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Coronavirus: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on April 4

Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario reports 375 new COVID-19 cases, total now 3,630
On Saturday, Ontario's associate chief medical officer of health Dr. Barbara Yaffe announced that as of Friday at 4 p.m. ET, the province had reported 375 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 3,630.

Here is a roundup of the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Saturday:

Ontario reports 375 new coronavirus cases, 27 deaths

Ontario reported 375 new cases of novel coronavirus Saturday morning, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 3,630.

Twenty-seven new deaths were reported, raising the death toll to 94.

Saturday’s announcement marks an 11.5 per cent increase in cases, compared to a 16.5 per cent increase reported on Friday.

Fifty-two per cent of the province’s cases are in the Greater Toronto Area.

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4 dead at East York long-term care home

Four residents of an East York long-term care home have died from COVID-19, a spokesperson for the home said.

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Fourteen other residents of the facility are displaying COVID-19 symptoms and are awaiting test results.

Seven staff members have also tested positive and are in self-isolation.

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Toronto cases surpass 1,000 as officials step up enforcement

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Toronto Public Health reports there are now 1,026 cases of COVID-19 in the city, with 823 confirmed and 203 probable.

That marks an overall increase of 101 cases from Friday.

Sixty-six cases are considered recovered, 125 are in hospital with 53 in intensive care. Twenty-five deaths have been reported in the city.

Officials said there are bylaw enforcement officers conducting a physical distancing “enforcement blitz” in the city and as of 1 p.m. turned away “more than 100” vehicles from Humber East and West Parks parking lots.

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Since March 24, bylaw officers had issued 34 notices for not complying with the province’s emergency orders, while Toronto police officers had issued 21 tickets for non-compliance, summonses to two businesses, and nine notices for failing to comply with provincial orders.

Toronto Public Health has also closed well over 250 “non-compliant” bars, restaurants, and “personal service settings” — meaning shops like hairdressers and nail salons.

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Ontario launches portal for agri-food sector workers

The Ontario government announced it has launched a new portal aimed at connecting workers with positions in the province’s agri-food sector.

“Right now, there are important jobs that need to be filled across the food supply chain and we are looking for individuals who embody the Ontario spirit to step up and provide an essential service,” Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman said in a statement.

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$40M for residential services and shelters

The Ontario government announced it would be providing $40 million in funding for residential services for children and youth, people with developmental disabilities, and emergency shelters for women and families fleeing domestic violence.

The “COVID-19 Residential Relief Fund” is aimed at covering costs for additional staffing, personal protective equipment, and initiatives to support physical distancing and transportation “to minimize client exposure,” the government said.

“Our government is doing everything it can to help Ontario’s most vulnerable get through this difficult and challenging time,” Social Services Minister Todd Smith said in a statement.

Coronavirus around the world: April 4, 2020
Coronavirus around the world: April 4, 2020

2nd emergency alert sent

Ontario sent out a second emergency alert regarding COVID-19 to cellphones, TVs and radios Saturday afternoon.

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The alert advised residents to stay home unless “absolutely necessary.”

York Region closes forests, trails

York Region closed 21 tracts of forest in response to the pandemic, covering 2,300 hectares of land.

In total, 120 kilometres of trails are affected.

The land is closed until further notice, effective immediately.

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