Ontario reports just 33 new COVID-19 cases, fewest since mid-March
Windsor-Essex saw most new cases, with 10
Ontario reported an additional 33 cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the fewest on a single day in the province since March 19.
Health Minister Christine Elliott noted that 21 cases that had been reported by Toronto Public Health already on previous days were removed from today's update before it was released.
Windsor-Essex was the only public health unit to reach double digits, with 10 cases confirmed there on Monday. Southwestern Public Health had the second-most, with 8.
Twenty-two health units reported no further cases at all.
During his daily COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday afternoon, Premier Doug Ford called the figures "impressive."
"We see the number of cases declining right across the province … but we can't take our eye off the ball for a second," Ford said.
"The most impressive thing about those numbers is the amount of people we are testing as well — we're well in the 20,000, closer to 30,000 some days.
"I just want to thank the people of Ontario for doing an incredible job and following the protocols and the guidelines from the chief medical officer," Ford added.
All of the figures used in this story are found in the Ministry of Health's daily update, which includes data from up until 4 p.m. the previous day. The number of cases for any particular region on a given day may differ from what is reported by the local public health unit, which often avoid lag times in the provincial system.
Ontario has now seen a total of 40,194 confirmed infections of the novel coronavirus since the outbreak began in late January. Of those, about 90.7 per cent are considered resolved by public health officials. An additional 75 infections were marked resolved in today's update.
There are currently some 952 active, confirmed cases of COVID-19 provincewide. The majority are limited to seven public health units, all in the southern reaches of the province:
- Toronto Public Health: 167
- Ottawa Public Health: 140
- Peel Public Health: 126
- Windsor-Essex County Health Unit: 120
- Chatham-Kent Health Unit: 74
- York Region Public Health Services: 66
- Southwestern Public Health: 64
Ontario's official death toll from the illness remained steady for a second straight day and sits at 2,786. A CBC News count based on regional data puts the real toll at 2,824.
New long-term care home for Toronto's Humber River Hospital
On Tuesday, Ford announced that a new long-term care home will be built at Toronto's Humber River Hospital's Finch site in months, not years.
The project is part of the province's Accelerated Build Pilot Program. Details were provided by Ford, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care; Barbara Collins, President and CEO of Humber River Hospital; and John Tory, Mayor of Toronto.
"We're getting our seniors off wait lists, we're building more homes that feel like home and giving our loved ones the dignity and care they deserve," Ford said.
By working with Humber River Hospital and Infrastructure Ontario, the province intends to build up to 320 new long-term care beds at this site by the end of next year.
The government says it plans to spend $1.75 billion on long-term care homes over the next five years.
COVID-19 highlights need for more long-term care beds
Tory said the announcement "is nothing but very, very good news for Toronto."
He said while COVID-19 has taught many lessons, a major takeaway for Toronto is the need for more long-term care beds.
"Some of our city's most vulnerable, frail seniors were heavily impacted upon at the start of the pandemic [and] we tragically lost far too many seniors, and many others continue to deal with the lasting effects of COVID-19," he said.
"Today's announcement .. is another significant step forward when it comes to more and better long-term care beds being made available to the people of Toronto and Ontario."
City of Vaughan temporarily laying off 1,100 workers
On Tuesday the City of Vaughan, located north of Toronto, announced it's laying off 1,100 employees on a temporary basis — a direct result of COVID-19.
"Due to a shortage of work in some departments caused by the extraordinary circumstances related to COVID-19, the City of Vaughan came to the difficult but necessary decision to temporarily lay off some employees in April," the city said in a statement.
"Staff who were impacted by these changes were notified in April."
With files from Lucas Powers and Desmond Brown