COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario
|COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario|
|First outbreak||Wuhan, Hubei, China|
|Index case||Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto|
|Arrival date||January 25, 2020|
(2 years, 1 month, 1 week and 2 days)
|Suspected cases‡||2,500,000 - 5,000,000 (Ontario's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table)|
|Government of Ontario|
|‡Suspected cases have not been confirmed by laboratory tests as being due to this strain, although some other strains may have been ruled out.|
The COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario is an ongoing viral pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a novel infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Canada was announced on January 25, 2020, involving a traveller who had recently returned to Toronto from travel in China, including Wuhan. Ontario has had the largest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among Canada's provinces and territories, but due to having the largest population, only ranks sixth adjusted per capita. Ontario surpassed one million lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases on January 24, 2022; one day before the anniversary of the first confirmed case on January 25, 2020.
From late spring to early summer, the majority of the deaths were residents of long-term care homes. In late April 2020, one out of five of all long-term care homes in Ontario had an outbreak and 70 percent to 80 percent of all COVID-19 deaths had been in retirement and long-term care homes. Following medical assistance and observation by the Canadian Armed Forces, the military released a report detailing "a number of medical, professional and technical issues" amongst for-profit long-term-care homes including neglect, lack of equipment and allegations of elder abuse.
Following a decline in cases, in May through August 2020, the province instituted a three-stage plan to lift economic restrictions. The state of emergency was lifted on July 24, 2020.
In early September 2020, the province showed a significant increase in new cases, beginning the second wave of the pandemic. Ontario began to reintroduce some restrictions and in early November, created a new five-tiered colour-coded "response framework".
From late November to mid-December 2020, the province began placing regions in rolling lockdowns, culminating in a province-wide shutdown beginning Boxing Day. In the post-winter holiday surge of new infections, Premier Ford declared Ontario's second state of emergency on January 12, 2021, which was lifted February 10, 2021, and a stay-at-home order effective January 14, 2021, which was phased out regionally between February 10 and March 8, 2021.
Following Health Canada's approval of various COVID-19 vaccines, widespread plans for vaccinations began during the week of December 14, 2020. Early vaccination efforts were highly criticized and a shortage of vaccine supply in late January and early February slowed immunization rollout significantly for a number of weeks. The rollout continued to be highly criticized for lack of equitability and clarity, which was significantly helped by volunteer groups like Vaccine Hunters Canada.
In mid-March 2021, the Ontario Hospital Association, and Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health declared the province was experiencing a third wave of the virus. Following the third wave surge, ICU numbers in late March climbed to their highest numbers since the beginning of the pandemic. On April 1, 2021, the government announced a second province-wide shutdown beginning April 3. Ford later issued a third state of emergency and stay-at-home order for the province beginning April 8, 2021, and ordered all schools to close on April 12, 2021 (public schools were in the middle of spring break, delayed from March to April). In order to ensure greater decline in the number of reported daily infections, the stay-at-home order was extended yet again to June 2, 2021, at which point it expired. Following the expiration of the stay-at-home order, on May 20, 2021, the provincial government released a three-step roadmap to reopen the economy based on vaccination rate goals.
In late summer 2021, the province began preparing for a fourth wave of the virus, which was now largely affecting unvaccinated individuals. After hitting a stand-still on vaccination rates, on September 1, 2021, Ontario became the fourth province to implement a proof of vaccination mandate for various non-essential functions, which went into effect on September 22, 2021. In January 2022, Ontario entered a partial lockdown (termed as a rollback to "Step 2" of the previous roadmap) due to record cases caused by Omicron variant, ordering the closure of most non-essential indoor facilities.
Provincial government response
The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, of which Dr. Peter Jüni is the scientific director, provides scientific advice to the Ontario government about pandemic response.
Schools and daycares
On March 12, 2020, the provincial government announced that publicly funded schools would be closed for an additional two weeks after March Break until April 5. On March 24, Premier Ford announced that the reopening of schools would be delayed indefinitely past the original April 6 target.
On March 31, Premier Ford announced that in-person classes would remain suspended through at least May 4; in tandem, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce announced the second phase of its "Learn from Home" program, which would involve "teacher-led" instruction delivered via distance education.
On April 14, Premier Ford delayed the reopening of public schools once again. On April 26, it was announced that there were plans to resume in-person classes on May 31. On May 19, Premier Ford announced that all public schools would remain closed through the end of the semester, with plans to pursue in-person classes when the next school year begins in September 2020.
Fall semester 2020
For the next school year, Lecce presented three scenarios: full online learning, a hybrid of online and in-class learning, and a return to full-time in-class learning. On July 30, it was announced that elementary schools would return to class full-time, while high schools in 24 districts with higher enrollment would use a hybrid model, alternating daily between in-person and online instruction to reduce class sizes, with physical classes conducted in cohorts of 15 students each. Students in Grade 4 and higher would be required to wear a face mask, parents would have the option to opt out of in-person classes in favour of online classes, and high school students with special needs would be able to attend in-person daily if they are not capable of using remote learning. The province allocated $309 million in funding to cover the costs of additional cleaning supplies, protective equipment, and staffing.
The plan faced criticism from parents, educators, and health care professionals, noting that some schools had insufficient ventilation and that there was no reduction in elementary school class sizes—with only one metre of distancing specified between desks. Lecce stated that the distance of desks was in conjunction with the use of masks. The hashtag "#UnsafeSeptember" was used on Twitter to publicize concerns regarding the back-to-school plan. A poll conducted by Maru/Blue in mid-August suggested 38 percent of parents surveyed were not going to send their children back to school, and a majority believed they stood with teachers and that there should be a staggered start to the school year.
