Coronavirus: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on Sept. 29

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

Status of COVID-19 cases in Toronto

According to the most recent data on the Toronto Public Health (TPH) website Tuesday evening, there were 285 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 since the day before. There were 16,147 resolved cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday. TPH also reported 1,179 residents in Toronto, to date, have died after contracting the virus.

The City said there are currently 66 residents in Toronto hospitals.

More than 60 TDSB schools now reporting coronavirus cases

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is reporting that there are now more than 60 schools with one or more staff and/or students who have tested positive for coronavirus.

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The milestone was reported by the TDSB on Tuesday, the same day the board announced it was enhancing its guidelines requiring masks and face coverings. TDSB schools began a staggered reopening for in-person classes on Sept. 15.

In an update released on Tuesday, TDSB officials said parents and guardians will now be required to wear masks during pick-ups and drop-offs at schools. Another notable change involved the use of face shields.

2 employees at Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto test positive for coronavirus

Ripley’s Aquarium says it had two part-time employees test positive for the virus. The first case was reported on Sept. 22 and the second case was reported on Sept. 28. A spokesperson said the employees worked in different areas of the aquarium operations.

Following the confirmation of the first case, the retail store at the aquarium was closed for six days.

“These are the first two cases in the Aquarium has had since reopening to the public in June,” the spokesperson said, adding that Toronto Public Health said both cases are considered low-risk transmission.

“Since reopening, the Aquarium has decreased regular guest capacity to under 15%, eliminated onsite shows, closed the playground, enhanced cleaning in all areas, provided additional sanitizer throughout the aquarium and enforced mandatory masks for both team members and guests.”

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The aquarium remains open.

Nuit Blanche Toronto goes virtual and for multiple days

Nuit Blanche Toronto has revealed plans for a virtual event that will be spread out over 10 days.

Organizers have shifted the free, one-night art celebration into five online streams, running this Saturday evening until Oct. 12, to ensure safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The programming will include talks, podcasts, livestreams, and artworks in augmented and virtual reality.

The latest health and medical news emailed to you every Sunday.

The pandemic has forced Winnipeg’s fall version of Nuit Blanche to be rescheduled, and cancelled Nuit Blanche Saskatoon.

Toronto International Boat Show 2021 cancelled

The Toronto International Boat Show which was set for January 2021 has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement marks the first time in the event’s 62-year history that it has been cancelled.

“The health and safety of everyone involved with the Toronto Boat Show is our primary concern, and has led to the contributing factors in making this decision,” said Linda Waddell, President and Show Director in a release on Tuesday.

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“Despite our extensive efforts and multiple plans to provide a safe environment for staff, attendees and exhibitors, we did not feel comfortable proceeding having the current information from public health experts and the number of rising cases heading into the fall.”

Toronto school confirms case of coronavirus in student

Earl Haig Public School in Toronto said it has a confirmed case of coronavirus in one of its students, who was last in the school Thursday.

The school said it is undergoing an enhanced clean as a precaution in the “impacted areas.”

Brampton courthouse employee tests positive

An employee at a Brampton courthouse has tested positive for coronavirus.

A statement from the Ministry of the Attorney General says the individual was last at the A Grenville and William Davis Courthouse on Hurontario Street on Sept. 22.

“The individual, who was asymptomatic, was wearing a face covering and followed physical distancing protocols while in the courthouse,” the statement read.

“The individual has been in self-isolation since Sept. 27. In keeping with the public health guidance, the individual will not return to work until cleared to do so by a medical professional.”

Peel Public Health said their officials would reach out to any close contacts of the person who tested positive, the statement advised.

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ActiveTO extended into October

City of Toronto officials have announced that ActiveTO will be extended into October.

The program allows for weekend road closures to ensure physical distancing as people move around amid the pandemic.

This weekend, Lake Shore Boulevard and Bayview Avenue are among the streets that will be affected.

Doug Ford praises deal to buy rapid COVID-19 tests

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says a deal announced by the Canadian government to buy millions of rapid coronavirus tests is “a game changer” as the province looks to build testing capacity amid a second wave of COVID-19.

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“There’s no one that’s been jumping up and down screaming for the rapid tests more than I have,” Ford said during a press conference Tuesday.

His remarks came after the federal government announced a deal to buy 7.9 million kits with American company Abbott. However, the deal is reliant on approval from Health Canada.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Premier Ford thanks feds for their ‘game-changer’  Abbott rapid COVID-19 test'
Coronavirus: Premier Ford thanks feds for their ‘game-changer’ Abbott rapid COVID-19 test

Ontario reports 554 new coronavirus cases Tuesday

Ontario is reporting 554 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the provincial total to 51,085.

According to Tuesday’s provincial report, 251 new cases were recorded in Toronto, 79 in Peel Region, and 43 in York Region, 14 in Durham Region and eight in Halton Region.

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Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said nearly 38,400 tests were processed in the last 24 hours.  Around 1.4 per cent of Tuesday’s processed tests were positive for coronavirus.

Resolved cases increased by 323.

The death toll in the province has risen to 2,844 as four more death were reported. The deaths increased by two in the 60 to 79 age group and by two in the 80 and over age group

Ontario child care centres and schools

Meanwhile, government figures show there have been a total of 308 school-related COVID-19 cases in Ontario — 164 among students and 44 among staff (100 individuals were not identified). This is an increase of 64 more cases from the previous day.

The COVID-19 cases are currently from 250 out of 4,828 schools in the province.

Affected schools with active cases are in Toronto, Oakville, Burlington, Halton Hills, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon, Orangeville, Aurora, Milton, Brant, Tottenham, Waterloo, Cambridge, Kitchener, Brantford, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Welland, Ancaster, Shelburne, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Niagara Falls, Barrie, Orillia, Huntsville, Smith Falls, Amherstburg, New Tecumseth, Woodbridge, Vaughan, Markham, Newmarket, Whitchurch-Stouffville, Richmond Hill, London, Windsor, Woolwich, Whitewater Region, Peterborough, Scugog, Clarence-Rockland, Russell, North Grenville, Ottawa, Kingsville, Thunder Bay, Red Lake and Pembroke.

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

There have been a total of 126 confirmed cases within child care centres and homes — an increase of 11 more since the previous day.

— With files from The Canadian Press.

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