More restrictions for Ontario after record-high 732 new cases; 182 school infections identified in Quebec


On Friday, Oct. 2, jurisdictions around Canada reported 2,124 new cases of COVID-19, 90 fatalities and 1,264 recently recovered patients. The updates increase Canada’s active case count by 791, leaving 15,657 currently infected individuals nationwide.

Along with announcing a backlog of 74 deaths, Ontario reported a record-high 732 new cases of COVID-19. The increase led to Premier Doug Ford imposing new restrictions for the entire province, as well as specific rules for Ontario’s three hotspots.

In Quebec, there were 1,052 new cases, the most since early May. In addition, 182 new cases were identified in schools across Canada’s worst-hit province, with 65 learning institutions (K-12) reporting their first case of COVID-19.

In Manitoba, the active count case has reached 652, as a concerning trend continues to develop in the province’s capital. On the West coast, British Columbia announced 161 new cases of COVID-19, the second most in a 24-hour stretch since the start of the pandemic.

For more on Friday’s top stories, and on how the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the country, please refer to our live updates below, as well as our COVID-19 news hub and our live blog on the latest updates across Canada.

15,657 active COVID-19 cases in Canada: 162,659 diagnoses, 9,409 deaths and 137,614 recoveries (as of Oct. 2, 6:30 p.m. ET)

  • Alberta – 1,558 active cases (18,357 total cases, including 272 deaths, 16,527 resolved)

  • British Columbia – 1,302 active cases (9,381 total cases, 238 deaths, 7,813 resolved)

  • Manitoba – 652 active cases (2,072 total cases, 21 deaths, 1,399 resolved)

  • New Brunswick – 5 active cases (200 cases, 2 deaths, 193 resolved)

  • Newfoundland and Labrador – 3 active case (275 total cases, 3 deaths, 269 resolved)

  • Northwest Territories – 0 active cases (5 total cases, 5 resolved)

  • Nova Scotia – 3 active cases (1,089 total cases, 65 deaths 1,021 resolved)

  • Ontario – 5,203 active cases (52,980 total cases, 2,927 deaths, 44,850 resolved)

  • Prince Edward Island – 2 active case (59 total cases, 57 resolved)

  • Quebec –  6,733 active cases (76,273 total cases, 5,857 deaths, 63,683 resolved)

  • Saskatchewan – 147 active cases (1,940 total cases, 24 deaths, 1,769 resolved)

  • Yukon – 0 active cases (15 total cases, 15 resolved)

  • Nunavut – 0 active cases (8 presumptive positive cases)

  • CFB Trenton – 0 active cases (13 total cases, 13 resolved)

Ontario reports record-high increase, Ford announces new restrictions

Ontario has recorded 732 new cases of COVID-19, the most in a 24-hour stretch since the start of the pandemic.

It’s the second time this week that it has recorded a new record-high, after the province announced 700 cases on Monday, which surpassed the mark it had previously set during the peak of its first wave. It’s also the fifth-straight day that the province has surpassed the 500-case mark, which it had not previously surpassed since May 2. 

Due to the rapid increase in cases and projected modelling data, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced new restrictions for the province.

“Earlier this week, we received a real wake-up call. We saw from the modelling update that if we don’t act now we could see 1,000 new cases a day by mid-October. We could have 200-300 people a day arriving in our hospitals and ICUs,” said Ford.

“We’re in the second wave of COVID-19, and as premier it’s my duty to protect the people.”

The social circle concept, which allows people to closely interact within a group of 10, has been paused in Ontario. People are advised to only be in close-contact with those in the same household, while those who live alone can interact with another household.

“This will be especially important to consider as we look ahead to Thanksgiving next weekend,” said Ford. “The weather is driving more people indoors, which has led to more community spread and a surge in testing.”

In the province’s three hotspots — Toronto, Peel and Ottawa — indoor capacity for restaurants, bars and nightclubs has been capped at 100. In Toronto, it’s already limited to 75, Ford noted. In addition, people must maintain a two-metre distance, and there can be no more than six people at a table. Contact information from each patron must also be collected.

In the three hotspots, gyms and other fitness settings can only have a maximum of 50 people at a time, while only 10 for a specific class. At meeting and event facilities, such as banquet halls, a cap of 50 people will also be in place, including six per table.

Throughout the province, masks will now be required in all workplaces, on public transit and in shopping centres when physical distancing of two metres cannot be maintained.

The latest patients were identified after the province’s labs completed 40,093 tests, leading to a positive test rate of 1.8 per cent, its highest since June 7. Ontario’s backlog of tests continues to grow, this time to a record-high 90,513. In order to catch up on the backlog and create a winter-based testing approach, the province will now move to appointment-based testing. Walk-in testing will be discontinued Oct. 4.

In the last 24-hour stretch, 428 more people have recovered, while two have died in the province. Officials also added 74 additional fatalities after reviewing their spring and summer data. Of the 76 deaths, 71 of them involved long-term care residents.

