Premier Ford speaks as Ontario reports 170 new COVID-19 cases, mostly in the GTA

Premier Ford speaks as Ontario reports 170 new COVID-19 cases, mostly in the GTA

Premier Doug Ford is holding a news conference in Sudbury. He is joined by Greg Rickford, minister of energy, northern development and mines and minister of Indigenous affairs, as well as Michael Tibollo, associate minister of mental health and addictions.

You can watch it live in this story.

Ontario reported an additional 170 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, concentrated mainly in the Greater Toronto Area.

The slight increase over the 149 new cases seen in yesterday’s update was accompanied by a bounce back in testing levels, with 24,699 test samples for the novel coronavirus processed by the province’s network of labs.

Toronto confirmed the most new cases, with 55. York Region saw 28 and Peel Region 22. Ottawa reported another 12 confirmed infections.

Further, 28 of Ontario’s 34 public health units reported five or fewer cases, and 14 of those 28 saw none, according to Health Minister Christine Elliott.

There have now been 43, 855 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario since the outbreak began in late January. Of those, about 90 per cent are resolved. Another 142 were marked resolved in today’s update.

There are currently around 1,567 confirmed, active cases provincewide. 

After four straight days with no additional deaths, Ontario’s official COVID-19 death toll grew by one yesterday and now sits at 2,814. A CBC News count based on data provided by public health units, however, puts the real toll at 2,855.

The number of patients in Ontario hospitals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 remained relatively steady at 54. Fourteen are being treated in intensive care, and nine of those are on ventilators.

A customer puts on a mask as they arrive at a store in Ottawa last month. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

Ottawa failing to enforce quarantine orders, premier says

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the quarantine system is “broken” because federal health officers are not charging people ignoring self-isolation orders for COVID-19.

Since the end of March, an emergency order under the federal Quarantine Act has required most people arriving from outside Canada to isolate themselves for 14 days, even if they don’t have symptoms.

Federal quarantine officers can lay charges with penalties of up to six months in jail and fines of $750,000, while police can issue tickets of up to $1,000.

Federal health officials say nobody has been arrested for ignoring a quarantine order, though one person was issued a summons to appear in court and 42 people have been ticketed by police.

Ford says Ontario police checks have uncovered 622 quarantine order scofflaws and is frustrated about the lack of federal charges.

A spokesman for federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu says the rules are clear and there are enforcement procedures in place for those who break them.

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