GTA

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ontario now at more than 300

Public health authorities in Ontario confirmed 50 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday morning, marking the largest single-day increase since the outbreak began and pushing the provincial total to 308.

The official tally includes two deaths and five cases considered resolved.

Four of the new instances are in residents of a long-term care home in Oshawa.

The number of cases under investigation in the province has reached 5,485, a 28 per cent increase from the 3,971 reported as of Thursday evening.

The newly announced Ontario cases bring the total across Canada to 923, including 12 deaths.

Meanwhile, Toronto residents will have an extra 60 days to pay property tax, water and solid waste utility bills, the city said Friday as it tries to limit economic fallout from measures to contain COVID-19.

Mayor John Tory’s office said in a statement that the grace period is retroactive to March 16.

Similarly, a 30-day extension offered earlier this week to businesses on tax and utility payments has also been pushed to 60 days.

“This will ensure that resident and businesses who find themselves facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can defer their next property tax instalment without penalty,” Tory’s office said. Property tax accounts will be “adjusted as necessary” to reflect the relief measures, it added.

Dr. Eileen De Villa, Toronto’s medical officer of health, said Thursday afternoon that 128 of the province’s cases are in the city. Eleven of those patients are being treated in hospital, while the rest are at home in self-isolation, she said.

Updated numbers are expected from the province around 5:30 p.m. ET.

And at 12:30 p.m., Ontario Premier Doug Ford, along with his ministers of health and education, will make an announcement at Queen’s Park.

Earlier this month, Education Minister Stephen Lecce issued an order to close all publicly-funded schools in the province until April 3.

4 cases in Oshawa long-term care home

The patients in the Hillsdale Terraces long-term care facility include two women, ages 92 and 80, and two men, ages 71 and 68. All are currently being treated in two separate wards of the home, officials said, and they will remain there for the duration of their recoveries.

COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities have proven especially deadly. In B.C., seven residents of the Lynn Valley Care Centre Lodge in North Vancouver have died from the respiratory illness.

Meanwhile, U.S. health officials have linked 35 deaths to the spread of COVID-19 at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Wash.

CBC

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