Ontario reports 137 new COVID-19 cases with majority in people under the age of 40

Ontario reported 137 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, one less than the previous day’s total, according to Health Minister Christine Elliott.

27 of province’s public health units reporting 5 or fewer cases, health minister says

People wearing masks walk through Union Station in Toronto. Ontario reported 137 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Ontario reported 137 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, one less than the previous day's total, according to Health Minister Christine Elliott.

The province's network of labs completed more than 26,000 COVID-19 tests on Saturday, Elliott said in a tweet.

Twenty-seven of Ontario's public health units are reporting five or fewer cases, with 14 of them reporting no new cases at all.

Ottawa is reporting 26 new cases, while Windsor-Essex is reporting 25 new cases.

Elliott said 58 per cent of the new cases reported on Sunday involve people under the age of 40.

Ontario has recorded a total of 38,680 COVID-19 cases since the outbreak began.

A total of 34,359 cases have been marked as resolved. According to the ministry, 2,763 people have died of COVID-19.

As of Sunday, there were 87 people hospitalized, 29 in intensive care units and 21 of them on ventilators.

A CBC News count based on data provided directly by public health units, which avoids lag times in the provincial reporting system, puts the current death toll at 2,792 as of 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Toronto, Peel, Windsor-Essex waiting for word of Stage 3

Toronto, Peel and Windsor-Essex, will learn on Wednesday if they will advance to Stage 3 of the province's reopening plan, Premier Doug Ford said on Friday.

"I'm hopeful we'll have some good news to share on Wednesday," Ford said. "I've always said, we can't rush this."

Seven regions formally entered Stage 3 of the province's reopening plan last Friday. These are Hamilton, Niagara, Durham, York, Halton, Haldimand-Norfolk and Lambton.

In Stage 3, indoor dining at a restaurant, or drinking in a pub, are allowed. Gyms and movie theatres are also allowed to reopen.

Divorcing couples may find mediation faster, experts say

Meanwhile, as the COVID-19 pandemic makes it harder for couples seeking a divorce to appear before a court, some family lawyers in Ontario say there may be more incentive for people to turn to alternative methods such as mediation.

Court operations, including divorce and other family matters, were largely put on hold in mid-March, with only emergency cases being heard.

In-person court appearances began to gradually resume earlier this month, and more matters are also being heard remotely, but experts say a backlog of cases will cause further delays for ongoing and new divorce proceedings.

At the same time, some family lawyers in the province say the demand for such services has not diminished during the pandemic — and some report it appears to have increased.

In Ottawa, a group of family lawyers launched the Virtual Family Law Project to help provide remote alternatives to the court system, such as mediation or arbitration by videoconference, during the health crisis.

Gerald Yemensky, one of the lawyers behind the project, says he hopes more people will consider these avenues even after the courts return to full operations.

With files from The Canadian Press, Desmond Brown