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Stricter COVID-19 measures come into effect in York Region amid rising case numbers

TORONTO - Stricter public health measures come into effect in York Region today in a bid to tackle what the Ontario government has called an “alarming” surge in COVID-19 cases.

The region north of Toronto has moved back into a modified Stage 2 of the province's pandemic plan.

Indoor service in restaurants is prohibited, gyms and movie theatres are closed and public gatherings can be no larger than 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors.

The measures will be in effect for 28 days — two incubation cycles for the novel coronavirus.

York Region accounted for 94 of the province's 658 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, and 93 of Saturday's 805 cases.

Ottawa, Toronto and neighbouring Peel Region were placed under similar restrictions to York just over a week ago.

Meanwhile, three Toronto hospitals are reporting outbreaks of COVID-19, meaning at least two people have contracted COVID-19 within a 14-day period where both could have been caught in hospital.

Unity Health Care says there are outbreaks in four units at St. Joseph's Health Centre — the 2E unit, the 2L medicine unit, the 4E unit and the 3M unit.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health says one of its units has an outbreak at its Queen Street site.

It says two patients in Unit 1-4 have tested positive for the virus.

And the University Health Network says it's experiencing an outbreak at Toronto Western Hospital, with staff and patients in units 8A and 8B testing positive for the virus.

It says five staff and three patients were affected as of Friday.

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