Toronto extends cancellation of major in-person events as COVID-19 variant cases rise
Top doctor says more than 700 cases believed to be variants of concern
Mayor John Tory says Toronto is extending the cancellation of in-person major events to July 1 as the city looks ahead to another summer in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the events that will once again be moved online: the Toronto Marathon, Canada Day celebrations, the Juno Awards and the NXNE music festival.
You can see the full list of events that are impacted here.
The mayor's announcement came on the same day as news that the the Canadian National Exhibition was planning for an in-person fair event this summer, running from Aug. 20 to Sept. 6.
Tory says it's too soon to predict whether or not the Ex will be able to open as planned.
700+ possible VOC cases in Toronto
That update also comes as Toronto's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa laid out new numbers for the city's variant cases, revealing a growth of about 200 possible cases in just two days.
Toronto currently has 72 cases that have been confirmed to be variants of concern (VOC).
There are, however, 710 cases that have screened positive for "mutations of interest" and are expected to soon be lab confirmed as VOC — an increase of just under 200 from Monday.
WATCH | Mayor John Tory explains Toronto's event closure extension
"The only trend I'm prepared to cite at this point is that the screened positive total marches up daily and that should be a matter of concern to all of us," said de Villa.
The city is also reporting 389 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, as well as 30 additional hospitalizations, and 1 death.
Province updates vaccine plan
The briefing came on the same day as a major update on Ontario's vaccination plans, with the province revealing a staggered plan to vaccinate adults according to age through the spring and early summer.
Adults over age 60 are expected to begin getting their shots by July 1st, but the province was unable to say when anyone younger than that could expect to be vaccinated.
It also comes a day after COVID-19 outbreaks were confirmed at two Toronto police facilities.