Coronavirus: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on April 27

Here is a roundup of the latest developments on the novel coronavirus pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Monday:

424 new coronavirus cases in Ontario, total reaches 14,856 with 892 deaths

Ontario reported 424 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday and 57 additional deaths, bringing the provincial total to 14,856 cases.

The reported death toll has risen to 892.

Meanwhile, 8,525 people have recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, which is 57.4 per cent of cases.

Monday’s report marks a 2.9 per cent increase in cases compared to the day prior. It also marks the highest single-day increase for deaths in Ontario.

Greater Toronto Area public health units account for 59.5 per cent of all cases in the province.

Ontario releases gradual reopening plan, though no dates provided

Ontario has released its plan to gradually reopen the province’s economy amid the coronavirus pandemic, though no dates have been provided.

The plan is laid out in a series of stages, which government officials have previously said are necessary to ensure a return to normal is made safely.

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“Each stage will last for approximately two-to-four-week periods to allow for close monitoring of any impacts or potential resurgence of cases,” the plan reads.

After each period, the province’s medical officer may advise to reapply restrictions, maintain status quo, or progress to the next stage, the plan says.

Even after reopening has been completed, however, the final stage of the plan says there will be the “continued practice of physical distancing” and “significant mitigation plans” to limit health risks.

Concerts and sporting events will be restricted for the “foreseeable future.”

Toronto’s Porter Airlines extends flight suspension until June 29 due to COVID-19

Porter Airlines says it is extending its temporary suspension of all flights until June 29 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“While there are many promising signs about how COVID-19 is being contained, it is also clear that the current border restrictions, regional stay-at-home orders and limits on large gatherings will remain in place for many regions through much of May and into June,” the airline said in a statement on Monday.

The airline, which operates at Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport downtown, first put a pause on flights on March 21 with an initial restart date of June 1 which they said they believed was a reasonable date to reopen at the time.

“Our return to flying will be done in a responsible manner, taking into account health and safety precautions.”

5 employees at Costco in Vaughan test positive for coronavirus

Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua posted a press release on Twitter confirming that five employees at a Costco near Weston Road and Highway 7 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

York Region Public Health said through their investigation, two of the five employees contracted the virus through close contact.

“At this time, the risk to Costco shoppers at this location is considered low,” the release said.

“All residents are encouraged to stay home when possible, limit trips outside the home, practise good hand hygiene and maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres when in public.”

Ontario’s patient ombudsman concerned about complaints from long-term care homes

Ontario’s patient ombudsman’s office says it is seeking whistleblower complaints from family members and staff at long-term care homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a release issued Monday, the office said the amount of complaints from both residents and workers from long-term care homes in Ontario signals a real crisis in the system.

Ontario health officials have stated previously that the province is currently fighting two different disease processes. One being the community spread of the virus, which seems to have peaked. The second being the virus spread in long-term care homes and other congregate settings, which seems to be continuing to increase.

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