Coronavirus: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on Dec. 21

Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Monday:

Provincewide shutdown coming on Boxing Day

Ontario has announced that a “provincewide shutdown” will begin on Boxing Day and last for four weeks in southern areas of the province and two weeks in northern areas.

“Unfortunately, despite the restrictions, we’ve seen growing numbers of people travelling between regions within Ontario,” Premier Doug Ford said during a press conference Monday.

“COVID is spreading rapidly from high outbreak areas to areas with fewer cases. As it does, our hospitals are filling up more each day. We’ve seen a 70-per cent increase in hospitalizations and 80-per cent increase in ICU admissions in the past few weeks.”

Read more: Ontario to enter ‘provincewide shutdown’ on Boxing Day

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Delayed return of in-person classes for Ontario schools

In response to rising coronavirus cases, the provincial government has announced a delay in resuming in-person classes at Ontario’s schools.

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“Public health and other experts have expressed significant concerns that the current transmission trends, combined with the potentially high levels of mobility from social and consumer activity over the holiday period, could overwhelm health care and public health sector capacity in the new year,” officials said in an update Monday afternoon.

Read more: Coronavirus: Government delays return of in-person classes for Ontario schools

ICU cases to top 300 within 10 days

New coronavirus projections show that under all scenarios, the province will see 300 intensive care unit beds filled within 10 days.

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Under a worst-case-scenario, ICU occupancy could hit 1,500 beds by mid-January.

The data also shows that deaths due to COVID-19 will continue to increase, especially in long-term care where there have been 633 resident deaths since Sept. 1, and 100 over the past week.

Read more: More than 300 COVID-19 patients will be in Ontario ICUs within 10 days, modelling shows

Status of cases in the GTA

Ontario reported a total of 2,123 new cases on Monday:

Of those:

  • 611 were in Toronto
  • 480 were in Peel Region
  • 192 were in York Region
  • 91 were in Durham Region
  • 92 were in Halton Region
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Coronavirus: 25 charges laid in Toronto over the weekend include ones for protests, shinny hockey

Ontario reports more than 2,100 new cases, 17 deaths

Ontario reported 2,123 new cases of the novel coronavirus Monday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 158,053.

Seventeen new deaths were also reported, bringing the provincial death toll to 4,167.

Monday marks the seventh day in a row more than 2,000 new cases were reported in the province.

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Ministry of Long-Term Care reports 6 more deaths

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 2,508 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario, which is an increase of six.

There are currently 160 outbreaks in long-term care homes.

— With files from The Canadian Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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