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Coronavirus: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on Nov. 25

WATCH ABOVE: Toronto officials provide coronavirus pandemic update

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

Owner of Etobicoke restaurant who reopened for indoor dining during lockdown charged

Officials say the owner of an Etobicoke restaurant who reopened indoor dining despite coronavirus-related restrictions is facing multiple charges.

Adam Skelly, who owns Adamson Barbecue on Queen Elizabeth Boulevard near Royal York Road and The Queensway, was personally charged along with the business itself.

Toronto police Supt. Domenic Sinopoli said a total of nine charges were laid. It was alleged that indoor dining regulations were breached both Tuesday and Wednesday, the business operated without a licence, illegal gatherings were held, and a closure order from the medical officer of health was violated.

Read more: Coronavirus: Owner of Etobicoke restaurant who reopened for indoor dining during lockdown charged

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Status of cases in the GTA

Ontario reported a total of 1,373 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday.

Of those:

  • 445 were in Toronto
  • 415 were in Peel Region
  • 136 were in York Region
  • 26 were in Durham Region
  • 30 were in Halton Region

Ontario reports 1,373 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, 35 more deaths

Ontario reported 1,373 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the provincial total to 107,883.

The death toll in the province has risen to 3,554 as 35 more deaths were reported.

More than 36,000 tests were processed in the last 24 hours. Resolved cases increased by 1,476 from the previous day.

Read more: Ontario reports 1,373 new coronavirus cases, 35 more deaths

Auditor general highlights Ontario’s ‘confusing,’ indirect communications on COVID-19 in new report

As part of an in-depth look at the Ontario government‘s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, provincial auditor general Bonnie Lysyk says local officials and entities were impacted by “confus[ing]” messaging and reported learning about some major decisions without warning.
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“Local medical officers of health informed us that they were confused by provincial politicians delivering public health advice in place of the chief medical officer of health,” a report from Lysyk’s office released Wednesday morning said.

Read more: Auditor general highlights Ontario’s ‘confusing,’ indirect communications on COVID-19 in new report

Ontario government alleges family employed by province perpetrated $11M COVID benefit fraud

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Four family members who worked for the Ontario government in information technology defrauded the province of at least $11 million destined as COVID-19 relief money, a statement of claim alleges.

The unproven civil claim on behalf of the province, which also seeks $2 million in punitive damages, accuses them and others of illegally issuing and banking cheques under the Support for Families Program that aimed to defray the cost of children learning at home.

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Read more: Ontario government alleges family employed by province perpetrated $11M COVID benefit fraud

Government advises Ontarians to celebrate holidays with their household only

Ontario residents should celebrate the upcoming winter holidays only with the people they live with, regardless of the COVID-19 situation in their region, the provincial government said Wednesday.

Read more: Ontarians should celebrate holidays with own household only, government says

Ontario long-term care homes

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 2,173 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario which is an increase of 18 deaths.

There are 104 current outbreaks in homes, an increase of two.

The ministry also indicated there are currently 542 active cases among long-term care residents and 453 active cases among staff — up by eight cases and up by two cases respectively in the last day.

Ontario child care centres and schools

Government figures show there have been a total of 4,269 school-related COVID-19 cases in Ontario — 2,609 among students and 573 among staff (1,087individuals were not identified). This is an increase of 162 more cases over a 24-hour period.

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There have been a total of 721 confirmed cases within child care centres and homes — an increase of 23 (11 child cases and 12 staff cases.)

— With files from The Canadian Press