Coronavirus: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on Feb. 23

WATCH ABOVE: A video obtained by Global News has gone viral showing the busy inside of a HomeSense in Vaughan. Taken on the first day York Region re-opened retail at 50 per cent capacity, the apparent lack of social distancing in the store has led to physicians voicing their concerns - and warnings over the province’s regional approach to relaxing restrictions. Miranda Anthistle has the details.

Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Tuesday.

The Toronto Police Service has been dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks at two separate facilities over the past two weeks.

A Toronto police spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday that the outbreaks are at 31 Division and the Toronto Police College.

“In both areas, extensive contact tracing is being prioritized to ensure members get tested, self isolate or self monitor,” Connie Osborne said.

“Both locations have undergone multiple cleanings and thorough disinfections.”

Osborne said 31 Division has received resources from other areas of the city which have been assigned to assist with calls but noted “there has been no impact on our ability to provide frontline policing to the community.”

At the Toronto Police College, in-person training has been suspended but virtual training has been offered where possible.

The top doctor for one of Ontario’s COVID-19 hot spots says paid sick days and relief for businesses could be built into the province’s pandemic response system to help mitigate a third wave.

Peel Region’s Dr. Lawrence Loh says resistance to strict public health measures often stems from lack of relief.

Read more:
Peel Region’s top doctor suggests building relief policies into Ontario COVID-19 pandemic framework

Ontario’s Opposition is asking the government to clearly define what would trigger an “emergency brake” measure meant to keep the spread of COVID-19 under control as the economy reopens.

The Progressive Conservative government has said the measure allows it to swiftly move a region back into lockdown if cases spike.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says the government needs to detail the criteria that would trigger the use of the measure.

Read more:
Coronavirus: Ontario legislators call for clear criteria of ’emergency brake’ pandemic measure

A new survey suggests the pandemic has placed significant pressure on principals at Ontario’s schools, with those at virtual schools feeling the most stressed.

It found that 57 per cent of those surveyed from virtual schools reported their levels of stress were not manageable, and 49 per cent of those from in-person and hybrid schools said the same.

Read more:
Survey suggests COVID-19 pandemic taking a toll on Ontario principals

Ontario reported a total of 975 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday.

Of those:

  • 343 were in Toronto
  • 186 were in Peel Region
  • 89 were in York Region
  • 35 were in Durham Region
  • 27 were in Halton Region

Ontario reported 975 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the provincial total to 295,119.

It is also the first time in the last six days that the daily case count dipped below 1,000.

The death toll in the province has risen to 6,884 as 12 more deaths were reported.

The government said 25,979 tests were processed in the last 24 hours — the fewest number of tests completed since early November. Resolved cases increased by 1,002 from the previous day.

Read more:
Ontario reports 975 new coronavirus cases, 12 more deaths

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 3,736 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario which is an increase of two deaths.

There are 127 current outbreaks in homes, which is a decrease of two from the previous day.

The ministry also indicated there are currently 125 active cases among long-term care residents and 228 active cases among staff — down by one and down by 14 cases, respectively, in the last day.

Government figures show there have been a total of 8,169 school-related COVID-19 cases in Ontario to date — 5,706 among students and 1,333 among staff (1,130 individuals were not identified). This is an increase of 175 more cases in the last three days — 149 student cases, 22 staff cases and four not identified.

In the last 14 days, the province indicates there were 450 cases reported among students and 78 cases among staff (four individuals were not identified) — totaling 532 cases.

The COVID-19 cases are currently from 352 out of 4,828 schools in the province. Eleven schools in Ontario are currently closed as a result of positive cases, the government indicated.

There have been a total of 2,581 confirmed cases within child-care centres and homes — an increase of 43 (29 new child cases and 14 staff cases). Out of 5,264 child-care centres in Ontario, 136 currently have cases and 15 centres are closed.

— With files from The Canadian Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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