Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Wednesday:
Status of COVID-19 cases in Toronto
According to the most recent data on the Toronto Public Health (TPH) website Wednesday evening, there were 187 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 since the day before. There were 17,700 resolved cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. TPH also reported 1,308 residents in Toronto, to date, have died after contracting the virus.
The City reported there are currently 83 residents in Toronto hospitals.
YCDSB making changes to learning model for elementary schools
The York Catholic District School Board sent a letter to parents on Wednesday that said that all elementary classes will be changed to a hybrid in-person and virtual learning model starting next week.
As of Oct. 14, classes will have both in-class and remote learners. The changes are being made given operational and staffing challenges the board has faced during the pandemic, according to the letter.
The board also said that all schools will be closed on October 13 to reorganize the classrooms.
TDSB moves hundreds of elementary teachers to online classes
Canada’s largest school district is moving hundreds of elementary school teachers from in-person to online classes.
The Toronto District School Board says the changes, which take effect next week, are meant to balance out the ratio of students to teachers across the system.
The board says there are about 63,000 students taking part in online classes — more than anticipated — and some have yet to be assigned a teacher.
Food banks in need of donations ahead of Thanksgiving, report says
According to a new report by the Daily Bread Food Bank, there is an increased demand for donations ahead of Thanksgiving.
The report said its associated food banks see almost 20,000 people a week, an increase of 25 per cent compared to this period last year.
In speaking with more than 220 food bank users earlier this year, the Daily Bread Food Bank report said 91 per cent of people identified one or more challenges to accessing food (food being unavailable, unable to get out due to public health guidance etc.).
It was also estimated 51 per cent of respondents are at “high risk for severe illness from COVID-19” due to age or other medical conditions.
“The report is also a predictor of a new wave of issues that will be faced by individuals living in poverty, such as the risk of mass evictions, if Canada’s social safety net does not keep pace with the rise in need,” the report said.
COVID-19 cases reported at Toronto HomeSense and Marshalls location
A spokesperson for Cadillac Fairview said in a statement there was a confirmed COVID-19 staff case at CF Fairview Mall, specifically at the HomeSense and Marshalls location.
The statement said the employee last worked on Sept. 26.
“CF is undertaking extra cleaning of all elevator banks, food court tables, common area seating, doors and stair railings, and all other high-touch points in the complex,” it said.
“At this point in time, public health has advised that no further action is required and the building can remain open for business.”
583 new coronavirus cases in Ontario on Wednesday
According to Wednesday’s provincial report, 180 new cases were recorded in Toronto, 121 in Ottawa, 75 in York Region, 70 in Peel Region, 25 in Hamilton and 23 in Simcoe Muskoka.
The death toll in the province has risen to 2,988 as one more death was reported. Resolved cases increased by 707 from the previous day.
The province processed nearly 43,300 tests in the last 24 hours.
Ontario child care centres and schools
Meanwhile, government figures show there have been a total of 722 school-related COVID-19 cases in Ontario — 402 among students and 117 among staff (203 individuals were not identified). This is an increase of 111 more cases from the previous day.
The COVID-19 cases are currently from 379 out of 4,828 schools in the province.
Two schools in Ontario are currently closed as a result of positive cases, the government indicated.
There have been a total of 210 confirmed cases within child care centres and homes — an increase of 23 more since the previous day.
Ontario long-term care homes
According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 1,876 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario, which is an increase of one death from the previous day. Eight health-care workers and staff in long-term care homes have died.
There are 53 current outbreaks in homes, an increase of two.
The ministry also indicated there are currently 154 active cases among long-term care residents and 165 active cases among staff, up by 18 and zero cases respectively in the last day.
— With files from The Canadian Press.
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