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A medical worker walks outside a COVID-19 assessment center in Toronto, Canada. Photo: Zou Zheng/Xinhua via Getty Images

Ontario officials announced new coronavirus lockdown measures for Toronto and Peel Region on Friday, as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged all residents to stay home, saying COVID-19 "cases across the country are spiking massively."

Why it matters: Canadian officials predict that by end of the month, the death toll from COVID-19 could be between 11,870 and 12,120, with the country's total cases between 366,500 and 378,600, Reuters reports. Canada has recorded 315,751 cases and 11,265 deaths since the pandemic began.

  • Ontario reported 1,418 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday.

Details: Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Friday his administration was moving Toronto and Peel to the "lockdown" category, the strictest classification in the province's COVID-19 tiers.

  • Starting Monday:
    • Restaurants will be limited to take-out, drive-through and delivery.
    • Non-essential retail and malls must close, except for curbside pickup or delivery services.
    • Gyms, salons and other personal services must close.
    • Residents will not be allowed to hold indoor gatherings with anyone outside their household.
    • Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people
    • Religious services and weddings will be restricted to 10 people.
    • Most post-secondary institutions will move to virtual instruction.
  • The Durham and Waterloo regions are moving into the red "control" category, Ford said, and Huron-Perth, Niagara, Simcoe-Muskoka, southwestern Ontario and Windsor are moving to the orange "restrict" zone, per CBC.

What they're saying: “The situation is extremely serious and further action is required to avoid the worst-case scenario,” Ford in a news conference Friday afternoon.

  • “We cannot put in-class learning at risk, we can’t risk widespread outbreaks in our long-term care homes, we cannot risk overwhelming our hospitals. To protect our most vulnerable and protect what matters most we have to get the community spread under control," he added.
  • Earlier on Friday, Trudeau warned that Canada’s hospital system could be overwhelmed if COVID-19 cases spike as predicted.
    • “The cases across the country are spiking massively. We are facing a winter that’s going to drive people inside more and more and we’re really at risk of seeing caseloads go up and hospitals get overwhelmed and more loved ones dying," Trudeau said in televised remarks.
    • “A normal Christmas is quite frankly right out of the question,” he added
    • “This is the future of our country, this is the future of our children, it’s the future of our loved ones and our seniors, it’s our economy, it’s our businesses, it’s everything all together."
    • Trudeau added he was not "looking to bring in a federal hammer to try and do things," including imposing a nationwide lockdown.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Dec 4, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus death rates rising across the country

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, Census Bureau; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Daily coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday, when roughly 2,800 people died from the virus.

The big picture: Caseloads and hospitalizations continue to rise, and deaths are spiking in states all across the country.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Health: CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use" — Death rates rising across the country — Study: Increased testing can reduce transmission.
  3. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  4. Cities: Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.
14 hours ago - Health

CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use"

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

The CDC is urging “universal face mask use” for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, citing recent case spikes as the U.S. has entered a phase of “high-level transmission” before winter officially begins.

Why it matters: Daily COVID-related deaths across the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday. Face coverings have been shown to increase protection of the wearer and those around them, despite some Americans' reluctance to use them.