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Single-household social bubble could soon expand

作者:admin 2020-05-28

Ontario may expand the single-household social bubble in an announcement that could come as early as next week, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams suggested.

Public health officials had hit “pause” on plans to increase the number of people allowed to hang out with each other in close quarters because the rate of new cases had been climbing.

After two days where the daily number of new cases fell below 300, the top public health official in the province said Wednesday that there could be an announcement by the Doug Ford government perhaps next week if the more downward trend continues.

“That helps us to look more positively towards some aspects around … bubbling,” Williams said.

Rather than pop social bubbles as public measures ease, Ontario is likely to allow more people to interact unmasked with each other, such as two related households, to help ease social isolation.

Ontario reported 287 new cases Wednesday, an increase of 1.1%, for a total of 26,191 cases in the province since the beginning of the pandemic.

Williams called the number “encouraging.”

Ontario saw 32 more deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the number of lives lost to 2,123.

Health officials conducted 15,133 COVID-19 tests in the latest 24-hour reporting period.

There were 199 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care homes, 89 in retirement homes and 50 in hospitals.

The City of Toronto has the highest rate of COVID-19 in the province, and the GTA represents 65.3% of all cases.

While that has put pressure on public health officials to open up less hard-hit areas of Ontario first, Williams said the public might find it confusing to follow a patchwork of public health rules.

“Up til now we’ve decided to move the stages in a lockstep in a provincial wide area,” Williams said.

aartuso@postmedia.com

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