The update leaves 5,203 active cases in Ontario, the most since April 28, when the province was at the peak of its first wave. 

Of the most recent 732 cases, 323 were identified in Toronto, 141 in Ottawa, 111 in Peel, 38 in York, 34 in Durham, 13 in Simcoe Muskoka, and 11 in both Halton and Niagara. The remaining 26 public health units reported 10 or fewer, while 13 reported no new patients at all.

The Ministry of Health also reported 36 new cases in schools. Of the most recent school cases, 29 involve students, two involve staff, while the other five have not yet been identified. Throughout the province’s 4,828 schools, there have been 483 cases among 318 institutions, up by 11 since Thursday’s update.

Three schools are currently closed due to COVID-19: Mason Road Junior Public School in Toronto, Holy Cross Catholic School in Kemptville and Monsignor Paul Baxter in Ottawa, according to the Toronto Star. 

Of the recent 732 cases, 321 of them were among people between 20-39 years old, the most of any age group. There were also 164 new cases among those 40-59 and 107 among those 19 and under. Eighty-one cases involve long-term care residents, while the province substrated 165 among health-care workers after its data review.

Of the province’s 5,203 active cases of COVID-19, there are 167 people in hospital, the most since July 1. That includes 36 in intensive care and 21 who require a ventilator. 

Toronto currently leads the way with 2,080 currently infected patients, followed by Peel (972), Ottawa (815) and York (418). The remaining 30 public health units have fewer than 135 active cases.

Quebec reports a 1,000-plus case increase, another 65 schools identify cases

Quebec reported 1,052 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the most the province has announced since May 1 for a 24-hour stretch.

On May 3, the province did announce 2,209 cases, but that was in part due to a data error that missed 1,317 positive cases in April. 

This latest update marks the eighth straight day that the province has recorded at least 600 cases. Before the recent stretch, it had not hit that mark since May 26. Since then, it has also experienced multiple stretches where the province consistently reported fewer than 100 daily cases as it contained the spread of COVID-19.

“Today’s numbers show us that the situation is really critical,” said Quebec Premier François Legault on Friday, while noting that the province “might need to close other activities in the coming days.”

Of the latest 1,052 cases, 357 were identified in Montreal, 183 in Quebec City, 112 in Montérégie, 92 in Laval, 73 in Chaudière-Appalaches, 50 in Mauricie-et-Centre-du-Québec, 38 in Lanaudière, 37 in Estrie, 36 in Laurentides, 32 in Outaouais and 26 in Gaspésie – Îles-de-la-Madeleine. Of Quebec’s 18 regions, three of them reported zero new cases. 

On Monday, enhanced restrictions under the province’s red alert (the highest) came into effect for the greater Montreal region, Chaudiere-Appalaches and the majority of the Quebec City region.

Across schools in the province, 182 new cases of COVID-19 were identified, with 144 among students and 38 among staff. Of the 2,141 total cases, 1,341 are considered active, with 78 more having recovered since the last update. 

There are currently 674 class bubbles that have been sent home and asked to learn remotely, up by 43. Of the province’s 3,089 schools, 785 of them have had a case of COVID-19, an increase of 65. However, 149 of them don’t currently have an active case, up by 10, since the individuals have recovered.

“For schools, for me, it’s the last thing I want to close,” said Legault. “I will do everything I can to keep schools open.”

Students from Lasalle Community Comprehensive High School walk out of class to protest COVID-19 safety concerns Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020 in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)
Students from Lasalle Community Comprehensive High School walk out of class to protest COVID-19 safety concerns Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020 in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)

In the latest 24-hour stretch, no one has died, however the province added seven fatalities to its death toll (5,857) that occurred before Sept. 30. In addition, 539 more people have recovered, which brings the province’s active case count to 6,733, the highest in Canada. 

Quebec’s testing numbers are reflective of its output from two days prior. Most recently, it completed 30,252 tests for COVID-19, as it continues to push its capacity.

Of the province’s currently infected individuals, there are 302 in hospital and 49 in intensive care, up by 27 and three since Thursday, respectively.

B.C. reports its second largest case spike since the start of the pandemic

British Columbia health officials announced 161 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the second most in a 24-hour stretch since the start of the pandemic. 

It’s only behind the 165 cases that were announced on Sept. 17.

Of the most recent group of 161, 80 were identified in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 79 in Fraser Health, and one in Northern Health. The final patient involves an individual who resides outside of Canada. 

In the same 24-hour stretch, 118 people have recovered and three more people have died, increasing the death toll to 238. It leaves the province’s active case count at 1,302. 

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C. provincial health officer, did not hold a press conference on Friday to discuss the recent spike in cases. 

People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility during the coronavirus pandemic in Burnaby, British Columbia, on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility during the coronavirus pandemic in Burnaby, British Columbia, on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

Since Sept. 21 — when the province had a record-high 1,987 currently infected patients — B.C. has seen its active case count consistently decrease except on a few occasions. The rise in cases it saw in July to September was accredited to an increase in private gatherings, sometimes indoors, among those under the age of 40. 

