COVID-19: Stay-at-home order extended to June 2; Ontario surpasses half a million total cases
The province also reported 31 deaths, including six people between the ages of 40 and 59
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Ontario extends stay-at-home order, blames feds (again) for current crisis
1:20 pm The province is extending its stay-at-home order until June 2, Premier Doug Ford announced at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
The announcement, which was widely expected as the province continues to navigate a third wave of the virus, includes maintaining current restrictions on outdoor gatherings and recreational activities. The premier says the measure is aimed at ensuring “the most normal July and August” possible.
It’s unclear what number of new daily cases the province is aiming to reach for reopening to proceed on June 2. Reports had put the number at under 1,000. But the province’s medical officer of health, David Williams, could not say specifically. He described the current effort to keep case counts in check as turning down a “dimmer switch.”
Ontario recorded some 2,700 new COVID cases on Thursday, but hospitals continue to see significant numbers of COVID cases requiring hospitalization while the number of people in intensive care units is double what they were during the last wave. The number of people dying from the disease is also on the increase.
Schools will also continue to be closed to in-person learning until further notice. Ford could not say whether schools will re-open before the end of the school year in late June. The premier suggested that vaccination of children ages 12-17, which will begin by May 31, may allow for schools to reopen. But he seemed to be blaming teachers’ unions for balking at reopening while some medical experts, the premier says, are suggesting to him that it’s safe to reopen.
The government plans to work with public health units, school boards and other partners to offer both doses of vaccine to youth aged 12 to 17 by the end of August.
The premier also used the press conference to reiterate his claim that the federal government is to blame for the current crisis and what he described as “weak and porous border measures.” The premier claimed that international travellers are “exploiting well-known loopholes” to avoid the required three-day quarantine. He claimed that “90 per cent of the cases” in Ontario have come in from other countries. At one point, he seemed to suggest that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has abdicated his responsibility to “protect Ontarians.”
The premier, who has only been seen in public a handful of times since mid-April as his approval ratings have plummeted, denied during a brief question and answer period that he’s deflecting blame for the current crisis. “That’s just not happening,” he said.
Ontario reports 2,759 new COVID-19 cases, 31 deaths
Ontario is reporting 2,759 new cases of COVID-19 and 31 deaths on May 13.
The province detected 2,320 new cases on Wednesday, 2,073 on Tuesday and 2,716 on Monday. The seven-day rolling average is at 2,731, down from 3,369 a week ago.
“Locally, there are 774 new cases in Toronto, 602 in Peel, 258 in York Region, 147 in Durham and 133 in Hamilton,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said on Twitter.
Ontario completed 47,638 tests in the past 24 hours, marking a 5.7 per cent provincial positivity rate – the lowest rate the province has seen since April 3. The positivity rate last Thursday was 6.3 per cent.
There are now 29,235 active cases across the province and 1,632 hospitalizations, down 41 from the day before. There are 776 patients in intensive care, including 568 on ventilators.
Of the deaths reported today, six were people between the ages of 40 and 59.
Ontario has now surpassed the 500,000 mark for total COVID-19 cases; there have been 502,171 since the start of the pandemic and 8,405 deaths.
An additional 137,697 doses of the vaccine were administered over the past day, bringing the provincial total to 6,629,393 doses administered and 407,600 people fully vaccinated.
New COVID-19 cases in Ontario on May 13
The following regions reported five or more new COVID-19 cases:
Toronto = 774
Peel = 602
York Region = 258
Durham Region = 147
City of Hamilton = 133
Ottawa = 110
Halton Region = 104
Niagara Region = 81
Middlesex-London = 78
Region of Waterloo = 72
Simcoe Muskoka District = 65
Windsor-Essex County = 54
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph = 44
Brant County = 30
Lambton = 28
Porcupine = 24
Huron Perth = 19
Eastern Ontario = 18
Southwestern = 16
Haldimand-Norfolk = 15
Sudbury & Districts = 12
Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge = 11
Peterborough = 10
Renfrew County and District = 8
Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington = 7
Northwestern = 6
Algoma = 6
North Bay Parry Sound District = 6
Hastings Prince Edward = 6
Chatham-Kent = 6
Grey Bruce = 6