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Pandemic six months in: A timeline of COVID-19 in Ontario

A look at what's transpired since the declaration of the pandemic

It's been six months since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Since then, daily lives have been drastically changed.

Here's a look at what COVID-19 has looked like in the province so far:

March 11

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. 

March 14

Ontario confirmed a total of 103 COVID-19 cases.

March 17

Ontario declared a state of emergency, ordering the closure of bars, restaurants, theatres, libraries, and banning public events with more than 50 people. Schools had already been closed March 12 for what was originally a two-week March Break. 

March 19

The first COVID-related death in the province was reported. The man died at Barrie’s Royal Victoria Regional Hospital on March 11, and his death was confirmed by the health unit on March 17. He was one of two brothers who died with the coronavirus, they were close contacts of each other and both died in Barrie within 10 days of each other. 

March 23

There are 503 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The provincial government issued an order for all non-essential businesses to close by midnight the next day. 

March 25

Gatherings of more than five people were prohibited.

March 28

Ontario hits 1,144 COVID-19 cases. By March 31 there were nearly 2,000 cases, and by April 3, the total was more than 3,000 cases in the province.

April 5

The total number of deaths related to COVID-19 exceeded 100, with 119 confirmed deaths.

April 18

There were 10,010 cases confirmed in Ontario 

April 22

For the first time, more than 10,000 COVID-19 tests are done in a 24-hour period.

April 24

With 640 new cases, it remains the highest number of cases reported in a single day. 

April 30

There were 86 deaths reported. It is the highest number of deaths confirmed by the province in a single day.

May 5

There were 1,043 people hospitalized in Ontario with COVID-19, including 223 people in intensive care. This is the highest number of people hospitalized at one time during the pandemic. 

May 10

The total case count reached 20,238. 

May 19

Ontario entered Stage 1 of the provincial reopening plan, which allowed drive-in religious gatherings, reopening of some outdoor recreational amenities. Golf courses reopened, as did marinas, public boat launches and private parks and campgrounds. Some in-store shopping also resumed with new restrictions.

June 4

Ontario labs processed 20,000 tests in 24 hours, the first-time for this number of tests. Since then, the province has reported as many as 33,000 tests processed in a single day.

June 12

Ontario entered Stage 2 of the reopening plan, allowing public gatherings up to 10 people, reopening restaurant patios, shopping malls, hair salons, places of worship, and pools. This is also when social circles of up to 10 people were introduced. 

July 24

Most of Ontario entered Stage 3. Indoor gatherings were limited to 50 people, and outdoor gatherings of up 100 people with physical distancing were introduced. These rules are still in effect. Indoor dining was allowed again, and gyms reopened. Playgrounds were also reopened. Dancing, buffets, overnight children’s camps, and amusement parks still aren't allowed. The provincial emergency order was also lifted with new legislation in place allowing emergency orders to remain for the year without the state of emergency.

July 30

Ontario announced that students would return to class in person in September. Families can also still opt for distance learning.

Aug. 9

The total case count reached 40,046.

August 9-15

This week the province confirmed 598 cases over seven days, the lowest number of new cases in more than four months.

Sept. 9 

After a spike in new confirmed cases, Ontario's health minister announced there won't be any loosening of current public health measures for at least a month. The move is to try and limit the community transmission of the virus.


Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter, photographer and community editor.
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