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Ontario lifts capacity limits for sporting events, concert venues as 573 new COVID-19 cases reported

Ontario is lifting capacity limits for selected settings, returning them back to 100 per cent capacity as it reports 573 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday.

13 more adults with COVID-19 were admitted to ICUs on Thursday, agency says

Scotiabank Arena, home to Raptors and Maple Leafs games, will return to 100 per cent capacity effective Saturday, Oct. 9, the province announced Friday. (Sam Nar/CBC)

Ontario is lifting capacity limits for selected settings, returning them back to 100 per cent capacity as it reports 573 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday.

The province also reported 10 more deaths linked to the illness on Friday, as major indicators continued to suggest that the fourth wave of the pandemic is slowly but steadily receding in the province.

The seven-day average of daily cases fell to 551, its lowest point since mid-August, while the number of active cases dropped to 4,517 — marking five consecutive days of decreases.

The province announced Friday that it was lifting capacity limits for sporting events and concert venues among other settings.

Effective Saturday, Oct. 9, capacity limits will be lifted for:

  • Concert venues, theatres and cinemas.
  • Spectator areas of facilities for sports and recreational fitness (would not include gyms, personal training).
  • Meeting and event spaces (indoor meeting and event spaces will still need to limit capacity to the number that can maintain physical distancing).
  • Horseracing tracks, car racing tracks, and other similar venues.
  • Commercial film and television productions with studio audiences.

Proof of vaccination is already required for these settings, and will remain in place. Some outdoor settings with capacity below 20,000 will also have limits lifted. Capacity limits remain in effect for all other settings.

As Raptors and Leafs games will allow full capacity as a result of this announcement, MLSE president and CEO Michael Friisdahl welcomed the province's decision.

"We are overjoyed to see this day arrive when we are able to welcome a full venue to cheer on the Maple Leafs and Raptors," he said. "We are grateful to all levels of government for their partnership in this process and we recognize there will continue to be much work to do together to ensure the safest environment possible for every event attendee and our community."

Here are some other key pandemic indicators and figures from the daily provincial update:

Newly reported school-related cases: 126, with 114 in students. Some 774 schools, or 16.2 per cent of Ontario's 4,844 publicly funded schools, currently have at least one confirmed case. Nine schools in the province are closed due to COVID-19.

Patients in ICU with COVID-19: 154, a slight increase from the 149 reported on Thursday. According to Critical Care Services Ontario, 13 new adult patients with COVID-19 were admitted to intensive care units yesterday. 

Tests completed in the last 24 hours: 37,118.

Provincewide positivity rate: 1.8 per cent.

Death toll: 9,786.

Vaccinations: 30,575 doses were administered by public health units on Thursday. As of 8 p.m., more than 22 million shots had been given out in the province. About 82 per cent of eligible Ontarians aged 12 and older have now had two doses of vaccine.

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