Ontario confirms 43 new COVID-19 cases, bringing provincial total to 146

Ontario announced 43 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Sunday morning, bringing the provincial total to 146.

Five patients no longer infectious

A microscope image of the virus that causes COVID-19, made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. (NIAID-RML via The Associated Press)

Ontario announced 43 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Sunday morning, bringing the provincial total to 146.

Five of those patients are no longer infectious, the provincial government said on its website.

Among the newly confirmed cases, 14 patients are in Toronto, five are in Peel Region and three are in York Region. Two are from Grey Bruce and were recently on a cruise, while another is from Peterborough and recently travelled to Spain and Portugal. Three are in Hamilton.

Late Sunday evening, a second case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Sudbury.

All are self-isolating, except one person in Simcoe-Muskoka who is hospitalized.

Officials in Toronto, meanwhile, are continuing efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. The city's annual St. Patrick's Day parade is not happening, church services have been cancelled, and several YMCAs in the GTA have been shut down.

Some stores are also shutting down to help stop the spread. 

Nike Inc. said Sunday it was closing all stores in Canada and the U.S., among several other countries, starting on Monday to March 27.

Clothing retailer Urban Outfitters is also closing until at least March 28.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto has cancelled all public masses for today, and Anglican churches are also pausing services. 

Ontario's chief medical officer of health recommended on Friday that all events and public gatherings of over 250 people should be suspended.

There is now a long list of cancelled events and closed attractions, including the Art Gallery of Ontario and Ontario Science Centre. GTA municipalities are halting several services, including libraries and city-run daycares. 

The City of Toronto has updated its website with all city services and facilities.

Canadian public health officials continue to urge hygiene measures such as frequent handwashing and social distancing.

The virus has infected more than 150,000 people worldwide and killed upwards of 5,600 globally, including one person in British Columbia.