Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Friday:
Status of COVID-19 cases in Toronto
According to the most recent data on the Toronto Public Health (TPH) website Friday evening, there were 236 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 since the day before. There were 15,725 resolved cases of COVID-19 as of Friday. TPH also reported 1,178 people to date have died after contracting the virus.
The City said there are currently 41 residents in Toronto hospitals.
Outbreak declared at Toronto elementary school
Toronto Public Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a North York elementary school after officials say two students tested positive for coronavirus.
Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s medical officer of health, announced the outbreak was declared on Friday at Glen Park Public School on Englemount Avenue, near Allen Road and Lawrence Avenue West.
“One of the realities of living in a world with COVID-19 is that there will be cases in schools. Today’s news is expected,” she said during a news conference at Toronto city hall Friday afternoon.
Toronto Public Health orders 4 businesses to close
Toronto’s medical officer of health says she has ordered the closure of four hospitality-related businesses in response to concerns over the spread of COVID-19.
“These are specific actions to arrest transmission of COVID-19,” Dr. Eileen de Villa told reporters at Toronto city hall Friday afternoon.
“I am acting under my authority to close down these businesses. These are not actions I take lightly.”
De Villa said Toronto Public Health staff were serving the orders on the businesses as she spoke. She said she wasn’t able to identify those businesses because not all of the owners were served.
2 City of Toronto ferry docks workers test positive for coronavirus
The City of Toronto reported two seasonal ferry docks employees who worked close together tested positive for coronavirus.
According to a statement, they last worked between Sept. 13 and 15 and Sept. 20 and 22.
Officials said the exposure risk “is very low” since the employees worked outdoors and wore masks when near residents. Toronto Public Health is conducting contact tracing for fellow employees.
Durham Region crime trends during COVID-19
Durham Regional Police say most major crime trends continue to be lower from the period of March 17 to Sept. 15 compared with 2019.
“However, violent crime continues to move upward toward normal levels,” police noted in a news release Friday.
“Property crime also remains below last year’s levels, with the exception of Fraud/Identity Theft and Stolen Vehicles, which are up slightly.”
Officers said property crime reports are down by 13 per cent, or 1,187; violent crime reports are down by 8 per cent, or 267; and impaired driving calls are down 18 per cent, or by 630.
Domestic and domestic-related calls, however, are up by six per cent or 182 calls, police said.
Ontario reports 409 new cases of coronavirus
Ontario is reporting 409 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, bringing the provincial total to 48,905.
According to Friday’s provincial report, 204 new cases were recorded in Toronto, 66 in Peel Region, 33 in York Region, and 12 each in Durham Region and Halton Region.
Ontario completed 41,865 tests in 24 hours. However, officials note some tests that were missed the previous day were included in Friday’s report.
The death toll in the province has risen to 2,837 as one more death was reported.
Meanwhile, 42,169 Ontarians have recovered from COVID-19. Resolved cases increased by 283 from the previous day.
Ontario child care centres and schools
Meanwhile, government figures show there have been a total of 238 school-related COVID-19 cases in Ontario — 110 among students and 50 among staff (78 individuals were not identified). This is an increase of 29 more cases since the previous day.
The COVID-19 cases are currently from 198 out of 4,828 schools in the province.
Affected schools are in Toronto, Oakville, Burlington, Halton Hills, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon, Orangeville, Aurora, Milton, Tottenham, Waterloo, Cambridge, Kitchener, Brantford, Welland, Ancaster, St. Catharines, Balmertown, Hamilton, Niagara Falls, Barrie, Orillia, Huntsville, Smith Falls, Amherstburg, New Tecumseth, Thornhill, Maple, Woodbridge, Vaughan, Markham, London, Windsor, Embrun, Orleans, Nepean, Clarence-Rockland, Russell, North Grenville, Ottawa, Kemptville, Kingsville, Elmira, Thunder Bay, Red Lake and Pembroke.
Two schools in Ontario are closed as a result of positive cases, the government indicated.
There have been a total of 109 confirmed cases within child care centres and homes — an increase of two more since the previous day.
COVID-19 testing available at select pharmacies in GTA
Starting Friday, Sept. 25, 38 pharmacies in the Toronto-area will be able to offer coronavirus tests to at-risk, asymptomatic people and by appointment only.
People who have no symptoms — but are considered at-risk of exposure or work in sensitive settings like long-term care homes — can get a test by making an appointment at select pharmacies in the Greater Toronto Area specifically in Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga and Markham.
Some of the participating pharmacies include Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall, Village Square Pharmacy and Medicine Shoppe.
Ontario announces new restrictions on bars, restaurants; strip clubs ordered closed
The Ontario government is prohibiting restaurants, bars and other food and drink businesses from selling alcohol after 11 p.m. and ordering all strip clubs to close across the province.
The order will go into effect 12:01 a.m. Saturday and will also require food and drink establishments to close by 12 a.m. and remain closed until 5 a.m., except for delivery and takeout.
— With files from Daina Goldfinger