On August 26, details were issued regarding how positive cases will be handled. In the event of a positive case, the entire cohort will be dismissed and required to self-isolate for 14 days. Students may return to class if they have not developed symptoms during the 14-day period. However, they will not be required to receive a test. Schools may be shut down entirely if the local health unit determines that "potential widespread transmission" is occurring. The same day, the federal government announced a $2 billion funding toward schools in Canada, of which Ontario will receive $763 million with the first tranche of $381 million arriving in the fall.
The Toronto District School Board, Canada's largest, debated and later decided to delay the reopening of schools until September 15, one week later than the initial September 8 date. A survey by the board suggested 70 percent of students would be returning to in class school and 30 percent of students would be opting for learning from home.
On September 8, schools opened for many parts of the province, using preventive measures such as masks, physical distancing in classrooms, and remote learning. Teachers in a Mississauga Catholic school were reported as briefly refusing to work until proper personal protective equipment was provided.
On September 11, the Ontario government released a website to track COVID-19 infections in public schools and daycares.
The last day of class for public schools in 2020 was December 18, the province closed the fall semester with 7,292 cases reported in public schools. Before the winter break, there more than 20 schools closed in addition to all public schools in the Windsor-Essex region.
Winter/Spring 2021 semester
Due to a province-wide shutdown, all public schools in the northern half of the province were closed to in-person classes until at least January 11, 2021, and the southern half of the province until at least January 25, 2021. Some schools in the north voluntarily remained closed as a precaution.
On January 12, the return to in-person classes in Hamilton, Peel, Toronto, Windsor-Essex, and York was delayed to February 10, 2021, as they were still considered hotspots. On January 20, it was announced that only seven school boards would resume on January 25.
On February 3, it was announced that most remaining schools outside of Peel, Toronto, and York would return to in-person class on February 8. In-person classes in Peel, Toronto, and York would return on February 16 after the Family Day holiday. On February 11, it was announced that March break would be delayed to the week of April 12 ("April Break") in order to prevent community transmission via non-essential travel and gatherings.
Amid the second shutdown and the third wave, the provincial government stated that it was its "firm belief" that in-person classes needed to continue, as they were "critical to student mental health", and that "due to our strong infection prevention measures, 99 per cent of students and staff have no active cases of COVID-19, however we must remain vigilant and keep our guard up in order to keep schools safe and open." However, on April 5, Peel Medical Officer of Health Lawrence Loh announced the closure of all schools in Peel Region for at least two weeks beginning April 6 (dates including April Break), in an order issued pursuant to Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. Later that day, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health announced that the Medical Officer of Health Nicola Mercer would issue a similar order on April 6. On April 6, Toronto Medical Officer of Health Eileen de Villa also issued a Section 22 for the same duration.
On April 11, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce stated in a letter to parents that most schools in Ontario would continue in-person classes after April Break, despite the new stay-at-home order. However, Lecce backtracked the next day, and Premier Ford announced that all schools in Ontario must close indefinitely. Private schools were required to transition to virtual learning by April 15, and public schools transitioned after April Break. Child care will remain available for non-school aged children and the school-aged children of essential workers.
On June 2, Premier Ford announced that all schools would remain closed through the end of the semester, but that he would allow in-person outdoor graduation ceremonies in all grades. In particular, Premier Ford cited safety concerns surrounding variants of SARS-CoV-2 as reasoning, stating that "It was a hard choice to make, but I will not, and I repeat, I will not take unnecessary risks with our children right now."
COVID-19 vaccination in Ontario began in December 2020, when the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine were administered. In February 2021, shipments for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines increased significantly. By May 2021, over 50% of Ontarians had received their first dose.
Throughout the pandemic, a concern about hospital capacity, and critical care like intensive care unit beds has become a major issue at the peak of the three waves. During the third wave, ICU capacity has reached near critical capacity.
|COVID-19 in Ontario hospitalizations||#||Ref|
|Number of patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19||914|||
|Total patients in ICU due to COVID-19||278|||
|Total patients in ICU on a ventilator due to COVID-19||162|||
|Number of funded Adult ICU beds in Ontario||2,343|||
|Number of funded Paediatric ICU beds in Ontario||105|||
|Percentage of provincial ICU beds occupied by COVID-19 patients||11.87%|||
Data as of February 28, 2021
Long-term care homes
On April 15, 2020, the Ontario Nurses' Association released a statement saying that long-term care (LTC) homes pre-COVID-19 were already understaffed, but now they are in "crisis" mode. Prior to the pandemic, long-term care home staff who were part-time or casual staff were allowed to work at multiple locations, increasing the risk of transmission and spread between LTC homes. The province issued a new Emergency Order on March 28 that introduced temporary additional staff members to help in the facilities and allowed homes more flexibility in staff deployment. Many LTC homes in Ontario are considered old and small and feature shared bedrooms, increasing the difficulty in isolating sick residents from those who are well.
On April 15, 2020, CBC reported that the Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care had conducted resident quality inspections (RQI) at only nine out of 626 long-term care homes in the province in 2019, down from a bare majority in 2018 and larger proportions from 2015 to 2017. RQIs are proactive, unannounced and more comprehensive than the other main category of care home inspections in the province, complaint and critical incident inspections, where facilities know of the impending scrutiny in advance; the 2018 Long-Term Care Homes Public Inquiry noted that "focusing only on specific complaints or critical incidents could lead to missing systemic issues." As of 15 April 2020, 114 care facilities in Ontario had experienced COVID-19 outbreaks, and those that had multiple COVID-19 deaths last had their RQI in 2018 or earlier.
