Ford urges anyone from Trinity Bellwoods crowd to get tested for COVID-19

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TORONTO -- Premier Doug Ford is urging anyone who was among a large crowd of people at Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto or other big gatherings over the weekend to get tested for COVID-19.

He says he was disappointed to see so many "obviously smart, young people" flouting physical distancing rules.

Ford's comments come as the province attempts to boost low testing numbers -- reported today as 8,170, despite a capacity of more than 21,000.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says health officials have decided to delay implementing a family bubble-type rule or loosening a restriction on gatherings of over five people in part because of what happened at Trinity Bellwoods.

She says they have been discussing household bubbles, but there is reluctance to move ahead with that right now because of some large gatherings and discouraging new case numbers.

Elliott says rising numbers of new COVID-19 cases in Ontario likely relate to people gathering for Mother's Day contrary to official guidelines.

Meanwhile, Ontario reported more than 400 new COVID-19 cases Monday for a fifth straight day, along with persistently low levels of tests.

That brings the total in the province to 25,904 cases, including 2,102 deaths -- an increase of 29 over the previous day.

The total also includes 19,698 resolved cases, which represents 76 per cent of all cases, a third straight day of that percentage declining, as the amount of active cases increases.

The 404 new cases represent an increase of 1.6 per cent over Sunday's total. Ontario has now seen growth rates of between 1.5 and 1.9 per cent for 16 of the past 17 days, and the chief medical officer of health has said the province's curve appears to be in a plateau.

Ontario announced Monday that it has appointed hospitals to take over the management of two long-term care homes that have been unable to contain COVID-19.

The province said Humber River Hospital will manage Downsview Long Term Care Centre, which has reported 52 deaths, up from 40 just a week ago.

Southlake Regional Health Centre will manage River Glen Haven Nursing Home in Sutton, a 119-bed facility where there have been 20 deaths and 54 confirmed cases.

The orders last for 90 days, but the government said they can be extended, if necessary.

The government said that the homes have been receiving supports from the hospitals for weeks, but have still been unable to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Ministry of Long-Term Care reports more than 1,500 resident deaths and six staff deaths from facilities across the province, and there are currently 159 active outbreaks, down from 189 a week ago.

Allison Jones, The Canadian Press

Cover photo from Reddit

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