It resulted in increased fines for party organizers, and ultimately the closures of all nightclubs and banquet halls in the province. 

B.C. health officials were also forced to issue new exposure warnings each day around the province, because infected individuals were at various public destinations. Currently around B.C., there are 3,114 people who are self-isolating and are being monitored by public health because they were in contact with a patient. 

In the latest 24-hour stretch, there has been one new health-care facility outbreak at Surrey Memorial Hospital, but the outbreaks at Yaletown House and Peach Arch Hospital have been declared over. In total, there are 14 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and three acute-care facilities that have active outbreaks in B.C.

According a press release, there have not yet been any outbreaks in schools across the province.

Manitoba once again records another record-high for active cases

Manitoba health officials have announced 43 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, throughout the Winnipeg (29), Prairie Mountain (seven), Interlake-Eastern (six) and Southern Health (one) regions 

The update increases the province’s active case count to 652, which marks the fifth time in the past seven days that it has recorded a new record-high for currently infected patients. 

The province has seen its active case count rise exponentially over the past few weeks. Two weeks ago on Sept. 18, there were 325 active cases while a week ago (Sept. 25), there were 487 infected residents across Manitoba. The majority of the 652 active cases are located in Winnipeg, which is home to 560 of those patients.

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, did not hold a press conference on Friday to discuss the latest spike, but over the past few weeks he’s revealed concerning trends, primarily in Winnipeg. 

“We’re definitely seeing that 20 to 29 age group, which is propagating the transmission of the virus right now in Winnipeg,” said Roussin on Thursday. “A lot of that is associated with the restaurant and the bar sector, which we’re actively working with right now.”

Last week, Roussin said that half of its recent cases in Winnipeg are linked to bars, pubs and restaurants. In some cases, people were visiting more than one venue in a night while symptomatic. The province is currently looking at additional enforcement measures, and that an update on potential changes for the bar and restaurant sector is expected in the near future.

Due to the rise in cases, starting on Monday, people in the Winnipeg metropolitan region are required to wear masks in indoor public spaces, while indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people. Starting Oct. 7, masks will be required all throughout Manitoba at all health-care centres.

In a press release Friday, health officials announced an outbreak has been declared at the Carberry Personal Care Home in Carberry. Officials have also recently notified three schools and daycare centres of potential COVID-19 exposures, along with two public exposures in its capital city and one in Dauphin at Boston Pizza. One airline exposure has also been issued for a flight on Sept. 21 from Winnipeg to Edmonton. 

According to Scott Billeck of the Winnipeg Sun, there have been at least 24 schools in the province with a COVID-19 case, with 19 of them in Winnipeg. 

Along with the 43 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, 11 more people have recovered, and one more person has died. The victim was a man in his 70s, and was connected to Parkview Place long-term care home in Winnipeg. Of the record-high 652 active cases, there are 15 in hospital, including seven in intensive care.

Updates from the rest of Canada

Nova Scotia health officials have identified one new case of COVID-19, involving an individual in the Central zone who recently travelled outside of Atlantic Canada. The patient has been self-isolating since their return. Across Nova Scotia, there are now three active cases of COVID-19.

No new cases were identified in Newfoundland and Labrador, which continues to have three currently infected patients. One more person has recovered in New Brunswick, which now has five active cases. As of Prince Edward Island’s last update on Sept. 29, there remains two active cases among residents in that jurisdiction.

In Saskatchewan, 13 new cases were identified through the Saskatoon (6), Central East (4), South Central (1), North Central (1) and North East (1) zones. Ten more people have recovered, which brings the province’s active case count to 147. The Saskatoon zone is home to 62 of those currently infected patients, as it remains the province’s epicentre. There are also currently six people in hospital throughout Saskatchewan.

Alberta health officials have identified 122 new cases of COVID-19, along with three more fatalities. The latest victims, according to CTV Edmonton, are all from the Calgary zone: a woman in her 50s, a man in his 90s who was a resident at the Wentworth Manor continuing care facility and a woman in her 70s linked to the Foothills Medical Centre outbreak, which has grown to seven units and claimed the lives of six. In the same 24-hour stretch, 157 patients have recovered, which brings down the province’s active case count to 1,558. Across schools, there are 56 with outbreaks (up by four since Thursday), meaning they have had at least two cases in a 14-day period.

On Friday, Nunavut’s chief public health said there is another presumptive COVID-19 case at the Hope Bay gold mine, about 125 kilometres southwest of Cambridge Bay. It comes after seven presumptive cases were identified on Monday at the mine, bringing the total to eight. The tests swabs have been sent to a southern lab for further testing and confirmation of the initial diagnoses. Nunavut remains the only Canadian jurisdiction that has not had a confirmed positive case added to its tally throughout the pandemic. The Northwest Territories and Yukon currently have no active cases of COVID-19.

Timelines of cases prior to today:

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