Ontario's education minister says April break to go ahead as planned

Ontario now has more Govt-19 patients in the ICU than ever before

Ontario reported 2,333 new cases of COVID-19 today and 15 more deaths linked to the virus.

Ford says he's extremely concerned with the rising numbers in intensive care units in hospitals across the province and rising daily COVID-19 case counts.

"Based on public health advice and to ensure that we continue to maximize our mega sites, we have asked the province to lower the eligibility age for people who could come to our sites and register on the provincial system in the City of Toronto to 60 years old", the Mayor said.

"Right now, the flight crew is advising passengers on the best way to protect themselves and be prepared for the impact", he said in an interview. This latest grim assessment comes after weeks of warnings from health officials in Ontario over rising case counts and the rapid spread of variants, primarily the United Kingdom variant, B.1.1.7.

Growth in daily cases spurred by more contagious and more risky variants has been steady through March and now stands at a seven-day average of over 2,000, with the highest positivity rate in months.

Over 36,000 tests were done over the last 24 hours.

"I don't know why we're waiting for the cabinet to have a conversation about politics versus public health", she said.

Another 14 people have died as a result of the virus, raising the death toll to 7,351. Another 1,477 cases have been labelled resolved, bringing the total number of resolved cases to 320,409.

Toronto expanded COVID-19 vaccine availability to those aged 70 and older (born in 1951 and earlier) as of Saturday.

Several other regions reported infection totals in the triple digits, including Ottawa, which reported 124 new cases, Durham Region, which reported 120 new cases, and Hamilton, which reported 153 new cases.

The province continues to see an upward trend of cases of the more contagious variants of concern (VOC), which are predominately of the variant first reported in the United Kingdom.

While the province has discovered thousands of variant mutations, only 2,060 have undergone genome testing in order to be officially categorized.

They have slotted teachers and education staff into the end of the third phase of the province's vaccine rollout plan, meaning they can expect to start receiving vaccinations just before schools break for two months over summer.

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