Ontario reports 441 new COVID-19 cases, 28 more deaths

Premier Doug Ford says COVID-19 testing will be expanded across the province

Premier Doug Ford says COVID-19 testing will be expanded across the province

"We're asking people with symptoms to go into the assessment centre, and we will be testing front line workers this weekend, symptomatic and asymptomatic".

"We will be watching this very closely as we get into next week, where we're going to really start to see what the effect is on public health from the changes that have happened as the result of Stage 1", she said.

Ford also mused about increased testing by postal code, in hot spots that are "glowing on the map like a lit-up Christmas tree", even suggesting using mobile testing vans.

Health officials and the premier have made it clear that increased testing is crucial for understanding the scope of the COVID-19 situation in Ontario, since it has an influence in what restrictions will be lifted.

"We're still seeing, especially in the Greater Toronto Area, a fair amount of disease activity as noted by our daily numbers", Williams said.

The Premier says he doesn't think people will give him trouble now that they've had a taste of freedom.

As our government plans for the gradual reopening of the province, the Chief Medical Officer of Health has updated COVID-19 guidelines so that anyone with symptoms can be tested as we continue to prioritize certain vulnerable groups.

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Ontario reported 441 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday as the provincial death toll climbed to over 2,000.

"Some of the people said 'well, I can't recall, '" Williams said.

"The plan is we're going into senior centres", retirement homes, long term care, and "all the health care workers", to make sure that testing is happening. "If we keep testing and tracing and testing and tracing, we're going to get it down". Only 390 new cases were reported on Wednesday, but the number jumped once again to 413 in Thursday's data drop.

In addition, Ford said Ontario will help trade apprentices through grants to purchase tools, protective equipment and clothing for their trade, along with forgiving previous loans to purchase tools. The province has 24,628 total coronavirus cases, with 18,767 recoveries and 2,021 deaths.

"We're pretty well at a plateau, whereas we hoped to keep coming down", he said.

According to Peel's website, 197 COVID-19 patients have had to be hospitalized. This is the highest number we have seen in two weeks. New eligible apprentices will also get help purchasing the equipment they need to start their careers.

The province reports that over 76% of all provincial cases have been resolved over the past few months.

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