Out of the province’s 424 new cases today, nearly 60-percent contracted the virus through community transmission.  Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer says that puts the province at just over 200 cases spread through the community.  Dr. David Williams says there is still a long way to go to be able to implement the first phase of the province’s framework to reopen.  He stressed that we are still very much in the thick of dealing with outbreaks in high risk and congregate settings.

As for schools, Dr. Williams says because children are not known to carry COVID-19 for long or to experience extreme symptoms, they play a limited role in transmission. The fear is of an outbreak in a school, expanding to the children’s parents and then reaching devastating results.

Williams says new case numbers from now until May will define the return of schools in Ontario. Meanwhile, it is still dire in our long-term care homes. As of 4:00 p.m. yesterday, 150 long-term care facilities in Ontario have declared a COVID-19 outbreak. That’s five more in the past 24 hours.  The province’s Associate Chief Medical Officer says as of this morning, the Ministry of Long Term care has reported a total of 671 deaths.  Dr. Barbara Yaffe says out of Ontario’s 14,800 cases, nearly 8,500 Ontarians have recovered, that’s nearly 60-percent of the province’s cases.

She also pointed to the highest number of daily tests done, as the province reports upwards of 12,500 tested in the past day.

**Written by Mo Fahim