Coronavirus updates: Ontario reports 304 new COVID-19 cases, 23 deaths; Tory says pools could reopen in “next few weeks”


Top COVID-19 stories and news

Case summary

  • As of May 17, there are 22,957, known cases of COVID-19 in Ontario.
  • 17,638 cases have been resolved in the province and 1,904 people have died.
  • As of May 16, there are 8,511 cases in Toronto, 6,361 cases are resolved and 679 people have died.

The latest local and Canadian news on novel coronavirus

10:30 am Ontario reports 304 new COVID-19 cases, 23 deaths

Public health officials have reported 304 new cases of COVID-19, an increase of 1.3 per cent over the previous day’s report. The province’s total cases is now 22,957. Another 23 people have died, bringing the number of deaths to 1,904. The total number of resolved cases is 17,638.

Today’s number of new cases is down from 340 on Sunday. The province is seeing an overall decline in cases but the number of new cases has not fallen below 300 in more than week.

However, the trend has prompted the government begin stage one of its reopening plan on May 19 even though Ontario has not experienced a steady two-week decrease in new cases.

The number of patients in hospital is 972, with 174 in intensive care and 133 in intensive care on ventilators.

10:25 am Toronto Outdoor Art Fair shifts online

The Toronto Outdoor Art Fair is the latest cancelled summer even that is shifting online in the wake of large public gatherings being cancelled for the rest of summer. The Toronto Online Art Fair will allow artists to sell their work via an e-commerce platform on the TOAF website. It runs from July 2-12.

The TOAF awards program will still dole out $40,000 in cash prizes and tours, talks and virtual programming in partnership with the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery and StreetARToronto will also happen virtually.

The fair usually happens in Nathan Phillips Square over a weekend in July and attracts 13,000 visitors.

10:14 am John Tory says pools could reopen in “next few weeks”

Some businesses and services are starting to reopen on May 19, but public pools are not on the list. Both the province and the city of Toronto ordered pools to curb spread of coronavirus. When will pools reopen? May John Tory is guessing in the “next few weeks.”

“I have asked the question a couple of times and nobody seems to say pools are particularly dangerous. In other words, there is no one that suggests that in the water the virus transmits itself,” Tory said in an interview with CP24 on Monday. “My guess is we are going to be looking at some kind of an opening of pools… sometime in the next few weeks as we gradually reopen the community centres and the places where those pools are located.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, there is no evidence coronavirus can spread to people through water in pools, hot tubs, spas or water play areas. “Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water,” states a fact sheet on the CDC website.

10 am Canada has more than 77,000 cases of COVID-19

There are 77,002 cases of COVID-19 in Canada and 5,782 people have died.

The outbreak is a serious public health threat though most people who contract the virus have not been hospitalized. 

Symptoms include cough, fever, difficulty breathing and pneumonia in both lungs and may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure. People age 65 and over and people with compromised immune systems and/or underlying medical conditions have a higher risk of contracting a severe case.