October 20th, 2020

COVID-19 numbers still surging in Ontario, Quebec ahead of Thanksgiving weekend


By The Canadian Press on October 8, 2020.

People sit in an alleyway  at a COVID assessment centre at St. Michael's Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, September 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Canada’s largest province is reporting the most new cases of COVID-19 it’s had in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic.

Ontario announced 797 new cases of the virus Thursday, and Health Minister Christine Elliott said 57 per cent of those infected were people under the age of 40.

Quebec’s surging numbers also continued with 1,078 new cases. There were nine more deaths and hospitalizations increased by 16.

Premier Francois Legault said his government was right to recently impose strict measures in the hot spots of Montreal and Quebec City. New restrictions on gyms and sports teams, and mandatory masks in classrooms for high school students came into effect Thursday.

The premier encouraged people to stay home over the Thanksgiving long weekend as the province tries to increase its contact tracing capacity.

Health officials said earlier this week that positive cases among seniors in Quebec have started to increase again.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said hundreds more people will be hired to help with contact tracing in that province. At a news conference with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ford also pointed to efforts to increase testing capacity.

He said the province is getting closer to the goal of 50,000 tests daily.

Ontario is also bringing in measures to tackle a backlog of tests. At some assessment sites, tests will no longer be offered to people without symptoms.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 8, 2020.

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