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An empty pre-school room is seen at Compass Early Learning & Care, in Bowmanville, Ont., on June 24, 2020

Melissa Tait/The Globe and Mail

The number of kids in child-care centres is allowed to increase across Ontario today as the province continues its gradual reopening.

The Ministry of Education had previously limited the number of people per room in a daycare to 10 in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

As of today, a maximum of 15 children — plus staff members — will be allowed in each “cohort.”

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The groups of children must stay together throughout the program for at least seven days, and cannot mix with kids in different cohorts.

While a government document offering operational guidance says staff members are no longer included in the size of the cohort, it notes that staff should not rotate between groups. It says supervisors should “limit their movement between rooms, doing so when absolutely necessary.”

The ministry says infants are excluded from the increased capacity, because they’ve never been allowed to be in groups of more than 10.

Ontario reported 119 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, and one new death.

The total number of cases now stands at 38,799, which includes 2,764 deaths and 34,461 resolved cases.

There were 102 new resolved cases reported today.

The provincial government says it was able to complete more than 24,664 tests the previous day.

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It also says 82 people are in hospital because of the virus, including 30 people in intensive care and 18 on ventilators.

The province notes several hospitals did not submit data over the weekend and there will likely be an increase in numbers when they do.

Ontario's Education Minister says next week he will announce a new plan to reopen the province's schools in September. Stephen Lecce says he is finalizing plans with provincial health officials including Ontario's chief medical officer. The Canadian Press

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