Coronavirus: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on Sept. 23

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WATCH ABOVE: Ontario’s long-term care homes were hit hard by COVID-19. Now as the second wave approaches, organizations representing seniors say long-term care homes are not prepared to deal with it again. Miranda Anthistle reports.

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

Ontario reports 355 new coronavirus cases Wednesday

Ontario is reporting 335 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the provincial total to 48,087.

According to Wednesday’s provincial report, 102 new cases were recorded in Toronto, 79 in Peel Region, 65 in Ottawa, and 30 in York Region. All other public health units in Ontario reported 15 or fewer cases.

More than 35,400 tests were processed in the last 24 hours.

The death toll in the province has risen to 2,835 as three more deaths were reported.

Meanwhile, 41,600 Ontarians have recovered from COVID-19.

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Read more: Ontario reports 335 new coronavirus cases, 69% under the age of 40

Ontario child care centres and schools

Meanwhile, government figures show there have been a total of 180 school-related COVID-19 cases in Ontario — 77 among students and 38 among staff (65 individuals were not identified). This is an increase of 42 more cases since the previous day.

The COVID-19 cases are currently from 153 out of 4,828 schools in the province.

Affected schools are in Toronto, Oakville, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon, Milton, Waterloo, Brantford, Welland, Ancaster, Balmertown, Niagara Falls, Barrie, Orillia, Huntsville, Amherstburg, Cambridge, Thornhill, Maple, Woodbridge, Vaughan, Markham, London, Windsor, Embrun, Orleans, Nepean, Rockland, Ottawa, Kemptville, Kingsville, Elmira, and Pembroke.

Two schools in Ontario are closed as a result of positive cases, the government indicated.

There have been a total of 108 confirmed cases within child care centres and homes — an increase of 13 more since the previous day.

Ontario announces COVID-19 testing to be expanded to pharmacies

The Ontario government has announced that pharmacies will begin offering COVID-19 tests to people who aren’t experiencing symptoms of the virus as part of its fall preparedness plan.

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Starting Friday, people with no symptoms of the coronavirus can visit up to 60 pharmacies in Toronto, Ottawa, Brampton, Mississauga, Markham and Huntsville by appointment only for free testing.

Read more: Ontario announces COVID-19 testing to be expanded to pharmacies

Toronto cancels events through Dec. 31, Santa Claus parade to go virtual

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Santa Claus will be doing things a little differently in Toronto this year.

The City of Toronto says the 115th Santa Claus Parade is among the events that will be cancelled or altered because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It says the parade will be holding an online event in place of the traditional in-person fanfare.

The city says its annual New Year’s Eve bash in Nathan Phillips Square is also cancelled.

Read more: Toronto cancels major events through Dec. 31, Santa Claus parade to go virtual

14 people fined $880 each for large party in Scarborough

Toronto police say 14 fines for not following public health rules amid the COVID-19 pandemic were handed out after officers were called to a house for a “noisy party” in Scarborough.

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Police said they attended a residence in the Kingston Road and St. Clair Avenue East area on Wednesday that had about 50 people.

The provincial offence notices were issued under the Reopening Ontario Act for failing to comply with Section 7.0.2. order.

Each of the 14 people received an $880 ticket.

Current gathering restrictions are now limited across Ontario to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

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14 people facing large fines for attending Toronto house party

Read more: 14 people fined $880 each for large party in Scarborough

Ontario hiring 98 more labour inspectors

Ontario says it will hire 98 new labour inspectors this fall as part of the effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces.

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Labour Minister Monte McNaughton said the government will begin to recruit the workers in October.

The hiring blitz will increase the number of government inspectors from 409 to 507 and will cost $11.6 million.

McNaughton said the inspectors will allow the government to respond faster to situations that may arise during the pandemic.

Read more: Ontario hiring 98 more labour inspectors to speed up COVID-19 pandemic workplace response

Staff member at Branksome Hall private school tests positive for coronavirus

A staff member at an all-girls private school in Toronto has tested positive for coronavirus.

The Branksome Hall staff member was teaching a Grade 8 class on Friday, the private school said.

Over the weekend the staff member began experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, got tested and was confirmed positive on Monday.

“As a precautionary measure and given the cross-over of cohorts, Branksome Hall has made the difficult decision to move the entire Grade 8 class to virtual learning for the remainder of this academic segment (until October 8),” the private school said in a statement.

2 students from The York School test positive for coronavirus

The York School confirmed that two students tested positive for the coronavirus.

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In a statement, the school said two Junior School classes were affected and therefore those students will remain home for 14 days, where they will learn online.

The school also confirmed the two students were asymptomatic when they were last at school on Sept. 17.

“We recognize the anxiety and concern associated with this news. We will continue to update our community with any important information from Toronto Public Health, while respecting confidentiality,” the statement read.

Worker at Etobicoke pub tests positive

A worker at an Etobicoke pub has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, prompting the business to temporarily close.

In a statement posted on the website for Firkin On The Bay, the facility said the employee last worked on Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The statement said Toronto Public Health is aware of the case and added that other employees are in self-isolation and undergoing testing “to be fully certain of their health before returning to work.”

“We are currently conducting a detailed deep clean of our pub,” the statement read. “When we reopen, we plan to employ staff from other Firkin Pubs until we are certain that our On The Bay team members are able to safely work and safely look after our guests.”

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34 people in Durham Region given incorrect positive COVID-19 tests

Durham Region Health Department says 34 people were given incorrect positive COVID-19 test results due to an error by SickKids Hospital.

Durham health said they were notified of the error on Monday.

“The Health Department was advised that the results were entered incorrectly as positive when they were in fact negative, impacting the results for 34 individuals,” a statement read.

All impacted parties have been informed.

Read more: 34 people in Durham Region given incorrect positive COVID-19 tests

— With files from Ryan Rocca, Daina Goldfinger and The Canadian Press