COVID-19 in Ontario: What you need to know today

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ontario continues to climb, though at a slower rate than just a few days ago.

Health authorities reported a dozen new cases on Tuesday, marking the second day in a row that the number of positive diagnoses decreased from the day before.

But the provincial tally of 189 now includes one death. Five other cases that are considered resolved.

Wednesday’s numbers, due out around 10:30 a.m. ET and 5:30 p.m. ET could be an indication about whether the province is starting to “flatten the curve” or if the virus is continuing to spread at a dangerous rate despite a state of emergency declared by Premier Doug Ford.

Ford and some of his top cabinet ministers are scheduled to speak at Queen’s Park at 1 p.m.

GO Transit service reductions

A number of planned service changes on the GO Transit network come into effect today.

Metrolinx says it has reduced service by about 28 per cent overall. The UP Express is now running only every half hour, instead of every 15 minutes, and about one-third of all GO buses have been taken out of rotation.

Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins said that all train corridors will still have service, however riders should be to check online before heading out for the day. There will be far fewer express trains operating as well, she said.

Ridership on the GO network was down about 60 per cent as of Monday, Aikins added, with further drops expected in the coming days and weeks.

“You go into Union Station and there is just nobody there. It’s the busiest transit hub in the country under normal conditions, but we are not living in normal times right now,” she told CBC Toronto.

Aikins said that her team is keeping a close eye on all of GO’s various routes, and the transit agency will adjust service if any particular line is becoming too crowded.

Province cancels standardized tests

Meanwhile, Ontario’s education minister announced that standardized testing has been cancelled for the rest of the school year.

Stephen Lecce said the decision was made as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, which has already shuttered schools across the province.

Classes have been cancelled at all public schools across the province until April 3.

Under the provincial state of emergency declared yesterday, private schools are now also closed.


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