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Ontario Premier Doug Ford speaks at Queen's Park, in Toronto, on June 26, 2020.

Cole Burston/The Canadian Press

Premier Doug Ford says newly announced restrictions on social gatherings in three provincial virus hot spots will be expanded to other areas of Ontario.

Ford says some mayors and regional medical officers of health have indicated they would also like to see the rules applied to their municipalities.

Ford says he will be discussing the further tightening of the rules with his cabinet, but gave no further details about the plan.

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On Thursday, the premier announced that he was cracking down on people holding social gatherings in Toronto, Ottawa, and Peel, were virus cases have increased.

Under the measures announced Thursday, only 10 people will be allowed to gather indoors, down from the previous limit of 50; the number for outdoor gatherings will drop to 25 from 100.

They also come with minimum fines of $10,000 for gathering organizers and $750 for those who attend.

Ford made the comments in Ottawa today with the premiers of Quebec, Alberta, and Manitoba as they asked for more federal funding for health care.

It comes as Ontario reported 401 new cases of COVID-19 today, a daily increase not seen since early June.

Ford says the case increase today is “very concerning” and underscores the need for greater federal support.

He says health care demands have grown in recent decades, but federal contributions have decreased.

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Ford says the government is moving to address long waits for virus tests in Ottawa by sending in three mobile assessment units.

He says he also hopes to expand testing to Ontario pharmacies by late next week.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Christine Elliott says Toronto is reporting 130 new COVID-19 cases, with 82 in Peel Region and 61 in Ottawa.

She says nearly 70 per cent of the new cases are in people under the age of 40.

The province is also reporting 11 new COVID-19 cases related to schools, including at least five among students.

That brings the total number of schools with a reported case to 60 out of Ontario’s 4,828 publicly-funded schools.

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One school in Pembroke, Ont., remains closed due to an outbreak.

The total number of cases in Ontario now stands at 46,077, which includes 2,825 deaths and 40,600 cases classified as resolved.

There were also 176 cases newly marked as resolved over the past 24 hours, and the province says it processed 35,826 tests over the previous day.

Editor’s note: September 19, 2020: An earlier version of this story reported that Ontario had lowered the limit for indoor social gatherings in three regions to 10 people from 25; in fact, the previous limit on indoor gatherings was 50 people.
Ontario is lowering the number of people permitted at social gatherings in three regions that have recently seen a spike in COVID-19 cases. Premier Doug Ford says starting Friday in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa, only 10 people will be allowed to gather indoors, while the number for outdoor gatherings will drop from to 25. The Canadian Press

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