On April 7, 2020, Ontario reported that there are 51 long-term care homes in the province that are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks, and by April 10, 2020, it had surged to 69 LTC homes in Ontario. Some LTC workers pointed to a lack of personal protective equipment as a cause of the outbreaks. By April 21, 2020, 121 outbreaks have been reported in long-term care homes.
On April 8, 2020, the Ontario Ministry of Health released directives to ramp up coronavirus testing and infection control. Also, new residents entering a home must be isolated for 14 days and tested within that period. The directives also require that all long-term care home staff and essential visitors for gravely ill residents wear surgical masks, "whether the home is in outbreak or not." LTC homes are expected to take "all reasonable steps" to follow the new long-term care rules. Prior to this directive, LTC staff were not required to wear masks or other PPE, and testing levels were considered low for at-risk seniors and LTC staff.
On April 28, 2020, Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam stated that as many of 79 percent of Canada's COVID-19 fatalities occurred in long-term care homes, with Ontario and Quebec accounting for most of the cases.
As part of Operation Laser, assistance from the Canadian Armed Forces at five Toronto-area nursing homes, beginning in April, led to a report by the Brigadier General in charge documenting extreme conditions and abuse. The Ontario Ombudsman announced the launch an investigation into long-term care facilities on June 1.
During the second wave of the pandemic, LTC homes began to experience outbreaks again. Tendercare Living Centre in Scarborough for example has experienced 43 deaths related to COVID-19. On December 25, 2020, North York General Hospital took over control of the home.
|COVID-19 in Ontario long-term care homes||#||Ref|
|LTC homes currently with an outbreak||290|||
|LTC homes with resolved outbreaks||275|||
|Active cases of COVID-19 amongst LTR residents||1,863|||
|Active cases of COVID-19 amongst LTR staff||1,499|||
|LTC home resident deaths||4,365|||
|LTC home staff deaths||13|||
|Percentage of overall provincial deaths in LTC homes||36.47%|||
Data as of February 6, 2022
Variants of concern
The Ontario government has become aware of a number of variants of SARS-CoV-2 arriving in Canada due to travel, many of which have been linked to a higher transmission rate and potentially increased fatality rates.
The first confirmed case of the Alpha variant was announced on December 21, 2020, infecting a Durham Region couple initially with no known travel-related contact exposure. The couple, Dr. Martina Weir and Brian Weir, who both work in healthcare, were later charged for lying to contact tracers, admitting later they had met with a traveller from the United Kingdom, who should have been in quarantine. Dr. Weir was later fired from her role. The variant was later identified in a mass outbreak causing 71 deaths at a long-term care home in Barrie.
On April 23, 2021, Public Health Ontario announced that there were 36 cases of b.1.617 in Ontario. By June, the government announced that it was speeding up vaccine doses for people living in Delta-variant hot spots such as Toronto and Peel.
A study in Ontario found that the Pfizer vaccine was 95 percent effective to prevent hospitalization or death from the Alpha, Beta and Gamma variants seven days after the second dose. The Moderna vaccine was 94 percent effective against Alpha seven days after the second dose. The Moderna vaccine appeared to be highly effective against Delta.
A preprint study from epidemiologists David Fisman and Ashleigh Tuite, at the University of Toronto, found that the Delta variant of SARS-COV-2 had a 120 percent greater risk of hospitalization, 287 percent greater risk of ICU admission, and 137 percent greater risk of death compared to variants which are not of concern.
The first two confirmed cases of the Omicron variant was announced on November 28, 2021, in Ottawa. Two Ottawa residents with recent travel history to Nigeria had tested positive for the variant, which was first detected in South Africa.
|Confirmed variant of concern cases in Ontario||#||Ref|
Data as of December 30, 2021
The "Ontario Dashboard" is a web page provided by the Ontario Covid-19 Science Advisory Table with frequently-updated statistics about the pandemic in Ontario.
Public Health Ontario has six testing laboratories to which samples can be sent. The main laboratory is the top four floors of the MaRS Centre in the Discovery District of downtown Toronto. As of early April 2020, accounting firm KPMG has been contracted to organize all the labs in the province that are capable of microbial testing. In addition to the six public health labs, this includes ten hospital networks and three private lab networks, including Dynacare and LifeLabs.
Access to testing is set by Public Health Ontario who publishes a guidance document that defines the conditions for an individual to be tested. Conditions have included close contact with a test-confirmed case, recent travel, admission to hospital for serious symptoms, healthcare worker, longterm care home resident, etc. The set of conditions has been updated repeatedly from January to April 2020, at times reducing access and at other times increasing access to testing. Starting in March, the public health units across the province have opened over 70 assessment centres, which members of the public can visit if directed by a health professional. These range from mobile units, to walk-up locations, to drive-through locations. This diverts potentially infected people from hospitals and doctors' offices. If warranted, the centre will collect a swab from a visitor for testing. Swabs are also collected at hospitals and by public health officials, for example, at long-term care facilities.
Since many cases are not tested, the number of test-confirmed cases, which are the infection numbers reported by the Ontario government, should not be misconstrued as the actual number of infections, which have been estimated to be substantially higher. Unlike some countries, the number of suspected or probable infections is not reported by the Ontario government.
In an effort to reduce a burden on provincial assessment centres amid a continued surge in cases, Ford announced on September 23, 2020, that it would expand testing of asymptomatic people by-appointment into pharmacies across the province, beginning with 60 locations by September 25, 2020. He also announced plans to deploy saliva-based rapid testing at three hospitals in Toronto. Accordingly, the province announced on September 24, 2020, that it would discourage asymptomatic patients from receiving tests at assessment centres.
