:30 am Ontario reported 2,169 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths on March 26 – the second straight day the daily case count crossed the 2,000 mark.
The province saw 2,380 cases on Thursday, 1,571 on Wednesday and 1,546 on Tuesday. The seven-day rolling average has increased to 1,855.
Ontario completed 53,436 tests in the past 24 hours, marking a 3.8 per cent positivity rate.
The province has reached a record high of daily vaccination doses once again with 82,996 doses and 1,838,592 doses administered overall. There are now 306,373 people fully vaccinated across the province.
Active cases, hospitalizations and intensive care numbers are all on the rise; there are currently 16,563 active cases, 913 patients in hospital and 359 patients in intensive care.
Of the 12 deaths reported today, one was a person between the ages of 40 and 69.
Ontario has seen an increase in cases in all three variants over the past day, with 36 newly reported B117 cases, nine more B1351 cases and four additional P1 cases.
School-related cases accounted for 167 of the cases reported today, and an additional 20 schools are reporting a case from the past 24 hours. One more school has closed due to an outbreak.
Ontario has seen 338,239 total COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, along with 7,292 deaths.
The following regions reported five or more new COVID-19 cases:
Toronto = 682
Peel = 397
York Region = 254
Ottawa = 129
Durham Region = 123
City of Hamilton = 122
Middlesex-London = 50
Simcoe Muskoka District = 48
Region of Waterloo = 43
Halton Region = 40
Niagara Region = 37
Sudbury & Districts = 33
Eastern Ontario = 30
Lambton = 30
Thunder Bay District = 17
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District = 16
Windsor-Essex County = 16
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph = 13
Peterborough = 11
Grey Bruce = 10
Southwestern = 10
Brant County = 9
Haldimand-Norfolk = 9
Renfrew County and District = 8
Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington = 7
Chatham-Kent = 7
Northwestern = 5
Huron Perth = 5