COVID-19: Ontario reports 712 new cases, 108 in Ottawa

Henrietta Brewer
October 17, 2020

"Honestly, I hate this", said Ford as he reluctantly announced the news during a press conference on Friday."The indicators are going in the wrong direction".

The provincial government says it is working with some of the most highly-respected brands in the country to promote the COVID Alert contract tracing app. "And I know this will be very, very hard for many people to hear".

Ontario confirmed nine new deaths linked to COVID-19 on Friday, taking the province's death toll to 3,031.

The announcement comes as no surprise to York Region medical officer of health Dr. Karim Kurji, who said yesterday that with the most recent escalation in COVID-19 cases in York Region - it saw the highest daily number of cases since the pandemic began with 128 cases confirmed October 14 - the region had moved from "orange zone" to "red zone".

The COVID alert app was made available in July, and since then, has been downloaded over 4.5 million times.

Ford will be joined by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, to make an announcement.

More than 1,130 one-time keys have been entered by app users in Ontario who have tested positive for COVID-19, in turn notifying Ontarians of potential exposure to the virus and allowing them to take necessary public health precautions.

The largest number in today's update - 213 cases - were reported in Toronto, followed by Peel with 135 cases, Ottawa with 108 cases and York Region with 62. There were 844 new cases recorded the previous day.

There were 5,883 active cases in Ontario. "It has to be considered", said Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen.

The Montfort Hospital said that the transformation of the Ray Friel Recreation Complex into an east-end COVID-19 care clinic is nearly complete but in the meantime the Heron Road care clinic had testing slots available Friday.

To date, 42,542 tests have been conducted in the region, the health unit reported.

Statistics showed 253 people were hospitalized, 62 were placed in ICU and another 31 people were on a ventilator.

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