2,359 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Ontario, expanding the workplace inspection blitz to more cities. The province says 52 more people have died for reasons related to COVID-19. Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said nearly 63,500 tests have been completed in the last 24 hours by the province’s network of labs. A total of 252,585 confirmed cases reported to date have been reported in Ontario. Of this number, 222,287 were marked as having been resolved. In order to ensure that workplaces follow orders, over 300 officers conduct inspections. Ontario Minister of Labour Monte McNaughton says the province is confident that orders are followed by the majority of workplaces in Ottawa, Windsor, Niagara and Durham.
A variant first detected in the UK has been confirmed by the Public Health Unit. A long-term care home in Barrie has been discovered. The variant, according to the public health unit, is considered “highly contagious and easily transmitted,” 124 out of 127 residents and 84 at-home employees tested positive for the virus. There have been 29 deaths from the virus, which, public health officials say, has a high attack rate. The labour minister of the province says that if companies fail to follow orders, the government will take action. Spartan Bioscience says the rapid COVID-19 test has been approved by Health Canada. The Ottawa company developed technology that was previously limited to the use of research. The made-in-Canada device was reported to deliver on-location outcomes in under 60 minutes before its use was limited. The Ministry of Health of Ontario said it welcomed the authorization of further rapid tests for the device. Previously, Health Canada provided regulatory approval for the test, with 40,000 tests ordered monthly by the federal government.