Ottawa Officially in Second Wave of COVID-19 Pandemic as Ontario Reports Alarming 401 New Coronavirus Cases

A day after the Ontario Province announces tightened restrictions for private gatherings, the province reports its highest single-day increase in new COVID-19 cases since early June.

According to the provincial report released on Friday, Ontario is reporting an additional 401 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 46,077 cases of COVID-19 to date. 

The new case count for Friday continues the concerning trend in triple-digit increases in COVID-19 cases across the province for the past week. 

Compared to the 293 new cases that were reported on Thursday, Friday’s case count is a significant jump surpassing 400 new cases reported and is said to be the highest one-day increase since June 7. 

In a series of tweets on Twitter, Ontario’s Health Minister, Christine Elliott, reported that a majority of the COVID-19 cases recorded today occurred in and around the Greater Toronto Area. 

The Toronto region reported 130 new cases, Peel Region with 82 new cases, Ottawa saw 61 new cases, and the York and Halton regions reported 40 and 19 cases respectively. 

Despite the growing number in new cases reported each day, the province had reported that the death toll remained the same at 2,825 deaths as no new deaths were reported. 

Meanwhile, 40,600 Ontarians have recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, which is 88 percent of known cases. Resolved cases increased by 176 from the previous day.

Ontario Child Care Centres and Schools COVID-19 Update

As students have just recently returned to school in September, many parents and teachers continue to express concerns about potential COVID-19 outbreaks in schools especially after the province reports an alarming increase in new COVID-19 cases. 

According to the latest government figures, there have been a total of 72 school-related COVID-19 cases in Ontario. 

25 of the reported cases were among students, 22 among staff members and 25 individuals who were not identified. 

The COVID-19 cases are currently from 60 out of 4,828 schools in the province. Affected schools are in Toronto, Oakville, Pickering, Ajax, Mississauga, Brampton, Waterloo, Orillia, Amherstburg, Cambridge, Maple, Woodbridge, Markham, Ottawa and Pembroke.

One school is closed as a result of the positive cases, the government indicated.

There have been a total of 76 confirmed cases within child care centres and homes — an increase of four more since the previous day.

Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health Says “Second Wave” of COVID-19 is happening in the region

In the past couple of days, the Ottawa region has been named as one of the three COVID-19 “hot-spots”, joining Toronto and the Peel Region, as a significant number of new COVID-19 cases occurred in these three regions. 

During a news conference on Friday, Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Vera Etches, was asked by a reporter whether Ottawa is experiencing a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, to which Dr. Vera Etches replied “yes”. 

The Ottawa Medical Officer of Health then told reporters that the city is indeed experiencing a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic as new cases continue to grow quickly. 

“The idea of a wave is that the number of COVID tests that are positive, the number of people who are carrying the virus in our community is growing,” said Dr. Vera Etches. “So we see an increase in the number being detected.”

According to Dr. Vera Etches, what is causing the virus to spread quickly is people’s actions with close contacts, families and gatherings. 

“It’s the speed of the increase that concerns us. We can’t sustain a rapid rise in cases,” said the Ottawa Medical Officer of Health. 

“The challenge comes when that growth is too rapid and if it is sustained”. 

The confirmation of a second wave of the pandemic came as Ottawa Public Health reported 63 new cases of COVID-19 in the city as of Friday, bringing the city’s total cases to 3,549 cases to date. 

Commenting on the growth in the number of new cases recently, Dr. Vera Etches said that the data showed Ottawans got a bit too “relaxed”, however she is confident that the city can bring the numbers back down again. 

“People in Ottawa, they’ve done it before. They did it in the first wave, but they did it in July as well when we started to see an increase,” she said.

“[The number of positive cases] came back down when people increased the distance between each other.”

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