Due to the surge of the Omicron variant in mid-late December 2021, effective December 31, 2021, PCR testing would be limited to high-risk individuals who have symptoms and workers in high risk settings.
Amount of testing
In late March and April 2020, Ontario was performing the lowest number of tests per capita of all the provinces. As of early May 2020, among the larger provinces, Ontario is second to Alberta and ahead of British Columbia and Quebec in daily tests per capita.
In mid-April 2020, polling firms Forum Research and Mainstreet Research released results of a pair of surveys about COVID-19 symptom prevalence and testing. Four to five thousand Ontario households were randomly selected. Of them, 2 percent of households contained someone who had been tested by April 12, 2020, increasing to 5 percent on April 19, 2020, whereas the incidence of COVID-19 symptoms in a household decreased from one in five to one in seven households. The second survey indicated that one-third of Ontarians report an underlying condition that might aggravate a COVID-19 infection.
Since January 2020, Ontario has been increasing its capacity to perform testing based on RT-PCR. Various factors have impeded this increase, including shortages of reagent chemicals for the RT-PCR machines and shortages of validated swabs. To tackle these challenges, labs have adapted. In particular, RT-PCR machines from multiple manufactures have been obtained, each of which takes different sets of chemicals. New suppliers of swabs have been found but each must be tested and validated to perform properly. Returning tests results to individuals is automated with an online portal.
Testing capacity projections
|Date of projection||Stated current capacity / day||Projection of testing capacity / day|
|March 13, 2020||2,500||5,000 by unspecified date|
|March 26, 2020||2,500||Each week, an increase by 3 to 4,000 tests per day and 19,000 by April 17|
|April 9, 2020||13,000||19,000 by April 29, 2020|
|April 10, 2020||14,000||8,000 by April 15, 2020, 14,000 by April 29, and 16,000 by May 6, 2020|
|May 12, 2020||unstated||20,000 by unstated date|
|May 29, 2020||18,525||16,000|
|May 29, 2020||18,525||20,900 by unstated date|
|October 2020||35,000 – 40,000||50,000 by unstated date|
|December 10, 2020||62,000 (record number of tests completed by the Province)||90,000 by unstated date|
On March 18, 2020, the Toronto Star reported that test results announced by the provincial government were several days old, with turnaround times increasing from 24 hours to 4 days, leading the government to "making decisions based on old information". The province was only able to process around 2,000 tests per day by March 19, which caused the backlog. The backlog increased to over 8,000 unprocessed samples on March 24 with patients waiting at least four days for results, partially due to fact that private and university laboratories are not allowed to process samples.
More backlogs emerged in September and October 2020 amid increased demand for tests and a heightened caseload, reaching 68,000 by the weekend of October 4. On October 5, CBC News reported that COVID-19 tests administered at pharmacies were being sent to Quest Diagnostics laboratories in California for processing by means of the local partner for the scheme, In-Common Laboratories (ICL).
Management of testing in Ontario
Officials for Public Health Ontario include the following individuals:
- Dr. Vanessa Allen, chief of medical microbiology with Public Health Ontario
- Dr. Peter Donnelly, president and CEO of Public Health Ontario (on leave as of April 9, 2020)
- Colleen Geiger, interim president and CEO of Public Health Ontario (as of April 9, 2020)
- Dr. David Williams, Ontario's chief medical officer
- Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario's associate chief medical officer of health
In early April 2020, the Ministry of Health brought in a multinational accounting firm KPMG to assist in the organization and optimization of testing capacity in Ontario. Premier Doug Ford said on April 8, 2020, that he was losing his patience with Ontario's inadequate testing numbers, showing testing capacity was not being fully utilized. Later that day, the province appointed a former Toronto public health head, Dr. David McKeown to troubleshoot and rethink the province's response to the pandemic. The following day on April 9, amid mounting criticism of the province's testing, the president and CEO of Public Health Ontario Dr. Peter Donnelly temporarily stepped down for medical reasons and was replaced in the interim by Colleen Geiger, Public Health Ontario's chief of strategy, stakeholder relations, information and knowledge.
Regional public health experts suggested that Ontario's initial incremental response—adding new voluntary measures piece by piece—had been ineffective. Businesses of all sizes remained open, and unnecessary social contacts continued. Describing Ontario's efforts to battle COVID-19 as piecemeal and ineffective, Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, who was one of Ontario's 34 regional medical officers of health, urged his colleagues to band together and use more powerful measures to contain the pandemic than provincial leaders had endorsed by the third week of March 2020. In an email, Dr. Nesathurai, who worked for Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit, wrote on March 19, 2020, that Ontario's response had undermined the province's attempt to contain the outbreak, as businesses remain open and travellers ignore advice to self-isolate.
On April 25, 2020, there were small protests totalling 200 protesters in front of the Ontario Legislative Building in Queen's Park, Toronto, demanding that Doug Ford end all emergency measures. Some of the protesters consider the coronavirus a hoax. Ford called them "a bunch of yahoos."
On May 2, 2020, there was another protest with 100 protesters in front of the Ontario Legislative Building.
On January 15, 2021, Roman Baber, Member of Provincial Parliament for the Toronto riding of York Centre, was removed from the caucus of the governing Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario after publishing an open letter to Premier Doug Ford criticizing Ontario's lockdown restrictions. Baber continued his anti-lockdown advocacy as an independent member of the legislative opposition. On January 23, 2021, an anti-lockdown rally took place at Yonge-Dundas Square which resulted in arrests and charges being laid by Toronto police.
