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|2020 coronavirus pandemic in Ontario|
|First outbreak||Wuhan, Hubei, China|
|Index case||Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto|
|Arrival date||January 25, 2020|
(2 months, 1 week and 2 days)
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Ontario is an ongoing viral pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a novel infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first case of COVID-19 in Canada during the 2019–20 worldwide pandemic occurred in the Canadian province of Ontario, and was confirmed on January 27, 2020, after a man returned to Toronto from travel in China, including Wuhan. As of April 1 at 10:30 a.m. ET, there have been 2,793 confirmed cases, 831 recoveries, and 53 deaths. Overall 57,874 people have been tested for the virus, with 60,681 people (95.6%) testing negative and 2,793 people (4.4%) testing positive, the remaining people are still waiting on their test results due to a backlog in testing. As of March 31, of all cases 270 have been hospitalized and 91 required intensive care.
On March 17, the Government of Ontario declared a state of emergency, closing bars and restaurants (with the exception of take-out and delivery services), as well as libraries, theatres, cinemas, schools and daycares and all public gatherings of more than 50 people (later reduced to 5 people on March 28). Furthermore, the government announced on March 17 that Ontario had "some evidence of community transmission" of COVID-19.
On January 23, the first presumptive case in Canada was admitted to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto and placed into a negative pressure chamber. The patient, a male in his 50s who travelled between Wuhan and Guangzhou before returning to Toronto on January 22, contacted emergency services following rapid onset symptoms. The presumption of infection in the patient was made after a rapid test was done at Public Health Ontario's Toronto laboratory. Final testing conducted at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba confirmed the presumptive case on January 25. Authorities said that the patient was experiencing respiratory problems but was in stable condition. His condition later improved and he was released from hospital on January 31.
On January 27, the Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario announced the man's wife as the second presumptive case. Officials reported that she was in good condition and that she was asymptomatic.
On January 31, the third case in Ontario (and the fourth case in Canada) was reported in the city of London. Officials said that the individual, a woman in her 20s and a student at University of Western Ontario, returned from Wuhan on January 23. She was asymptomatic and had tested negative at first, but additional advanced testing confirmed that the woman had low levels of the virus in her system. Officials said that the individual wore a mask during her voyage and she voluntarily entered self-isolation upon her return, making a full recovery after two or three days. On the same day, the Government of Ontario reported that 17 cases were under investigation within its provincial jurisdiction. Officials said that most of the individuals under investigation were awaiting results while in self-isolation at home. As of January 30, the associate medical officer of Ontario said that the province had conducted a total of 67 tests with 38 negative results. Officials said that all possible cases—including previous negative results—were being retested as additional assessments become available.
CFB Trenton in Trenton, Ontario has been used as a quarantine facility for repatriated Canadians since February 7. As of March 20, 12 positive cases for the virus of the repatriated citizens at CFB Trenton have been reported.
On February 24, a fourth presumptive case in Ontario was announced of a woman in her 20s who presented to a hospital on February 21 with symptoms after travelling to Wuhan. The woman was tested locally with a positive test result and the sample was sent to the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. On February 24, health officials in Ontario stated that all three previous cases in Ontario were "resolved", which means patients had two consecutive negative test results 24 hours apart and that the "system was working".
On March 5, Ontario reported three more cases of the virus, for a total of 23 in the province, with cases in Toronto, Kitchener, and Mississauga being reported. The three cases came from Iran, Italy, and the Grand Princess cruise ship, respectively. It was also announced that another case in Ontario was resolved.
Five cases, two imported from each of Iran and the Grand Princess, and one from Las Vegas, were reported on March 6. Four more cases were reported to have been imported from Colorado, Washington, D.C., France, and Germany on March 8, bringing the total to 32.
On March 9, Ontario confirmed two new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 34. They are an octogenarian and a septuagenarian from Toronto having travelled to Iran, where cases of COVID-19 had multiplied in recent weeks.
On March 10, a close contact of a previous case and a man who travelled to Switzerland were confirmed as Ontario's 35th and 36th case, respectively. Later the same day, a Sudbury man who attended the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference in Toronto on March 2–3 was confirmed as the 37th positive case, and the first in northern Ontario.
On March 11, a 40-year-old man who recently travelled to Austria was confirmed as the first coronavirus case in Ottawa. The overall coronavirus case number in Ontario rose to 42 on the same day. On March 12, 17 new cases were confirmed including a baby boy who had recently visited the North York General Hospital in Toronto. That day, the total number of cases in Ontario increased to 59. On March 13, health officials reported 19 additional cases, bringing the number of cases to 79, and on the 14th, 24 more, making the total 103. On March 17, it was announced that a man in his 70s, who had died in Barrie, was the first death in Ontario as a result of COVID-19. On March 18, a player for the Ottawa Senators hockey team was tested positive. 23 new cases were confirmed in Ontario that day, bringing the total number of cases to 212.
From the initial case on January 23 to March 18, over half of the reported cases are reported in Toronto (220 cases), of which 11 are under investigation for community transmission. Hamilton reported 23 cases and Ottawa 19 cases, Durham reported 18 cases and Waterloo Region reporting 14 cases.
