Ford government lowers gathering limit across all of Ontario

large gatherings banned Large gatherings have been banned across Ontario in an effort to tamp down the rising COVID-19 cases

The Ontario government is reducing limits on the number of people permitted to attend social gatherings across the whole province.

The measure is being extended it across the province to all regions. Earlier in the week, the new gathering restrictions were limited to Toronto, Peel Region, and Ottawa.

The new limit on the number of people allowed to attend an unmonitored private social gathering is 10 people at an indoor event or gathering. The previous limit was 50. For outdoor gatherings, the limit is 25 people per event. The previous limit was 100.

“Over the past several days, we have seen an alarming growth in the number of COVID-19 cases in the province,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Clearly, the numbers are heading in the wrong direction. That’s why we are taking decisive action to lower the size of unmonitored private social gatherings in every region of Ontario.”

Under the new rules “unmonitored and private social gatherings” include functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, parks, and other recreational areas.

Indoor and outdoor events and gatherings cannot be merged together, the government said in an announcement Saturday.

“This action is based on the increasing case counts that we are seeing,” said Health Minister Christine Elliott.

New daily COVID-19 cases spiked over 400 this last week after it had reduced to less than 100 per day during August. Ontario health officials reported 407 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, which is the highest number since June 2 when 446 infections were added

In Niagara Region, new cases grew to 12 on Thursday up from low single-digit daily reports. However, on Friday one new case was reported. On Saturday there were 5 new cases reported.

Last week, the Niagara Catholic School Board reported its first case at Mary Ward Catholic Elementary School in Niagara Falls. An off-campus Brock University student in St Catharines also became infected with COVID-19.

Earlier Saturday, Niagara Region Public Health also advised the District School Board of Niagara that an individual at Eastdale Secondary School has tested positive for COVID-19. The person is not being identified. It is not known if they are a student, teacher, or school staff member.