Since early March 2021, there have been protests held in Barrie, Ontario at Meridian Place, with one protest on April 10 drawing a crowd of 300 people. The person who led the protests was fined $800 by the Barrie Police Service. On April 17, People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier attended the protests and gave a speech in front of a crowd of hundreds of protesters.
On the afternoon of April 17, 2021, approximately 300 anti-lockdown protestors gathered in the area of Main Street East and Kenilworth Avenue North in Hamilton, Ontario. Police were present for public safety and enforcement.
On February 4, 2022, a group of protesters associated with the Ottawa bound Freedom Convoy began a protest against continued provincial COVID restrictions such as requiring proof of vaccination in certain indoor settings.
On February 12, in reaction to two weeks of protests against Covid-19 restrictions, Ontario has declared a state of emergency. According to Ontario Premier Doug Ford, blocking critical infrastructure will be deemed "criminal" under the order. Protesters could face a year in prison and fines of up to $100,000 ($79,000; £58,000).
Paid sick leave
The Progressive Conservative government has largely resisted calls to implement paid emergency leave for workers that fall ill due to COVID-19, and blocked legislation proposed by the opposition Ontario NDP. Premier Ford stated that affected workers should use the federal Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), which is retroactive and delayed, and argued that NDP leader Andrea Horwath wanted to "double dip into people's pockets when there's a program working and working well now".
- COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa
- COVID-19 pandemic in the Regional Municipality of Peel
- COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto
- COVID-19 pandemic in the Regional Municipality of York
- COVID-19 pandemic in Canada
- Economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada
- "Ontario breaks single-day record once again with more than 18,000 new COVID-19 cases". Toronto. January 1, 2022.
- "Omicron wave has plateaued in Ontario but COVID-19 hospitalizations expected to see 'prolonged peak'". Toronto. February 1, 2022.
- "COVID-19: A Canadian timeline | Canadian Healthcare Network". Retrieved April 4, 2021.
- "COVID-19 daily epidemiology update". Public Health Agency of Canada. April 19, 2020.
- "Ontario government declares state of emergency amid coronavirus pandemic". Global News. Retrieved April 4, 2021.
- "COVID-19 Modelling, April 3, 2020" (PDF). files.ontario.ca. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 20, 2020.
- "Ontario doesn't have a one-stop shop for information about COVID-19 deaths in long-term-care homes and hospitals. The Toronto Star built its own". thestar.com. April 23, 2020. Archived from the original on April 24, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- DeClerq, Katherine (May 26, 2020). "'Gut-wrenching' military report sheds light on grim conditions in Ontario nursing homes". Toronto. Archived from the original on August 6, 2020. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
- "Bill 195: Ontario ends declared emergency, continues some emergency orders". Gowlingwlg.com. Gowling WLG International Limited. July 28, 2020. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
- "Tam urges caution as daily cases of COVID-19 rise 25 per cent in last week". CTV News. September 7, 2020. Archived from the original on September 8, 2020. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
- "Ontario-wide lockdown to begin on Boxing Day, list of essential retailers narrowed". CP24. December 21, 2020. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
- "Coronavirus: Ontario declares 2nd state of emergency, issues stay-at-home order". Global News.
- "Opposition slams Ford for sending 'dangerous message' by ending state of emergency". Toronto. February 9, 2021.
- "Ontario releases three-phase COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan with inoculations to begin on Tuesday". CP24. December 11, 2020.
- "Explained: What the Pfizer shortage means for Canada's vaccine rollout". Coronavirus. January 26, 2021.
- "'We are in the third wave it is just a matter of what kind of wave it is,' Ontario's top public health official says". CP24. March 18, 2021.
- Davidson, Sean (March 15, 2021). "Ontario now in third wave of COVID-19, province's hospital association says". Toronto.
- "Strict three-week lockdown needed to stop explosive COVID-19 variant growth, Ontario science table says". Toronto. March 17, 2021.
- "Ontario reports more than 2300 new COVID-19 cases as ICU numbers reach record high". Toronto. March 31, 2021.
- "Ontario to enter four-week, provincewide COVID-19 shutdown on Saturday". Toronto. April 1, 2021.
- "Ontario introduces another stay-at-home order, declares third state of emergency". Toronto. April 7, 2021.
- Davidson, Sean (April 12, 2021). "Ontario schools closing to in-person learning indefinitely as COVID-19 cases soar". CTV News Toronto. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
- "Ontario Newsroom". news.ontario.ca.
- "Here's how Ontario plans to reopen over the summer months". May 20, 2021.
- "Public health prepares for fourth wave of COVID-19 cases". thewhig.
- "Ontario's COVID-19 vaccine passport plan unveiled, won't apply to retail". CBC News Toronto. September 1, 2021.
- "Ontario to shut down publicly funded schools for 2 weeks after March Break over COVID-19 concerns". Archived from the original on March 18, 2020.
