Top doctor wants schools to open before Ontario's Step 1 reopening date

People wear face masks as they walk through the Atwater Market in Montreal

Today's statistics include 24,000 processed tests. There were more than 45,000 tests completed one week ago.

Of the new cases, 316 were in Toronto, 271 in Peel, 75 in York, 66 in Hamilton, 47 in Simcoe Muskoka, 46 in Halton, 44 in Waterloo, 37 in Ottawa, 35 in Middlesex-London, 25 in Durham, and 22 in Niagara. One week ago there were 23. The number of resolved cases have outnumbered new cases each day since mid-April.

The latest provincial numbers confirm 1,227 new cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, 39 new cases of the P.1 variant and four new cases of B.1.351.

There are 1,072 people in hospital (all hospitals reporting), 650 in ICU and 452 on a ventilator.

Another 2,302 people recovered from the disease in the past 24-hour period, resulting in 16,541 active cases across the province.

As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Ontario rolls along, there are growing calls for the province to start accelerating second doses.

Toronto is celebrating another COVID-19 vaccine milestone on Wednesday with the city surpassing two million vaccine doses administered.

"We do know that the effectiveness of vaccines is lowered in that population", Dr. Amit Arya, palliative care lead at Kensington Health, told CTV News Toronto.

Following the release of bold reopening plans in British Columbia and Alberta, there is word that the Ford government is considering moving up dates of Ontario's plan.

Almost 4,100 more people recovered from the virus over the past two days, resulting in 19,026 active cases across the province. Ontario's virus-related death toll stands at 8,697.

"My position always has been that schools should be the last to close and first to open", he said.

Dr. David Williams said Tuesday that most public health units have stated they're in favour of schools reopening sooner, rather than later.

Ontario's top doctor says he'd like to see schools re-open as soon as possible now that COVID-19 caseloads are coming down.

"We're confident we can make sure schools are safe for everyone including students and teachers", Williams said.



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