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Ontario confirms 634 new COVID-19 cases as long-term care death toll rises

Ontario reported 634 newly-confirmed cases of COVID-19 Thursday, bringing the total number of instances in the province since the outbreak began to 12,879.

Ontario’s official death toll now sits at 713, though regional public health units have reported at least 759 deaths.

According to the province, 516 of those deaths have occurred in long-term care facilities.

Today the Ministry of Health changed how it is reporting on COVID-19 in long-term care and retirement homes. It is now providing figures consolidated directly from the Ministry of Long-term Care, which the province says will lead to more timely information when its daily update is published each morning.

The previous system was hamstrung by lag times in how the data was collected and eventually compiled, thus offering only a partial picture of the current situation.

There are currently outbreaks in 132 long-term care facilities, or just over a fifth of the 626 homes province-wide. Some 2,189 residents have been infected by the novel coronavirus, while 1,058 staff members have tested positive.

Slightly more than half, or 6,680, of the province’s total cases are now resolved.

Meanwhile, the province has extended a number of pandemic emergency orders that had been set to expire.

The orders mean the closure of parks and recreational areas, non-essential workplaces and restaurants will continue until at least May 6.

The extension also keeps in place restrictions that limit staff to working in only one long-term care or retirement home.

CBC

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