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Ford cabinet to discuss new public health restrictions in Ontario as COVID-19 cases rise: sources

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford is meeting with his cabinet on Sunday to discuss additional public health restrictions, CBC News has learned.

Two sources, who spoke to CBC News on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media, said the cabinet meeting would be held on Sunday afternoon.

Ontario reintroduced capacity limits at restaurants, bars and retailers on December 19, in a bid to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The meeting comes as the province records a record number of COVID-19 cases linked to the highly transmissible variant.

Ontario recorded 16,714 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, down from Saturday’s pandemic peak of 18,445 cases.

The province reported 13,807 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and 16,713 on Friday.

The number of active cases in the province has now passed the 100,000 mark.

Public Health Ontario warned on Saturday that the daily case record was “an underestimate” given changes to test eligibility and the rapid spread of Omicron.

Hospitals facing staffing issues

Ontario’s hospital networks warned on Sunday that hospitals are taking the brunt of the growing number of COVID-19 cases as the virus spreads across the province at record speed and infects high numbers of patients and workers in Ontario. health.

The situation has become so serious that some hospital networks are reporting that hundreds of their staff have tested positive for the virus, are symptomatic or are isolated after exposure.

Kevin Smith, president and CEO of the University Health Network of Toronto, said these factors combined have resulted in at least 100 staff absences per day as the highly transmissible variant of Omicron spikes the number of cases to highs. unprecedented levels across the province.

Current restrictions in Ontario cap social gathering limits at 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, while capacity limits in most indoor venues have been cut in half.

The number of people seated at a table in restaurants and bars is limited to 10. Guests should remain seated in restaurants, bars, meeting and event spaces, and strip clubs.

Bars and restaurants, meeting and event spaces, and strip clubs must close before 11 p.m., but take-out and delivery are permitted after that time.

Food and drink are not permitted in sporting events, concert halls, theaters and cinemas, casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments, and racetracks.


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