Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario reports highest number of new cases ever; health measures in Ontario ease up in several COVID-19 hot spots; Ontario’s new tiered system takes effect

Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario reports highest number of new cases ever; health measures in Ontario ease up in several COVID-19 hot spots; Ontario’s new tiered system takes effect

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Saturday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

10:40 a.m.: Updates to the provincial numbers posted Saturday on Ontario’s COVID-19 page indicate 11 new deaths in the last day from the virus. The number of known active cases in the province is up by 269 to 8,667.

10:29 a.m.: Add one more name to the list of Toronto music venues shuttered for good during the pandemic. The Mod Club, open since 2002 at College and Crawford Sts., announced Friday night on social media that “our goal was always striving to bring big smiles, positive vibrations and memories that will last a lifetime.”

The capacity-620 concert hall had been the site of memorable concerts in the past, including in 2011 the first public show by Abel Tesfaye, alias The Weeknd, after his first mixtape “House of Balloons” caused an international sensation. Leslie Feist, played an pre-stardom show there in 2004.

The Orbit Room, Alleycatz and others have announced their permanent demise, as the pandemic kills touring and indoor live performance. A report given to the city last month said that 11 Toronto venues had closed since the initial lockdown in mid-March.

10:20 a.m.: Ontario is reporting 1,132 new cases this morning, according to provincial Health Minister Christine Elliott — and that number is a new single-day high for the province.

Locally, she reported on Twitter, there are 336 new cases in Toronto, 258 in Peel, 114 in York Region, 78 in Ottawa, 64 in Halton and 55 in Hamilton. There are 852 more resolved cases and nearly 39,200 tests completed.

7:38 a.m.: There are 255,809 confirmed cases in Canada.

Quebec: 112,189 confirmed (including 6,403 deaths, 95,956 resolved)

Ontario: 81,693 confirmed (including 3,209 deaths, 70,086 resolved)

Alberta: 31,858 confirmed (including 352 deaths, 24,684 resolved)

British Columbia: 17,149 confirmed (including 275 deaths, 13,035 resolved)

Manitoba: 7,419 confirmed (including 96 deaths, 3,037 resolved)

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Saskatchewan: 3,623 confirmed (including 25 deaths, 2,634 resolved)

Nova Scotia: 1,121 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,040 resolved)

New Brunswick: 350 confirmed (including 6 deaths, 320 resolved)

Newfoundland and Labrador: 294 confirmed (including 4 deaths, 285 resolved)

Prince Edward Island: 66 confirmed (including 64 resolved)

Yukon: 23 confirmed (including 1 death, 20 resolved)

Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

Northwest Territories: 10 confirmed (including 10 resolved)

Nunavut: 1 confirmed

Total: 255,809 (0 presumptive, 255,809 confirmed including 10,436 deaths, 211,184 resolved)

7:37 a.m.: British Columbia’s provincial health officer and health minister are holding a rare weekend news conference today amid a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix will speak at 1 p.m. although there is no word yet on what will be announced.

In a news conference earlier this week, Henry had said they were talking with health authorities about possibly bringing in region specific restrictions, if necessary.

B.C. reported 589 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, up from 425 on Thursday and 334 on Wednesday.

The province also reported two new deaths on Friday, bringing the total to 275.

Less than two weeks ago, Henry brought in new restrictions limiting the number of people in homes to the occupants plus their “safe six” when cases began spiking in the Fraser Health region.

7:36 a.m.: Health measures are loosening in several COVID-19 hot spots today as Ontario’s new tiered system takes effect.

The colour-coded system — which classifies each public health unit as a red, orange, yellow or green zone based on caseload and transmission levels — came into force at midnight, as previous measures imposed on a handful of hot spots were set to expire.

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Only Peel Region, which has seen rising cases in recent weeks, was deemed a red zone, while other hot spots such as York Region and Ottawa were labelled as orange.

Regions in the red category have, among other things, indoor restaurant dining limited to 10 people and gyms limited to 10 people indoors.

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The orange level limits bars and restaurants to 50 people indoors, with no more than four seated together.

Health officials in Peel had asked that the region remain under a modified Stage 2 — the restriction classification system previously used by the government — which involves more stringent rules such as a ban on indoor dining in restaurants and bars.

Toronto will stay in modified Stage 2 for another week.

7:35 a.m.: Malaysia’s government said Saturday that it will expand movement restrictions to most parts of the country, with coronavirus cases nearly tripling over the past month.

Another 1,168 new cases were reported Saturday, bringing Malaysia’s total tally to 39,357 — compared to just 13,993 a month ago.

Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said all of peninsula Malaysia except for three states will be placed under a conditional movement control order from Monday until Dec. 6. He said the move will help curb the virus spread and allow targeted screening to be done.

7:34 a.m.: Germany’s disease control centre is reporting a new daily record in new coronavirus infections as the pandemic continues to spread through the country.

The Robert Koch Institute said Saturday that Germany’s states reported 23,300 new cases overnight, surpassing the record of 21,506 set the day before, which was the first time the country had registered more than 20,000 daily cases.

It said another 130 people died from the virus, a number that has also been trending upward but remains far lower than the high of 315 deaths reported one day in April.

Alarmed by the rapid rise in numbers, Germany has imposed significant new restrictions to prevent the health system from being overwhelmed. A four-week partial shutdown took effect on Monday, with bars, restaurants, leisure and sports facilities being closed and new contact restrictions imposed. Shops and schools remain open.

Germany has overall recorded 642,488 coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic with 11,226 deaths.

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7:33 a.m.: The Australian state of Victoria had its eighth day in a row of no new virus cases or deaths, ahead of another move back to normal living including no limits on travel outside of Melbourne and the resumption of flights to New Zealand.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to announce another relaxation of rules on Sunday, including the removal of Melbourne’s so-called “ring of steel.” No longer confined within a 25-kilometre (15-mile) radius, the city’s residents will be allowed to travel throughout the state.

Travel freedom is expected to expand again when the border with New South Wales state reopens to Victorians on Nov. 23.

“They will be big steps, they’ll get us much closer to normal than we’ve been for six or seven months, which is very significant,” Andrews said.

On Monday, the state will see the resumption of direct flights from New Zealand, the first international flights into Melbourne since June 30.

7:31 a.m.: President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has been diagnosed with the coronavirus as the nation sets daily records for confirmed cases for the pandemic.

Two senior administration officials confirmed Friday that Meadows had tested positive for the virus, which has killed more than 236,000 Americans so far this year. They offered no details on when the chief of staff came down with the virus or his current condition. His diagnosis was first reported by Bloomberg.

Meadows travelled with Trump in the run-up to Election Day and last appeared in public early Wednesday morning without a mask as Trump falsely declared victory in the vote count. He had been one of the close aides around Trump when the president came down with the virus more than a month ago, but was tested daily and maintained his regular work schedule.

Read Friday’s coronavirus news.

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