Six-month timeline of COVID-19 in Ontario

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It’s been six months since the World Health Organization officially declared a global pandemic on March 11

March 11: The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

March 11: Guelph Storm plays its final hockey game of the season, a 7-4 loss to Kitchener.

March 13: A physical altercation over toilet paper at Guelph’s Costco store highlights fears of running out of essential items.

March 13: University of Guelph cancels all classes.

March 14: Ontario confirmed a total of 103 COVID-19 cases to date

March 17: Ontario declares a state of emergency, ordering the closure of bars, restaurants, theatres, libraries, and banning public events with more than 50 people. Schools had already been closed March 12 for what was originally a two-week March Break.

March 17: Guelph opens a COVID assessment clinic on Delhi Street.

March 18: Guelph and area mental health authorities report an “astronomical” jump in anxiety-related calls.

March 19: The first COVID-related death in the province is reported. The man died at Barrie’s Royal Victoria Regional Hospital on March 11. He was one of two brothers who died with the coronavirus, they were close contacts of each other and both died in Barrie within 10 days of each other. 

March 23: City of Guelph closes all playgrounds, dog parks and skate park.

March 23: There are 503 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The provincial government issued an order for all non-essential businesses to close by midnight the next day. 

March 24: Guelph’s first case of COVID-19 confirmed, a resident at St. Joseph’s Health Centre.

March 25: Gatherings of more than five people are prohibited.

March 26: Guelph declares a state of emergency.

March 28: Ontario hits 1,144 COVID-19 cases. By March 31 there were nearly 2,000 cases, and by April 3, the total was more than 3,000 cases in the province.

April 2: Guelph has its first of 11 deaths related to COVID-19.

April 5: The total number of deaths related to COVID-19 exceeded 100, with 119 confirmed deaths.

April 11: City of Guelph cancels events at city facilities.

April 18: There are now 10,010 cases confirmed in Ontario 

April 22: For the first time, more than 10,000 COVID-19 tests are done in a 24-hour period.

April 24: With 640 new cases, it remains the highest number of cases reported in a single day. 

April 30: There were 86 deaths reported. It is the highest number of deaths confirmed by the province in a single day.

May 5: There are 1,043 people hospitalized in Ontario with COVID-19, including 223 people in intensive care. This is the highest number of people hospitalized at one time during the pandemic. 

May 10: The total case count reaches 20,238. 

May 19: Ontario enters Stage 1 of the provincial reopening plan, which allows drive-in religious gatherings, reopening of some outdoor recreational amenities. Golf courses reopen, as do marinas, public boat launches and private parks and campgrounds. Some in-store shopping also resumed with new restrictions.. Social gatherings limited to five people.

June 4: Ontario labs processed 20,000 tests in 24 hours, the first-time for this number of tests. Since then, the province has reported as many as 33,000 tests processed in a single day.

June 12: Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health issues a Section 22 order requiring masks in public spaces.

June 12: Ontario enters Stage 2 of the reopening plan, allowing public gatherings up to 10 people, reopening restaurant patios, shopping malls, hair salons, places of worship, and pools. This is also when social circles of up to 10 people were introduced. 

July 24: Most of Ontario enters Stage 3. Indoor gatherings are limited to 50 people, and outdoor gatherings can be up to 100 people with physical distancing. Indoor dining is allowed again, and gyms can reopen. Playgrounds are also reopened. There’s still no dancing, buffets, overnight children’s camps, or amusement parks. The provincial emergency order is also lifted with new legislation in place allowing emergency orders to remain for the year without the state of emergency.

Aug. 7: City of Guelph announces an expected 2020 deficit of $24.7 million due to COVID.

Aug. 9: The total case count reaches 40,046.

August 9-15: This week the province confirmed 598 cases over seven days, the lowest number of new cases in more than four months.

Sept. 8: Province announces a halt to reopening plans after a spike in cases.

Sept. 10: Staggered school entry begins for Guelph families that chose in-school learning.

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