- "Ontario schools will not reopen April 6, premier says". CTV News Toronto. March 23, 2020. Archived from the original on March 23, 2020. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
- "Ontario unveils details of learn-at-home program, students out of school until at least May 4". cbc.ca. March 31, 2020. Archived from the original on April 1, 2020. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
- "Ontario public schools will not reopen on May 4, premier says". CTV News Toronto. April 14, 2020. Archived from the original on April 15, 2020. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
- "Ontario publicly-funded schools to remain closed until at least May 31". CTV News Toronto. April 26, 2020. Archived from the original on April 26, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
- "Ontario shuts schools until September because of COVID-19 pandemic". CBC News. May 19, 2020. Archived from the original on May 19, 2020. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
- "Ministry proposes three options for returning to school in September". July 10, 2020. Archived from the original on July 21, 2020. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
- "Elementary students will be in class full-time come September, Ontario says". CBC News. July 30, 2020. Archived from the original on August 26, 2020. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
- Appia, Veronica (July 31, 2020). "#UnsafeSeptember: Ontario parents fear province's school reopening plan". Toronto.com. Archived from the original on September 24, 2020. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
- Média, Bell. "EXCLUSIVE: Poll shows most Ontario parents stand with teachers in return to school". www.iheartradio.ca. Archived from the original on August 20, 2020. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
- "Poll finds majority of parents prefer two-month staggered start to school year - CityNews Toronto". toronto.citynews.ca. Archived from the original on August 21, 2020. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
- "Trudeau unsure if he will send his children back to school and poll suggests he's not the only one". National Post. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
- "Ontario reveals COVID-19 school outbreak plan, including rules for student dismissals and closures". CBC News. August 26, 2020. Archived from the original on August 27, 2020. Retrieved August 27, 2020.
- "TDSB approves a back to school plan; looks at delaying start of classes to September 15th". Newstalk 1010. Bell Media Radio. Archived from the original on September 24, 2020. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
- "Toronto District School Board Will Send Students Back To Class Starting Sept. 15". www.narcity.com. August 20, 2020. Archived from the original on August 21, 2020. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
- "First day back to school for thousands of Ontario students, others wait - 680 NEWS". www.680news.com. Archived from the original on September 24, 2020. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
- "Group of Mississauga high school staff briefly walk off job; demand better masks". CP24. September 8, 2020. Archived from the original on September 9, 2020. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
- "Ontario launches website to let parents track number of COVID-19 cases in schools". National Post. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
- "Ontario reports 11 additional COVID-19 cases in schools but only one has closed". thestar.com. September 18, 2020. Archived from the original on January 14, 2021. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
- "COVID-19 cases in schools and child care centres". Archived from the original on September 19, 2020. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
- "COVID-19 public health measures and advice". COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Ontario.
- "BREAKING: Ontario to go into province-wide lockdown this week, schools to close temporarily". www.insauga.com.
- Davidson, Sean (January 7, 2021). "Students in southern Ontario will not return to class for in-person learning until Jan. 25". Toronto. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
- "Return to in-class learning delayed for most Southern Ont. regions, Grey-Bruce exempted". CTV News London. January 20, 2021. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
- "Toronto, Windsor, Hamilton, Peel and York region schools to remain closed until Feb. 10". Archived from the original on January 14, 2021. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
- "Schools in Toronto, York and Peel will stay closed until Feb. 16, remaining regions return to class Monday". Toronto. February 3, 2021.
- "Ontario government to push back March Break to April 12, Lecce says". CP24. February 11, 2021. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
- Davidson, Sean (April 5, 2021). "Peel schools ordered to close despite Ford government's 'firm belief' they should remain open". Toronto. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
- "COVID-19: Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph public health to order temporary closure of schools". Global News. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
- "Toronto schools ordered to close temporarily due to rising COVID-19 cases". Global News. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
- "Ontario plans for students to resume in-person classes after April break, education minister says". Toronto Star. April 11, 2021. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
- Davidson, Sean (June 2, 2021). "Ontario schools will remain closed until September as province eyes earlier reopening date". CTV News Toronto. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
- "Canada's 1st COVID-19 vaccinations administered, kicking off massive campaign". Global News.
- "Ontario's daily COVID-19 cases follow downward trend with 2,320 new infections | News". dailyhive.com.
- "'Surging like absolute crazy': Ontario hospitals 'pray' they don't reach last-resort stage in third wave". nationalpost.
- "How Ontario is Responding". Government of Ontario. Retrieved July 13, 2021.
- "Health System News COVID-19 Hospital Capacity: Update". www.oha.com.
- "Coronavirus: Ontario Nurses' Association calls work conditions in care homes 'unfathomable'". Global News. Archived from the original on April 21, 2020. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
- "Canada's nursing homes worry coronavirus outbreak will mean residents 'dying alone'". Global News. Archived from the original on April 16, 2020. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
- "Ontario has ramped up testing, infection control measures in long-term care homes. Will it be enough?". thestar.com. April 10, 2020. Archived from the original on April 13, 2020. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
- "Only 9 out of 626 Ontario nursing homes received comprehensive 'resident quality inspections' last year | CBC News". CBC News. April 15, 2020. Archived from the original on April 17, 2020. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
- "Status of cases in Ontario". ontario.ca. Archived from the original on February 28, 2020. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
- "Long-term care home employees in Bradford demand better protection". BarrieToday.com. Archived from the original on April 14, 2020. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
- Weeks, Carly (April 28, 2020). "Long-term care home staff, residents struggling with restrictive COVID-19 policies". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on April 30, 2020. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
- Brewster, Murray; Kapelos, Vassy (May 26, 2020). "Military alleges horrific conditions, abuse in pandemic-hit Ontario nursing homes". CBC News. Toronto ON. Archived from the original on May 28, 2020. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
- "Ontario ombudsman launches long-term care probe following military report". Ottawa Matters. Ottawa ON: Rogers Digital Media. Canadian Press. June 1, 2020. Archived from the original on June 2, 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
- "Two more deaths reported at Scarborough long-term care centre battling COVID-19 outbreak". CP24. December 28, 2020.
