|Ontario reported 203 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the most on any single day in about three weeks. In a series of tweets this morning, Health Minister Christine Elliott attributed the uptick to “localized increases,” namely in Peel, Ottawa and Windsor-Essex. The three regions each confirmed 57, 43 and 24 new cases, respectively. Some 57 per cent of today’s newly confirmed infections of the novel coronavirus are in people 39 years old or younger, Elliott said.
“I just have a message for young people: Don’t go to a party, simple. It might not be you [getting sick], but it’s going to be your parents or your grandparents,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said at his daily COVID-19 news conference. “You’re hurting people by doing this.” The premier also urged people to wear masks and stay socially distant where masks aren’t possible. As for how bad things would need to get for the province to roll back on reopening from Stage 3 to Stage 2, Ford didn’t specify. After several weeks of steady decline, the number of active cases in the province has risen this week, up to about 1,584 at present.
The jump in new daily cases comes one day after Ford announced that another seven public health units would be moving into Stage 3 of the province’s reopening plan on Friday. That means by the end of the week, only Toronto, Peel and Windsor-Essex will remain in Stage 2. Meanwhile, medical experts are warning that a negative COVID-19 test is no reason to socialize in larger groups. Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist, said the tests can’t detect the coronavirus if it is still in the incubation period. He said it’s possible for a person to test negative but then show symptoms and become infectious days later. Experts also note it’s possible to be exposed to the virus right after getting tested.