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Ontario's top health official recommends events with over 250 people be cancelled

Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario, attends a news conference in Toronto, on Monday, January 27, 2020, as officials provide an update on the coronavirus in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health is recommending the immediate suspension of all large events and public gatherings of over 250 people due to COVID-19.

In a memo to be issued today, Dr. David Williams says organizers of smaller gatherings should consult with their local public health unit.

He says all Ontarians should practice social distancing as much as possible to manage the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The provincial government announced Thursday that Ontario is closing all public schools for two weeks following March break.

No government directive has yet been issued to daycares, but Williams says child-care centres should actively screen children, parents, staff and visitors for any COVID-19 symptoms and travel history.

Meanwhile, some of Ontario’s largest universities are cancelling in-person classes over COVID-19 concerns.

The University of Toronto, York University, Western University, Carlton University and McMcaster University are among the post-secondary institutions to announce such closures.

Schools are moving classes online and many have cancelled all discretionary events.

In Toronto, a major tourist attraction announced today that it is closing for the next month.

Canada Lands Company, which owns the CN Tower, says it will close tonight and won’t reopen until April 14.