Health Minister Christine Elliott called the latest climb of COVID-19 cases “disturbing” on Tuesday and said the province would pause any further loosening of restrictions for a four-week period in response to the surge.
Cases of COVID-19 have steadily risen leading up to the return to school on Tuesday.
The province is reporting some of the highest COVID-19 numbers since late July, with 185 new cases on Tuesday, and 190 on Monday.
Most of the new cases are in Toronto (48) and Peel Region (42).
“We all know this school year will be different,” Premier Doug Ford said Tuesday while announcing that 37 million pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have been distributed to school boards across the province, including 19.5 million masks.
Premier Ford warned citizens to remain vigilant and scolded some for throwing large parties in the midst of the pandemic.
“There’s some big parties happening,” he said. “We can’t have these parties … we can’t have big weddings.”
There are now 43,536 confirmed cases in Ontario with 90 per cent considered resolved.
The slow but steady climb in cases across the country prompted a warning from Canada’s chief public health doctor.
“This is a concern and a reminder that we all need to maintain public health measures to keep COVID-19 on the slow-burn path that we need,” Dr. Theresa Tam said in a statement released early Tuesday.
“As we enter the fall, Canadians will need to be even more vigilant about following public health guidance, particularly as the cold weather shifts activities indoors.”