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Ontario COVID-19 cases rise over 200 for 1st time since late July

Last Updated Sep 11, 2020 at 4:18 pm EDT

Specimens to be tested for COVID-19 are seen at LifeLabs after being logged upon receipt at the company's lab, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

For the first time since late July, Ontario is reporting over 200 new cases of COVID-19, with 213 confirmed Friday.

It marks the first time since July 21 cases have topped 200 and its the highest single-day total since 257 cases were reported on June 29.

The spike coincides with a jump in testing. Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a tweet that the province tested over 32,500 people in the previous day.

There were 170 cases on Thursday with 25,000 tests.

Elliott also noted that the majority of new cases – 67 per cent – are in people under the age of 40.

Toronto continues to be a virus hotspot, with 71 new cases, followed by 38 in Peel and 37 in Ottawa.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Friday urged residents to avoid large gatherings as the province recorded what he called an “uptick” in COVID-19 cases.

“It’s not the City of Toronto or Peel Region’s fault,” Ford said during a news conference north of Sudbury, Ont.

“This is happening, we’ve got to work together. All I’ve been asking is, please try to avoid these big gatherings. Just follow the guidelines and everyone will be OK.”

The total number of cases in Ontario now stands at 44,068, which includes 2,813 deaths and 39,598 cases classified as resolved.

The province said four students have also tested positive for COVID-19, all of them in Ottawa, along with nine school staff who have tested positive for the disease.

Ford, who has stressed the need for parents to screen children for symptoms of COVID-19 as schools reopen to in-person learning, said Friday his government will do “whatever it takes to support parents” who have to stay home with sick or symptomatic children.

But the premier stopped short of committing to legislating any work protections or wage replacement measures for parents in those situations.

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