$4B in COVID-19 funding announced for Ontario municipalities and transit
Province reported 119 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, with most coming in people under 40
Premier Doug Ford announced $4 billion in funding from the province and federal government Monday that's meant to support Ontario municipalities and transit systems in the wake of COVID-19.
The money will be used to support shelters, food banks, public health, and transit systems, the province says.
"It's a great deal for Ontario," Ford said.
Up to $2 billion will also be allocated to public transit, also shared equally between the province and federal government.
"Half of the funding being announced today will support our critical municipal transit systems," said Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney.
The money will help fund transit agencies who have seen 90 per cent fewer riders and added costs for cleaning, said Mulroney.
"This funding will help ensure transit services continue to be there so people can get where they need to go as our province reopens and people return to work," she said.
The province says investments will also be made in "testing, contact tracing and data management."
119 additional cases reported
Ontario reported an additional 119 cases of COVID-19 on Monday, with a firm majority once again in people under 40 years old.
Thirty of the province's 34 public health units confirmed five or fewer new cases, while 16 of those 30 reported no new cases at all, Health Minister Christine Elliott noted in a series of tweets.
Windsor-Essex, a region that continues to struggle with outbreaks among temporary farm workers living in cramped conditions, saw 40 more infections of the novel coronavirus, the most of any health unit. Meanwhile, Ottawa had 28.
Notably, Peel Region, which has consistently been in the top three health units for new daily cases, confirmed just four new instances of COVID-19. Toronto also confirmed a significant decrease in case numbers, reporting only five cases Monday.
Seventy-six of today's 119 new cases were diagnosed in people aged 20 to 39 years old, Elliott said.
Public health officials have stressed in recent days the need for young people to continue adhering to social distancing measures.
"It's really unbelievable and so disappointing," said Ford in regards to parties that took place in Brampton over the weekend with a few hundred people reportedly attending. "You'd think the cheese slipped off the cracker with these people."
WATCH | Ford slams people hosting parties
Health authorities in York Region on Saturday issued a public warning after three people tested positive for the novel coronavirus after attending a large party in Schomberg. And in Peel, police say they broke up a house party in Brampton that was attended by as many as 200 young people.
Ontario has now seen a total of 38,799 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak began in late January. Of those, about 88.8 per cent are considered resolved by the Ministry of Health.
There are currently about 1,574 active cases of COVID-19 provincewide.
For a second day in a row, the province's reporting on hospitalization numbers is incomplete, as about 30 hospitals failed to submit data from their daily bed censuses on July 24, an issue that not yet been remedied.
Meanwhile, Ontario's official COVID-19 death toll grew by one and is now 2,764. A CBC News count based on data provided directly by public health units, a measure that avoids lag times in the provincial reporting system, puts the real current toll at 2,792.
Three public health units in the province are still awaiting permission to move into the next stage of the province's reopening plan.
"Given the recent fluctuation [of case numbers].... we would like to be extra cautious about assessing the movement of the final three health units into Stage 3," said Barbara Yaffe, the province's associate chief medical officer of health.
The decision is expected to be made on Wednesday.
When asked how the parties that occurred over the weekend in Brampton would factor into the decision to move Peel into Stage 3, Yaffe said it's "part of the consideration for sure but we're looking at the bigger picture mostly."
Child-care centres can expand capacity today
Meanwhile, the number of kids in child-care centres is allowed to increase across Ontario today as the province continues its gradual reopening.
The Ministry of Education had previously limited the number of people per room in a daycare to 10 in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
As of today, a maximum of 15 children — plus staff members — will be allowed in each "cohort."
The groups of children must stay together throughout the program for at least seven days, and cannot mix with kids in different cohorts.
While a government document offering operational guidance says staff members are no longer included in the size of the cohort, it notes that staff should not rotate between groups. It says supervisors should "limit their movement between rooms, doing so when absolutely necessary."
The ministry says infants are excluded from the increased capacity, because they've never been allowed to be in groups of more than 10.
With files from Lucas Powers, Ania Bessonov, and The Canadian Press