TORONTO - The provincial government is implementing tighter limits on social gatherings, a decision spurred by what Premier Doug Ford called an alarming rise in new COVID-19 cases.
Social gatherings will now be capped at 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors in all areas of the province. It's a dramatic cut from previous caps of 50 and 100, respectively.
The province had imposed the lower caps in just Toronto, Ottawa, and Peel on Thursday as those areas saw cases spike.
On Friday, Thunder Bay's medical officer of health Dr. Janet DeMille said she didn't believe there was a need to lower gathering limits in the district, which is currently reporting only one active case.
The new restrictions will be in place for 28 days, and were implemented based on the advice of the province's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, Ford said at a Saturday morning news conference.
The restrictions will not apply in staffed facilities like restaurants, movie theatres, and places of worship.
The province announced over 400 new cases for the second consecutive day Saturday, numbers not seen since early June.
Ford placed the blame for the increases squarely on social gatherings.
“Folks, the alarm bells are ringing, and too much of it is being tied to people who think it’s okay to break the rules," he said. "We can’t have these wild parties right now – it’s just way, way too risky.”