On April 2, Lakeridge Health announced that one of its in-patient units at Lakeridge Health Oshawa in Oshawa would be temporarily closed after a hospital-acquired case of COVID-19 was transmitted to a health care worker treating the patient.
|Public Health Unit||Cases||Per m||Deaths||Ref|
|Brant County (including Brantford)||17||125.93|||
|Eastern Ontario (Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry-Prescott and Russell)||19||93.60||0|||
|Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District||63||290.50||15|||
|Hastings Prince Edward||13||80.75||1|||
|Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington||46||242.11|||
|Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District||35||346.53||2|||
|North Bay-Parry Sound (including most of Nipissing District)||6||48.78|||
|Northwestern (Most of Kenora District, Rainy River District and part of Thunder Bay District)||5||65.79|||
|Ottawa (confirmed only)||252||270.97||3|||
|Peterborough (City and County)||28||202.90||0|||
|Porcupine (Cochrane District, Hornepayne, James Bay communities)||21||250.00|||
|Renfrew County & District||7||67.31||1|||
|Southwestern (Oxford, Elgin, St. Thomas)||18||90.45||2|||
|Sudbury & Districts (including Greater Sudbury)||13||66.33|||
|Thunder Bay District (including First Nations communities in the far north)||9||59.21|||
|Timiskaming (including Temagami)||3||90.91|||
Updated as of April 2, 2020.
Ontario has announced they have a dedicated web page updated thrice daily with the cumulative total and new cases. In addition, they have been making new releases as cases are confirmed, with their source whether they are due to travel history or close contact. The Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Christine Elliott, has been overseeing the emergency plan for the virus.
On March 15, The Ontario Superior Court of Justice announced a suspension of most criminal matters, including trials until the end of May.
On March 17, Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a province-wide state of emergency. This included prohibition of all public events of over 50 people (later reduced to 5 people on March 28), closure of bars and restaurants (with the exception that restaurants may continue to provide takeout and delivery services) as well as libraries, theatres, cinemas, private schools (in addition to publicly-funded schools which were already been ordered closed from March 14 until further notice) and daycares. The following day, a state of emergency was also declared in Peel Region and Simcoe County by Warden George Cornell.
On March 20 further measures were announced including waiving the three months waiting period for health care coverage, the launch of an e-learning portal and extended privileges for hospitals to re-deploy staff.
On March 23, Ford announced that all "non-essential" businesses be ordered closed starting 11:59 p.m. on March 24. Ford also stated that schools would remain closed past the original April 6 opening date and until further notice. A list of 74 "essential" businesses was published later in the day on March 23. The same day, a state of emergency was declared in Toronto by Mayor John Tory, in York Region by Chair Wayne Emmerson, and in Halton Region by Chair Gary Carr. The following day, a state of emergency was also declared in Durham Region by Chair John Henry and in Kawartha Lakes by Mayor Andy Letham.
On March 25, Ford and Finance Minister Rod Phillips introduced a $17-billion response package that includes an influx of cash for the health sector, direct payments to parents and tax breaks for businesses.
On March 26, a municipal state of emergency was declared in Kingston by Mayor Bryan Paterson due to two new cases of the virus announced by KFL&A Public Health. Three recent cases in the region had reported no prior close contact with known infected persons, causing health officials to conclude that community transmission is present in the region, and closures of several medical clinics. In addition, following California and British Columbia, takeout and delivery orders from restaurants can include alcoholic beverages as long as the order contains food items and is ordered between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.
On March 27 at 2:00 p.m. ET, Alert Ready was activated on all radio stations, television channels and providers, and LTE wireless networks in Ontario, to distribute a warning informing travellers returning to Ontario of the mandatory self-isolation requirements under federal law.
In response to the anticipated increase in patients requiring critical care, the Ontario government announced on March 27 that over 3,000 ventilators are ready to be deployed in Ontario (compared to the current capacity of approximately 1,300 critical care beds with ventilators and 43 patients requiring critical care as of March 27).
On March 30, the Ontario government extended the state of emergency through April 13, and also ordered the province-wide closure of all outdoor recreational amenities, including beaches, playgrounds and sports facilities (several Ontario municipalities including Toronto, had already ordered similar closures of their recreational amenities several days prior to the province-wide order). On March 31, it was announced that the schools would remain closed until at least May 4. The same day, John Tory announced that the City of Toronto would cancel all city-led major events, festivals (including Toronto's gay pride parade which was scheduled to take place on June 28), conferences, permits and cultural programs until June 30. Tory also clarified that major sporting events held in Toronto, such as Toronto Blue Jays baseball games, are not specifically prohibited.
On March 18, The Toronto Star reported that test results announced by the provincial government were several days old, with turnaround times increasing from 24 hours to 4 days, leading the government to "making decisions based on old information". The same story reported that the government's goal of performing 5,000 tests per day may be two weeks away. The province was only able to process around 2,000 tests per day by March 19, which caused the backlog.
The backlog increased to over 8,000 unprocessed samples on March 24 with patients waiting at least four days for results, partially due to fact that private and university laboratories are not allowed to process samples.