Ontario’s premier is expanding COVID-19 testing criteria, saying over the weekend that people who feel they need a test should go to one of the province’s 129 assessment centres — even if they don’t have symptoms.
Doug Ford’s message is a major shift for the province, which has faced repeated questions over how it plans to step up testing after falling short of its own benchmark. Previous guidelines for the general public said that only people displaying one or more symptoms of the novel coronavirus should be tested.
“If you are worried you have COVID-19, or that you’ve been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, even if you’re not showing symptoms, please go get a test,” Ford said on Sunday, a day after parkgoers in Toronto made headlines when images showed a large number of people in a popular west-end park.
Toronto’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen De Villa, called the photos “disappointing” on Twitter, and warned that “this could be selfish and dangerous behaviour that could set us back.”
WATCH | People crowd Toronto park as COVID-19 restrictions compete with summer weather:
Health officials in Ontario reported 460 new cases on Sunday and 25 additional coronavirus-related deaths. The province has reported 25,500 cases to date, with 19,477 of those considered resolved or recovered. A CBC News tally of coronavirus-related deaths based on provincial health information, regional data and CBC’s reporting stood at 2,164 in the province.
Quebec is the only province in the country that has seen more COVID-19 cases than Ontario, with 47,411 reported cases and 3,984 reported deaths. Quebec lists 14,331 cases as recovered or resolved. While stores and schools have reopened across most of Quebec, the hard-hit island of Montreal — which has been the epicentre of the pandemic in Canada — had delayed its reopening.
For some retailers in Montreal that delay ends Monday, as they are allowed to open with increased public health precautions, including physical distancing rules and stepped-up hygiene requirements. Like Ontario, Quebec has struggled to meet its testing goals and is still reporting hundreds of new cases a day. Last week, Quebec reported hundreds of new cases daily, with the lowest daily figure coming in at 570 on May 19 and rising to 720 on May 21.
As of 7:30 a.m. ET on Monday, Canada had 84,699 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases, with 43,998 of the cases considered recovered or resolved. CBC’s tally of coronavirus deaths stood at 6,515.
The novel virus that causes COVID-19 first emerged in China in 2019 but has since spread around the world, prompting travel restrictions, lockdowns and massive economic fallout. The virus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.
Here’s what’s happening in the provinces and territories
British Columbia’s most recent update on COVID-19 figures came Saturday, when health officials announced 10 new cases, bringing the province’s total to 2,517, with 2,057 considered recovered. The province also announced two new deaths, for a total of 157 deaths. Read more about what’s happening in B.C.
Alberta reported 42 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, with no new deaths, leaving the number of COVID-19-connected fatalities at 135. The province has reported a total of 6,860 cases, with 5,924 of those listed as recovered. Read more about what’s happening in Alberta.
WATCH | Is 2 metres still enough space for physical distancing?
Saskatchewan reported two new coronavirus cases on Sunday — both in the province’s far north region. The province has reported a total of 632 cases, with 538 listed as recovered. A total of seven deaths have been reported by health officials. Read more about what’s happening In Saskatchewan, including a story about door-to-door testing in La Loche, which has seen a large share of the province’s cases.
Manitoba reported no new coronavirus cases on Sunday, leaving its total reported case number at 292 confirmed and presumptive cases, with 268 considered recovered. The province says seven people with COVID-19 have died. Read more about what’s happening in Manitoba.
Ontario’s premier has condemned the gathering at a popular Toronto park where thousands of people ignored physical distancing rules. Ford said it was very disappointing to see, and said he was shocked and thought he was looking at a rock concert when he saw pictures from the park. Read more about what’s happening in Ontario.
Quebec added 44 COVID-19-related deaths to its tally on Sunday, bringing the provincial death toll to 3,984. The province also recorded 573 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases, meaning 47,411 people have now been infected. Read more about what’s happening in Quebec.
WATCH | Montreal epidemiologist expresses unease as city’s retail stores begin reopening:
New Brunswick again reported no new coronavirus cases on Sunday. The province, which has just one active case, is planning to lift even more restrictions later this week. Read more about what’s happening in N.B.
Nova Scotia reported one new coronavirus case on Sunday. Health officials report that the province has only 19 remaining active cases, with 16 of those at the Northwood long-term care home. The vast majority of COVID-19-related deaths in the province have been linked to the Halifax facility. Read more about what’s happening in N.S.
WATCH | COVID-19: Can someone else use a family’s pool?
Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases again on Sunday, with health officials saying the province now has just three active cases. Read more about what’s happening in N.L.
There were no new cases of COVID-19 in the Yukon, Northwest Territories or Nunavut on Sunday. Read more about what’s happening across the North.
Here’s what’s happening around the world
WATCH | Americans ignore physical distancing advice over Memorial Day weekend: