Toronto

Ontario reports 157 new COVID-19 cases after 1-day surge driven by migrant workers

Ontario is reporting 157 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and seven additional deaths attributed to the disease.

The GTA is once again reporting the most confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus

Mayors in the Greater Toronto Area are now pushing to make masks mandatory indoors after the reopening of many businesses and malls. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Ontario is reporting 157 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and seven additional deaths attributed to the disease.

Testing labs processed 23,759 samples over the past day, while 19,318 remain under investigation.

The provincial government is also reporting 148 newly-resolved cases Tuesday.

The number of patients being treated in hospitals also continues its steady decline.

There are currently 213 COVID-19 patients being treated in hospital, 42 of whom are in intensive care units (ICU).

A week ago, the province was reporting 288 hospitalizations and 75 people in ICU. At the start of June, there were 781 patients in hospital and 125 in the ICU.

Tuesday's reported numbers arrive after a one-day surge in positive cases that was primarily driven by an outbreak among migrant workers at a single farm in the Windsor-Essex region.

The farm accounted for 175 of the 257 cases of COVID-19 reported across the province on Monday.

Numbers in Windsor-Essex declined dramatically Tuesday, making up just 17 of the province's new cases.

The Greater Toronto Area continues to account for a large portion of Ontario's cases.

Toronto's health unit reported 47 new cases Tuesday, while Peel region reported 31 cases.

There have now been 35,068 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario during the pandemic, of which more than 86 per cent are considered resolved.

A total of 2,672 people have died of the disease according to provincial figures.

Province rejects call to make masks mandatory

Toronto Mayor John Tory and Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa announced on Tuesday morning their plan to make masks mandatory in indoor spaces across the city. The plan, which will have to be approved by city council, could go into effect starting July 7 as a temporary bylaw.

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie revealed similar policies.

The announcements came a day after mayors representing municipalities across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area called on the provincial government to introduce a new mandatory mask policy.

The Ford government has so far resisted those pleas, with a spokesperson saying the move "isn't necessary" since local public health units have the ability to introduce those rules.

Toronto's city solicitor has however said that a mandatory masking policy would be more effective if introduced at the provincial level.

Ford said again on Tuesday that municipalities should make their own rules on masks.

"Each region has the authority to make their own rules," he said. "I think it's good, I encourage them to do that."

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