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Ontario reports missed COVID-19 cases, day after reopening plan revealed

Ontario’s Health Minister Christine Elliott reported a “glitch” in the province’s COVID-19 reporting Friday, which caused some new cases to be missed in yesterday’s update.

This comes a day after the province announced its plan for the first phase of reopening in the coming days.

“We’ve learned of a small glitch with yesterday’s #COVID19 reporting,” Elliott said in a tweet, moments before the province’s new numbers were published this morning.

“Because of a one-time data upload issue, yesterday missed 87 cases. While they’re captured in today’s update, the real day-over-day numbers are 345 new cases on May 14 and 341 today.”

There were initially 258 cases reported Thursday, when Premier Doug Ford said his government would be lifting some of its restrictions this weekend, before entering “phase one” of the reopening process on Tuesday. That actual number was 345 new cases.

“That means Ontario’s new daily cases continue to trend downward as we expand our COVID-19 testing guidelines to ensure we keep a close eye on any shifts in community spread and identify and contain new cases,” Hayley Chazan, spokesperson for Elliott’s office, said in a statement.

Testing levels were again above the daily target, with 18,354 processed since the last update.

The province also reported 1,825 total deaths Friday, an increase of 27. But figures CBC News has collected from local public health units show at least 1,884 deaths.

The province’s data from Friday reported 986 hospitalizations and 179 people in intensive care, which represents drops of 40 and 5, respectively. There were also six fewer people reported to be on ventilators, with that number now standing at 135.

Ontario is reporting 1,320 resident deaths in long-term care facilities, alongside 186 current outbreaks in the province’s 630 long-term care homes.

1 in 3 workers affected by pandemic

Ontario’s fiscal watchdog announced Friday that about one in three workers in the province has been affected by the economic shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Financial Accountability Office released the finding in a new report today on job losses in Ontario since the crisis began.

The FAO says an estimated 1.1 million workers in the province have lost their jobs, and another 1.1 million have seen their hours sharply reduced.

According to Statistics Canada, Ontario lost 689,200 jobs in April, bringing its employment down to the lowest level since 2009.

Ontario’s unemployment rate climbed to 11.3 per cent in April, the highest it has been since 1993.

The FAO says nearly 87 per cent of the job losses between February and April came in the private sector.

First phase of reopening to happen in coming days

Ford announced yesterday that starting May 19, retail stores outside of shopping malls with street entrances can begin reopening with physical distancing measures. Outdoor recreational activities and many individual sport competitions will also get the green light starting Tuesday.

Golf courses, marinas and private parks will be allowed to open earlier, starting Saturday.

The first stage of the province’s plan also involves “gradually restarting” scheduled surgeries, along with allowing libraries to open for pickup, and allowing property management services, such as cleaning, painting and pool maintenance, to resume.

Domestic workers, such as housekeepers and cooks, can also resume work Tuesday — although Ontarians are technically still required to limit contact to those inside their own households.

“Businesses should open only if they’re ready,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford cautioned Thursday, adding the province will be watching the COVID-19 case numbers closely. “We cannot let our guard down now.”

CBC

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