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Ontario has fourth consecutive day with more than 400 new COVID-19 cases; Trump declares places of worship ‘essential’

Ontario has fourth consecutive day with more than 400 new COVID-19 cases; Trump declares places of worship ‘essential’
Canada
The latest novel coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Saturday (this file will be updated throughout the day). Web links to longer stories if available.

May 23

8:30 a.m. New infections from outbreaks in seniors homes and other institutional settings are down sharply since spiking in mid-April.

But the number of new cases caught each day everywhere else remains high — near the highest levels the province has seen since the beginning of the pandemic.

A Star analysis has found that far more people in Ontario are catching COVID-19 in community settings than was previously known.

May 22

11:30 p.m. President Donald Trump has labeled churches and other houses of worship as “essential" and called on governors nationwide to let them reopen this weekend even though some areas remain under coronavirus lockdown.

The president threatened Friday to “override” governors who defy him, but it was unclear what authority he has to do so.

5 p.m. Ontario’s regional health units are reporting their fourth consecutive day with more than 400 new COVID-19 cases as the rate of new infections has continued to rise in recent days, according to the Star’s latest count.

The health units reported a total of 26,260 confirmed and probable cases, including 2,113 deaths.

The total of 492 new confirmed and probable cases reported since the same time Thursday was once again up from recent daily averages, a sign the province-wide decline in the infection rate has reversed in recent days.

The recent increase in cases has not been felt equally across the province. The daily rate of new COVID-19 has been largely flat in the GTA, outside of Toronto, this month, with about 125 new cases reported per day on average. Likewise, the rate of new infections has flattened out in rest of the province, outside the GTA, with an average of about 80 new cases reported per day since May 10.

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New cases have spiked this week in Toronto; the city is seeing among the highest levels of new case reports since the beginning of the pandemic.

The 194 cases reported per day on average over the last seven days in Toronto is only lower than the number the city saw for a short period in mid-April, when the epidemic was peaking in the province.
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