Ontario authorities announced on Saturday, September 19, that existing limits on private social gatherings will be reduced province-wide for a period of 28 days. Premier Doug Ford made the announcement at a news conference stating that indoor social events can include no more than ten people, down from a previous limit of 50, and outdoor gatherings will be reduced to 25 from a previous limit of 100. Ford said at the news conference that anyone holding an illegal party can face a fine of C$10,000 ($7,580), and those caught attending one may be fined up to C$750. The announcement follows the second day in a row that Ontario health authorities recorded more than 400 cases of the virus. As of September 19, Ontario has 46,484 cases of COVID-19 with 2826 associated fatalities.
Previously, the federal government announced that the closure of the Canada-US land border would be extended through October 21. The extension has been mutually agreed with the US government due to continued high COVID-19 case numbers in many US states. The border has been closed for five months and the previous extension had been agreed until Monday, September 21. All nonessential cross border travel is prohibited, with exceptions for freight drivers, health workers, and other essential travel.
As of Friday, September 19, health authorities have confirmed 144,053 COVID-19 cases and 9,256 associated deaths in Canada. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
Copyright and Disclaimer