- "Coronavirus: UK variant 'may be more deadly'". BBC News. January 22, 2021.
- "Ontario Confirms First Cases of Covid-19 UK variant". CBC. Retrieved July 13, 2021.
- "Durham couple who contracted UK COVID variant charged after allegedly misleading contact tracers". CP24. January 21, 2021.
- "63 residents now dead amid COVID-19 outbreak at Barrie, Ont., nursing home". Global News.
- "Deadly COVID outbreak declared over at Roberta Place". OrilliaMatters.com.
- "Ontario confirms 1st case of South African coronavirus variant, no known link to travel". Global News.
- "Ontario records first case of Brazil COVID-19 variant". torontosun.
- "COVID-19: Public Health Ontario confirms 36 cases of B.1.617 variant now in province | Globalnews.ca". Global News.
- "Ontario Newsroom". news.ontario.ca.
- Nasreen, Sharifa; He, Siyi; Chung, Hannah; Brown, Kevin A.; Gubbay, Jonathan B.; Buchan, Sarah A.; Wilson, Sarah E.; Sundaram, Maria E.; Fell, Deshayne B.; Chen, Branson; Calzavara, Andrew; Austin, Peter C.; Schwartz, Kevin L.; Tadrous, Mina; Wilson, Kumanan; Kwong, Jeffrey C.; Investigators, on behalf of the Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN) Provincial Collaborative Network (PCN) (July 3, 2021). "Effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against variants of concern, Canada". medRxiv: 2021.06.28.21259420. doi:10.1101/2021.06.28.21259420. S2CID 235722149 – via www.medrxiv.org.
- Fisman, David; Tuite, Ashleigh (July 12, 2021). "Progressive Increase in Virulence of Novel SARS-CoV-2 Variants in Ontario, Canada". medRxiv. doi:10.1101/2021.07.05.21260050. S2CID 235756602. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
- "Ontario reports first two cases of omicron COVID-19 variant". CTV News Toronto. November 28, 2021.
- "Canada finds first cases of Omicron COVID-19 variant in Ontario. Here's what we know". Global News. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
- "Tracking variants of the novel coronavirus in Canada". Coronavirus. February 4, 2021.
- "A virtual tour of a Public Health Ontario lab ramping up its COVID-19 testing". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on July 29, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- "How Ontario turned the tide on a huge backlog of COVID-19 tests". Toronto Star. April 4, 2020. Archived from the original on April 20, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- "How Ontario turned the tide on a huge backlog of COVID-19 tests". thestar.com. April 4, 2020. Archived from the original on April 20, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
- "Ontario Public Health 2019 COVID testing guidance" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on April 25, 2020. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
- Chung, Emily (April 4, 2020). "Why COVID-19 testing varies so much across Canada". Archived from the original on September 24, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- "Ontario to test every long-term care resident, staff member for COVID-19". ottawacitizen.com. Archived from the original on April 27, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
- "STAY HOME: COVID-19 spreading in community, 100s could be infected, says Ottawa's medical officer of health". Ottawa Citizen. Archived from the original on April 27, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- "Canada may have 100,000 more COVID-19 cases than the numbers show - Macleans.ca". www.macleans.ca. April 6, 2020. Archived from the original on April 15, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
- "RESOURCES: List of Ontario COVID-19 Assessment Centres & Their Individual Criteria - Ontario Health Coalition". Archived from the original on April 18, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
- Fox, Chris (September 23, 2020). "Up to 60 Ontario pharmacies to begin offering COVID-19 tests by end of week: Ford". CP24. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
- Herhalt, Chris (September 24, 2020). "Ontario now discouraging asymptomatic COVID-19 testing at assessment centres". CTV News Toronto. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
- "Ontario Updating Public Health Measures and Guidance in Response to Omicron". Government of Ontario. December 30, 2021. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
- Crawley, Mike. "Wait list for COVID-19 test results balloons to 11,000 in Ontario". CBC. Archived from the original on April 23, 2020. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
- Chung, Emily. "Why COVID-19 testing varies so much across Canada". CBC. Archived from the original on September 24, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- "Ontario couldn't ramp up its testing quickly enough during the deadly outbreak of COVID-19. Here's what went wrong". thestar.com. May 2, 2020. Archived from the original on May 3, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
- "COVID-19 Symptom Study - Ontario". Archived from the original on May 12, 2020. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
- "COVID-19 Symptom Study Wave 2 - Ontario". Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
- "Coronavirus: Ontario announces online portal to check COVID-19 test results". Global News. Archived from the original on April 6, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- Wallace, Kenyon; Kennedy, Brendan (March 13, 2020). "Are we testing enough for COVID-19? For now, yes, experts say". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on March 27, 2020. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
- Crawley, Mike (March 26, 2020). "Wait list for COVID-19 test results balloons to 11,000 in Ontario". Archived from the original on April 23, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- Stone, Laura; Weeks, Carla (April 8, 2020). "Doug Ford calls Ontario's low coronavirus testing rate 'unacceptable'". Archived from the original on April 10, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- Crowe, Kelly (April 9, 2020). "Why isn't Canada testing everyone for coronavirus?". Archived from the original on August 18, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- Hasham, Alysha (April 10, 2020). "Ontario to ramp up COVID-19 testing from 4,000 to 16,000 tests a day". Toronto Star.
- Rocca, Ryan (April 10, 2020). "Coronavirus: How Ontario is planning to hit 16K daily COVID-19 tests by May 6". Archived from the original on April 20, 2020. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
- "Ontario increases COVID-19 target to 20,000 tests a day". thestar.com. May 12, 2020. Archived from the original on May 17, 2020. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
- Herhalt, Chris (May 29, 2020). "Ontario unveils new COVID-19 testing strategy. Here's what we know about the plan". Toronto.
