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Coronavirus: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on Feb. 11

Click to play video: 'Canada Post stops mail delivery to 2 Toronto apartment buildings over COVID-19 concerns'
Canada Post stops mail delivery to 2 Toronto apartment buildings over COVID-19 concerns
WATCH ABOVE: Residents of two high-rise apartment buildings in Toronto’s west-end are upset about being cut-off from Canada Post delivery. A letter delivered to them says they need to travel over 11 km to pick up their mail and they haven’t been told when it will resume. Matthew Bingley reports. – Feb 11, 2021

Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Thursday.

Ontario government announces postponement of March Break

The Ontario government has announced March Break will be postponed until the week of April 12.

Deputy Premier and Health Minister Christine Elliott, Education Minister Stephen Lecce and Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, made the announcement during a Thursday afternoon news conference at Queen’s Park.

“We want a safe break, a careful break, and one that’s at the right time,” Williams told reporters.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: March Break postponed in Ontario amid pandemic'
Coronavirus: March Break postponed in Ontario amid pandemic

Stay-at-home order and vaccines needed to avoid 3rd wave in Ontario, experts say

Health experts advising the Ontario government say “aggressive” vaccination and maintaining a stay-at-home order will help the province avoid a third wave and another lockdown.

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In new COVID-19 projections issued Thursday, they say public health measures have cut COVID-19 case counts, hospitalizations and positivity rates across the province, but variants remain a serious concern.

1st COVID-19 variant case linked to City of Toronto long-term care facility

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Toronto officials have announced the first known case of a COVID-19 variant linked to a City-run long-term care facility.

Officials said an employee working at Castleview Wychwood Towers tested positive for a variant, but the type of variant wasn’t specified. The employee last worked on Feb. 2 and does not have direct contact with residents, officials said.

Ninety-five per cent of residents at the facility are reported to have had their first COVID-19 vaccine doses, with 90 per cent also receiving their second shot.

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Seventy-five per cent of employees have been vaccinated.

No residents, staff, or caregivers are showing any symptoms, officials added, but all residents and staff members who could have been exposed were tested Wednesday.

Click to play video: '‘Still far away’ from Ontarians being able to choose what COVID-19 vaccine they receive, Elliott says'
‘Still far away’ from Ontarians being able to choose what COVID-19 vaccine they receive, Elliott says

Hundreds of COVID-19 cases linked to active workplace outbreaks in Toronto, data shows

Toronto Public Health has released more data on COVID-19 outbreaks in workplaces, showing hundreds of cases linked to various locations.

The data, released Thursday, shows there are an estimated 375 COVID-19 cases linked to active outbreaks in workplaces listed on the City’s website.

LCBO to reopen on Mondays

After months of being closed on Mondays, an LCBO spokesperson says the store is ready to resume “more regular operations” come March 1.

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The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) said that means a resumption of regular hours.

Last March the government announced that the stores would be closed on Mondays for extra cleaning.

However, OPSEU said since March 30, staff haven’t been scheduled to come in for extra cleaning.

“It became clear to our members very quickly that the Monday closings were actually making things less safe for customers and the entire community,” OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas said.

Status of cases in the GTA

Ontario reported a total of 945 new cases on Thursday.

Of those:

  • 112 were in Toronto (there was an underreporting of data by Toronto Public Health)
  • 258 were in Peel Region
  • 116 were in York Region
  • 33 were in Durham Region
  • 31 were in Halton Region

Ontario reports 945 new cases, 18 deaths

The Ontario government is reporting 945 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, but issues with data in Toronto means there is an underreporting of cases.

Thursday’s case count is lower than Wednesday’s, which saw 1,072 new infections reported.

It was also reported that 18 people died since Wednesday morning, bringing the total number of people dead to 6,614. Of the total number of deaths to date, 3,769 have been long-term care home residents.

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Over 14,700 more vaccine doses administered

As of 8 p.m. Wednesday, 426,836 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Ontario, which is an increase of 14,717 from the previous day. So far, 136,988 people in the province have received both required doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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