Coronavirus: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on Oct. 18

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: York Region re-enters stage 2 on Monday'
Coronavirus: York Region re-enters stage 2 on Monday
WATCH ABOVE: Gyms, indoor dining and movie theatres will close for at least 28 days as York Region re-enters stage two of Ontario’s reopening plan. As Morganne Campbell reports, less populated communities in the region are trying to grapple with the closures which are expected to hurt the bottom lines of small businesses. – Oct 18, 2020

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

Status of COVID-19 cases in Toronto, Peel, Durham and York Regions

Public health units in Toronto, Ottawa, Peel Region and York Region reported higher increases in cases compared to other regions in the province. Of the 658 new cases in Ontario, 197 were in Toronto, 155 were in Peel Region, 94 were in York Region and 45 were in Durham Region.

St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Toronto Western Hospital responding to outbreaks

St. Joseph’s Health Centre is reporting staff are dealing with a “significant” number of people who have tested positive for coronavirus.

As of Sunday morning, a spokesperson told Global News 16 people are in the hospital’s COVID-19 unit. Of those in the unit, the spokesperson said seven patients and 13 staff members were connected to outbreaks at the facility.

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“We want to assure our community that St. Joseph’s is a safe place to receive care and emergency services. We have taken many measures to ensure this, including closing affected units to new admissions, further enhancing our cleaning and infection control procedures and implementing additional safety precautions for our staff, such as the mandatory use of face shields at all times in clinical spaces,” the spokesperson wrote.

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READ MORE: Patients at North York General Hospital raise concerns about waiting room experience

“We will be implementing widespread testing of staff and patients in the coming days.”

The hospital also changed its visitor policy to permit visits by those designated an “essential care partner” only twice a week now, except for palliative, pediatric and birthing centre patients.

Meanwhile, a Toronto Western Hospital spokesperson said three patients and six staff members at two units (8A and 8B) continue to be treated for COVID-19 after an outbreak was declared Thursday afternoon. Testing continues on staff and patients associated with the units.

Ontario government reports 658 new coronavirus cases

The Ontario government is reporting in its daily update that almost 660 new people have tested positive for coronavirus.

As of Sunday morning, the government said 64,371 have contracted COVID-19 to date. It was also reported that five people died since Saturday morning, bringing the total number of people dead to 3,046.

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In total, 55,371 people have recovered from the virus — an increase of 685 people since Saturday.

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