- "Ontario labs can process 50,000 COVID-19 tests a day. Why aren't they?". Toronto. October 23, 2020.
- "Ontario reporting record number of both new COVID-19 cases and tests today". CP24. December 10, 2020.
- Donovan, Kevin (March 18, 2020). "Huge backlog in COVID-19 test results means Ontario is making decisions based on old information". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on March 19, 2020. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
- "Concerns grow over slow pace of COVID-19 testing in Ontario | CBC News". Archived from the original on March 20, 2020. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
- "Why Ontario's COVID-19 testing underestimates the spread of the virus | CBC News". Archived from the original on March 24, 2020. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
- "Ontario conducting fewer than 3,000 COVID-19 tests despite daily capacity of 13,000". Global News. Archived from the original on April 18, 2020. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
- "Ontario is sending COVID-19 pharmacy swabs to California lab for processing". CBC News. October 5, 2020. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
- "Head of Public Health Ontario temporarily stepping down due to medical issues". CP24. April 9, 2020. Archived from the original on April 15, 2020. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
- "Ontario's public health chief steps aside as COVID-19 fight intensifies". cbc.ca. April 9, 2020. Archived from the original on January 14, 2021. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
- "INFO-GO | Government of Ontario Employee and Organization Directory". www.infogo.gov.on.ca. Archived from the original on April 11, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
- "Coronavirus updates: Doug Ford loses his 'patience' over inadequate testing in Ontario | National Post". April 8, 2020. Archived from the original on April 9, 2020. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
- "Laboratory testing strategy recommendations for COVID-19, Interim Guidance 21 March 2020" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on May 3, 2020. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
- "Leaked email reveals Ontario regional medical officer's criticism of provincial COVID-19 strategy as cracks emerge in front line". thestar.com. March 20, 2020. Archived from the original on April 25, 2020. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
- "'A bunch of yahoos,' Ont. premier says of people protesting COVID-19 emergency measures | CTV News". Toronto.ctvnews.ca. April 23, 2020. Archived from the original on September 24, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
- "Anti-lockdown protestors take to Queen's Park again - CityNews Toronto". CityNews Toronto. Archived from the original on May 3, 2020. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
- Benzie, Robert (January 15, 2021). "Premier Doug Ford turfs MPP Roman Baber from Tory caucus for opposing COVID-19 lockdown". Toronto Star. Torstar. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
- "Ford ousts MPP from caucus over open letter pushing for end to COVID-19 lockdown". cbc.ca. January 15, 2021.
- @Roman_Baber (January 15, 2021). "I was removed from the @OntarioPCParty caucus. It's a regretful decision since many colleagues agree with me, incl @fordnation in large part. I don't regret speaking out for millions of lives & livelihoods decimated by Public Health, I serve the public. The Lockdown is grounded in false public health narrative, poor planning & bad data. While Doug only cares about re-election, Lockdowns are killing more than saving. I couldn't watch the suffering anymore. I hope I encouraged other professionals to speak out" (Tweet). Archived from the original on January 15, 2021 – via Twitter.
- "Today's coronavirus news: Toronto police arrest, lay charges after anti-lockdown rally held at Yonge-Dundas Square; The Beer Store temporarily closes one of its locations after employee tests positive". The Star. January 23, 2021. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
- Morris, Siobhan (April 10, 2021). "Barrie Police ticket organizer of anti-lockdown protest". CTV News Barrie. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
- Keith, Elizabeth (April 17, 2021). "Huge Crowds Are In Barrie Protesting The Government's Latest COVID-19 Measures (PHOTOS)". Narcity. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
- "Police responding to large-scale anti-lockdown protest in Hamilton". Insauga. April 17, 2021. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
- Wilson, Kerrisa (February 5, 2022). "Huge crowd of protesters hold anti-mandate protest in downtown Toronto". CP24. Retrieved February 5, 2022.
- "Trucker protests: Ontario calls state of emergency". BBC News. February 12, 2022. p. 1. Retrieved February 12, 2022.
- "Amid pleas for Ontario paid sick day program, Doug Ford tells people to stop 'playing politics'". Global News. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
- "Ontario Liberals call on government to 'overrule the premier' on paid sick leave". CTV News Toronto. April 19, 2021. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
- Benzie, Robert (February 23, 2021). "Ontario government rejects need for 'duplicate' sick pay program". Toronto.com. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
Media files used on this page
Flag of Ontario.
Author/Creator: Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Scalable Grid Engine, Licence: CC0
Empty shelves at a No Frills in the Greater Toronto Area amid the COVID-19 (Wuhan Coronavirus) outbreak.
(c) Sikander Iqbal, CC BY-SA 4.0
Personal Protective Equipment donation tent at North York General Hospital
(c) Sikander Iqbal, CC BY-SA 4.0
Yonge-Dundas Square during the COVID-19 pandemic
Author/Creator: Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Scalable Grid Engine, Licence: CC0
"Thank You Heros" sign at Sunrise of Unionville
Author/Creator: Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County, Licence: CC0
COVID-19 vaccination sticker given out to the public in Hastings Prince Edward PHU
(c) Jason Zhang, CC BY-SA 3.0
A closure notice on some of the doors of Father Michael McGivney Catholic Academy in light of a school shutdown over COVID-19. The shutdown was announced the day before (12 March 2020) by the provincial government and the Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce. It affected all publicly-funded schools in the province and was set to take place beginning on the 16th.