Ontario reported a sharp increase in one-day COVID-19 cases on Friday with 401 new cases, prompting the Ford government to announce a crackdown on social gatherings will be expanded to new areas of the province.
The new cases mark the highest single-day increase since early June. It also marked the eighth straight day new cases have topped 200.
There are now 46,077 coronavirus cases in the province with just over 88 per cent considered resolved.
Provincial health officials said there were 130 cases in Toronto, with 82 in Peel Region, and 61 in Ottawa.
Sixty-seven per cent of the new cases are people under the age of 40.
Zero new deaths were reported, leaving the provincial total at 2,825
According to the province, 35,826 tests were processed over the previous 24 hour period but there are now more than 40,000 still under investigation.
The number of hospitalizations grew slightly, up to 58 while those patients in the ICU and on ventilators remained virtually unchanged.
There were 11 new cases reported in schools, which included five student cases and six unidentified cases. A total of 60 schools now have a reported case for a total of 72 COVID-19 cases.
Premier Doug Ford said that newly announced restrictions – which came into effect Friday in the virus hot spots of Toronto, Ottawa, and Peel Region – have been requested by mayors and medical officials from other areas.
In the face of what have been daily increases in new virus cases in recent weeks, Ford said he will discuss expanding the measures with his cabinet, but gave no further details.
“We’re going to be rolling (it) out to other areas across the province from the request of the mayors,” he said. “I listen to the medical experts. I’ll base this on the health and science.”
Under the measures only 10 people will be allowed to gather indoors, down from the previous limit of 25; the number for outdoor gatherings will drop to 25 from 100.
On Thursday, the mayor of Markham expressed disappointment that York Region was not included in the new restrictions, saying in a statement that he did not want the municipality to become the province’s next hot spot.
The Middlesex-London Health Unit requested Friday that the province include it in the new restrictions as well, after it reported 47 new COVID-19 cases this week.
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit on Friday urged people in that region to begin to lessen contact with others, even within their 10-person social bubbles after confirming 42 cases for the week of Sept. 13 – the highest weekly total since early May.
Ford made the comments in Ottawa on Friday alongside the premiers of Quebec, Alberta and Manitoba, as they asked for more federal funding for health care.
He said the spike in cases underscores the need for greater federal support of the health-care system.
“You’ve seen cases jump from 300 to over 400 just over a few days,” he said. “It’s very concerning. We need the support from the federal government.”