Ontario has set another record for the number of new COVID-19 cases reported in a single day.
Health officials confirmed 1,859 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, which is four more cases than the previous record set on Nov. 27. There were also 20 deaths reported.
Ontario also set a new testing record, processing 59,400 tests in the previous day. This leaves Ontario’s test positivity rate at 3.1 per cent.
There are 504 new cases in Toronto, 463 in Peel Region and 198 in York Region.
Hospitalizations passed the 700 mark at 709, and there are 202 COVID patients in ICU beds, down five from the previous day.
The numbers come as the Hamilton Medial Officer of Health has used her powers to toughen screening in retail outlets in Hamilton. Dr. Elizabeth Richardson announced a number of additional public health measures.
The enhancements would come into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, December 5, 2020 for retail outlets and 12:01 a.m. on Monday, December 7, 2020 for shopping malls, retail businesses and workplaces. Some of the implemented measures will include:
• reducing capacity and limits at shopping malls and retail establishments
• active screening at workplaces, shopping malls and retail businesses
• posting capacity limits based on physical distancing requirements
• appointing a manager to develop, implement and actively monitor a Safety Plan in workplaces, shopping malls and retail businesses.
The restrictions mean that customers will now be greeted at the entrance to a shopping mall by a screener who will ask them a number of health-related questions. Those who do not cooperate will be denied entry. Shopping malls and workplaces will be required to appoint a manager tasked with developing and implementing a COVID19 safety plan. That order includes small retainers as well. Those plans must be in place by December 10 for retail businesses and December 12 for other workplaces. These additional enhanced restrictions come as the city sees its COVID-19 numbers and outbreaks continue to rise at a concerning rate.
Yesterday Hamilton reported 42 new COVID cases, down from 69 the day before. There were no new deaths and there was one new outbreak at Sir Wilfred Laurier School involving two staff members. Halton reported 75 new cases—32 of them in Milton, 20 in each of Burlington and Oakville and three in Halton Hills. There was one new death reported in Halton. Hospitalizations stand at 26 for Hamilton and 35 in Halton.