Peel has 536 new cases of COVID-19 today as Ontario provides update on new restrictions

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Peel Region is reporting 536 new cases of COVID-19 today while across Ontario the number is 2,961.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there have been 74 more deaths linked to the virus today.

In other places in Ontario, today’s numbers show 738 new cases in Toronto, 171 in Hamilton, 219 new cases in York Region, and 245 in Windsor-Essex County.

Elliott says that more than 50,900 tests were completed since the last daily report.

Ontario is also reporting that 11,231 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered since the last daily update.
A total of 144,784 doses have been administered in Ontario.

The Ontario government is expected to provide an update on vaccine distribution efforts later today.

The province is also expected to provide more details regarding its newly issued stay-at-home order, which takes effect Thursday.

The province said it will publish the “legal parameters” for the order online later Wednesday and offer more clarification on the measure.

Residents will have to stay home starting Thursday except for essential purposes such as grocery shopping, accessing health care and exercising.

The province said police and bylaw officers will have the power to enforce the stay-at-home order and issue tickets to rule-breakers, but hasn’t given details on how that will play out.

The order was announced on Tuesday as the province declared a state of emergency - its second of the COVID-19 pandemic - and unveiled a series of new restrictions meant to slow the spread of the virus.

They include prolonging the pause on in-person learning in schools in five southern Ontario hot spots - Toronto, Hamilton, Peel, York and Windsor-Essex - to Feb. 10.

Child-care centres for kids not yet in school will remain open, however.

The government has also restricted hours of operation for non-essential retailers currently offering delivery and curbside pickup to between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., and imposed a five-person cap on outdoor social gatherings.

Wearing a mask is also now recommended outdoors when physical distancing is difficult.

The new restrictions were announced hours after the province released projections that show the virus is on track to overwhelm Ontario’s health-care system.

One of the experts behind the projections said that if the province’s COVID-19 positivity rate is at five per cent, there will be more than 20,000 new cases reported each day by the middle of next month.

If the rate climbs to seven per cent, that means the province will see 40,000 new daily cases.

The projections also indicate deaths from COVID-19 will surpass those in the pandemic’s first wave unless people dramatically reduce their contact with others.

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